Original Research

Traditional and Christian concepts of disease and healing among the Manianga

M. M. Mulemfo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 51, No 2 | a1388 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v51i2.1388 | © 1995 M. M. Mulemfo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 1995 | Published: 12 December 1995

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Abstract

The Manianga of Zaire believed, and still believe, in a Supreme Beingcalled'Nzambi Mpungu'. He is the origin of all health care, includingmedicinal plants. According to traditional understanding, God uses theancestors -'bakulu' - to reveal these plants and their use to healersfor the sake of the living community. The belief in the ancestors asmediators between God and people has been dispelled by missionaries. However, there are some Manianga who, despite their Christianity, stillbelieve that the ancestors have an important role to play in the livingcommunity. It is the task of the Church to demonstrate a biblical healingministry amid these conflicting approaches. This implies not the banningof the practice, but its improvement according to the message of JesusChrist. The evangelical community of Zaire should create a climate ofdialogue to promote efective collaboration between the traditionalhealers and modern practitioners.

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