Original Research

Moving to different streams of healing praxis: A reformed missionary approach of healing in the African context

Thinandavha D. Mashau
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 1 | a1508 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i1.1508 | © 2016 Thinandavha D. Mashau | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 August 2015 | Published: 30 June 2016

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Thinandavha D. Mashau, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, South Africa

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There are different streams of healing praxis in Africa today, namely African traditional healing, biomedical healing and spiritual healing (which includes the more recent ‘touch your TV screen’ healing method) among others. These streams offer contemporary African people diverse alternatives with regard to healing. As much as the hegemony of Western biomedicine, as endorsed by missionaries in the past, can no longer serve as a norm in the area of healing, we can also not use the African traditional healing methods and or any other alternative presented to Africa without discernment. This suggests therefore that Reformed mission ecclesiology and missionary practitioners should critically engage the African context, worldview and culture on the matter of healing. It should also engage other forms of spiritual healing methods on offer in the African soil.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The use of an indigenous knowledge system when coming to healing in the African context, alongside Western biomedicine and other forms of spiritual healing practices, provides African people with diverse alternatives. It also poses a missiological question regarding the acceptability of such a practice within the framework of the Reformed Missionary Paradigm.

Keywords: healing; praxis; Reformed; Missionary; Africa


healing; praxis; Reformed; Missionary; Africa


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