Padwick, Timothy John (2003)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis is a study of the Roho churches of Vihiga District, Western Kenya, from their beginnings in 1927 to the present. After an initial historical overview of this group of African Independent Churches, it examines their creation of a vernacular theology – the founders’ vision. This was characterized by a strong pneumatology, in which the Holy Spirit acts as guardian of the community. The thesis locates this vision, and its rejection of modernist, western, and capitalist modes of development, in the articulation of the traditional communal mode of production in contradistinction to the European industrial capitalism characteristic of Kenya in the 1930s. It examines the desire of Roho leaders to play a role in the public sphere and recounts their attempt to influence national political life through an indigenous conciliar movement at the time of political independence. Finally, it examines the process of re-envisioning undertaken by Roho leaders and members to meet the dual challenges of pauperization and modernization at the present day.
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