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The Changing Face of ChristianityAfrica, the West, and the World$
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Lamin Sanneh and Joel A. Carpenter

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177282

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195177282.001.0001

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Culture, Christianity, and Witchcraft in a West African Context

Culture, Christianity, and Witchcraft in a West African Context

(p.45) 2 Culture, Christianity, and Witchcraft in a West African Context
The Changing Face of Christianity

Todd M. Vanden Berg

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the changing terms upon which the Longuda people of northeast Nigeria engage their beliefs about witchcraft. Lutheran and other forms of Christianity have wide influence in the region, but despite missionaries’ dismissals, belief in witchcraft persists. Using the tools of theology, comparative religions, and anthropology, the author shows how Longuda Christians are adapting and synthesizing a traditional worldview and Christian doctrines to make sense of the forces they encounter. Vanden Berg shows that anthropological and theological assumptions about syncretism, non-negotiable worldviews, and truth claims need revising in the face of the Longuda people’s Christian embrace of a spiritually animated world.

Keywords:   anthropology, Christianity, Longuda, Lutheran, missionaries, Nigeria, syncretism, theology, witchcraft, worldview

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