Culture, Christianity, and Witchcraft in a West African Context

Todd M. Vanden Berg

in The Changing Face of Christianity

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780195177282
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835812 | DOI:
Culture, Christianity, and Witchcraft in a West African Context

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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

Chapter.  7678 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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