SOCIAL DISABILITY AND THE DIAGNOSIS OF SATANISM

Johanneke Kroesbergen-Kamps

Abstract


This article argues that in contemporary Zambia, becoming a Satanist is taken to be a spiritual affliction, rather than a religious conversion or a meta-commentary on changes effected by modernity. This point is made through a close reading of ethnographic materials collected in neo- Pentecostal settings such as church services, deliverance sessions and radio programmes. These materials show that testimonies of ex-Satanists should be heard in the context of spiritual warfare theology and the search for spiritual healing. This quest for healing is placed in the light of contemporary ideas about health and illness in Africa, more especially Christian faith healing. One important symptom contributing to the diagnosis of Satanism is introversion: quietness, stubbornness and a desire to be alone instead of spending time with friends.


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