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Akan witchcraft and the concept of exorcism in the Church of Pentecost

Onyinah, Opoku (2002)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Witchcraft and "exorcisms" have dominated African cultures and posed problems for African people. This thesis is a study of the current exorcistic ministry within a Pentecostal church in Ghana with reference to the Akan culture. The general opinion gathered from current anthropological studies on witchcraft is that the ultimate goal of exorcism is to become modernised. However, using interdisciplinary studies with a theological focus, the thesis departs from this, and contends that it is divinatory-consultation or an inquiry into the sacred and the search for meaning that underlies the current "deliverance" ministry, where the focus is to identify and break down the so-called demonic forces by the power of God in order to "deliver" people from their torment. It represents a further attempt to contextualise the gospel to African people. However, its preoccupation with demonisation and its exorcistic practices are found to bring Christianity into tension with the Akan culture, family ties and other religions. Therefore, to develop a properly safeguarded ministry of exorcism in an African context, the thesis examines contextualisation and suggests that it includes the integration of divinatory-consultation, which the thesis claims underlies the biblical concept of prayer, into African Christianity.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Anderson, Allan
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Department of Theology
Subjects:BF Psychology
BX Christian Denominations
DT Africa
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:1694
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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