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Centre of African Studies: Research


Paper Details

Author: Marja Hinfelaar

Title: Conflict and Protest in a Socttish Mission Area: North-Eastern Zambia 1870-1935

Year: 1994

In fighting the evils surrounding them, people in north-eastern Zambia from the end of the 19th century, had an alternative weapon, namely Christianity. It could be used to combat evils like witchcraft and disease. The people of this area, however, were faced with the additional "evils" arising from the colonial situation: racial inequality, the lack of higher education, social problems as a consequence of labour migrations, etc. Moreover, for this particular area, most of "evils" of the pre-colonial era, like the consequences of the expansion of the Bemba empire, were not beaten by the introduction of Colonial Rule. For some, Christianity proved to be an important mechanism for dealing with these problems. In this study three Christian organisations in an outside the sphere of the Livingstonia Mission of the Free Church of Scotland will be addressed. Each organisation, as will become clear, dealt with evil in their own distinctive way. The three organisations are the Mwenzo Welfare Organisation, the Watchtower movement and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. All three came into existence in the early period of colonialism, the 1910s till the 1930s. Many academics have contributed to the writing of the (church) history of north-eastern Zambia. However, what seems to be consistently lacking is adequate attention to the pre-colonial history of the area. Therefore this thesis will take into account the decades prior to the introduction of Christianity and Colonial Rule.

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