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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 1018-6441

Abstract

MAGEZI, V.  and  MYAMBO, T.. Pastoral challenges and responses to fear of avenging spirits (ngozi) in Africa: A biblical evaluation and response - a case of the Shona people. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.1, pp. 161-187. ISSN 1018-6441.

Avenging spirits, commonly known as "ngozi", are one of the most feared and mysterious spiritual manifestations among African people - particularly the Shona people of Zimbabwe. To address the fears of Christians in such contexts, a contextually relevant pastoral ministry should first of all be designed. Such a ministerial design should proceed from a thorough understanding of the contextual reality of the spiritual world (of "ngozi"). Secondly, it should formulate a biblical response to the phenomenon in order to be informed by a sound biblical premise. Thirdly, its design should utilise the natural potential of community church people. Cognisant of these realities and challenges in African churches, this article grapples with the subject of the fear of avenging spirits in congregations, using the case study of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, and how a pastoral ministry could be designed to address the situation. In doing so, the article discusses the phenomenon of avenging spirits, it provides a systematic biblical response and evaluation of "ngozi" and it proposes a contextually relevant and biblically-informed pastoral ministry to people under consideration.

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