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African Ancestors Religion. Chipembedzo cha Makolo Achikuda

edited by Joseph Chaphadzika Chakanza

The Church of the African Ancestors Religion was founded in Blantyre, Malawi in 1959, the day H.K. Banda arrived in Malawi to lead the country to independence. The Chichewa name, Chipembedzo cha Makolo Achikuda, can be literally translated as ‘the religion of the black ancestors’. In summary, the theology rejects the foreign Christian God and religious texts of the whites, aiming to rediscover indigenous traditional religion, and galvanise Africans to struggle for a pan-Africanist, Afro-centric religious liberation that redeems their cultural traditions and self-determination. Its literature further aims to persuade Christians of the insincerity of the missionaries.

This book sets out, translates into English and interprets the key documents and texts of the African Ancestors Religion. It contextualises the movement within Malawi’s new religious movements and conflicts between tradition and modernisation. It argues that both the negative and positive aspects of the teaching reflect an indigenous, carefully considered strategy to mobilise the masses for a return to traditional practices of worship, and to challenge the foreign ideologies of Christianity, which its follows consider are undermining the religious heritage of Africans.

ISBN 9789990876390 | 92 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2006 | Kachere Series, Malawi | Paperback




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