Tabona Shoko contends that religion and healing are intricately intertwined in African religions. This book on the religion of the Karanga people of Zimbabwe sheds light on important methodological issues relevant to research in the study of African religions. Analysing the traditional Karanga views of the causes of illness and disease, mechanisms of diagnosis at their disposal and the methods they use to restore health, Shoko discusses the views of a specific African Independent Church of the Apostolic tradition. The conclusion Shoko reaches about the central religious concerns of the Karanga people is derived from detailed field research consisting of interviews and participant observation. This book testifies that the centrality of health and well-being is not only confined to traditional religion but reflects its adaptive potential in new religious systems manifest in the phenomenon of Independent Churches. Rather than succumbing to the folly of static generalizations, Tabona Shoko offers important insights into a particular society upon which theories can be reassessed, adding new dimensions to modern features of the religious scene in Africa.
Dr Tabona Shoko is Chairman of the Department of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Harare. He lectures in African Traditional Religion and Phenomenology of Religion.