Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
HENRIQUES, Alan C. Environment, world-view and healing among the Zulu Christians (19th and 20th centuries). Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2013, vol.39, n.2, pp. 57-69. ISSN 2412-4265.
The basic question raised in this article is how Christians within the Zulu community seek relief from illnesses. Do they turn to plant (herbal) or animal remedies, or do they regard this as an imbalance in the mind of the person afflicted. This article touches on the sub-themes of the habitat of a Christian community, religion and food and also how to consider the place of animals and humans within a Christian community. There is in fact more said in the New Testament about evils spirits than food regulations, with the latter featuring more prominently in the Old Testament. In Bible times, sicknesses such as epilepsy would have been regarded as demon possession where as we would consider a medical intervention to solve that problem today. Nevertheless, how prevalent is faith healing today and what is the role played by the patient and the community in terms of customs and regulations held fast with the faith community being considered. Ngubane would place an emphasis on the mind and Bosch for his part discusses the place of demoniac possession as a source of suffering in the lives of believers. The people included in this study are mainly from Mariannhill, Maphumulo and the Nyswa Reserve in the Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu-Natal. This article refers to the disciplines of botany, zoology and anthropology. Therefore, the challenge for Zulu Christians is to synthesize these various disciplines into an integrated faith that is rooted within the South African context - or, perhaps even applies globally.