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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Women's Revolt: The Lumpa Church of Lenshina Mulenga in the 1950s
Author:Hinfelaar, H.
Year:1991
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Volume:21
Issue:2
Period:May
Pages:99-129
Language:English
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:African Independent Churches
Lumpa Church
Bemba
women
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1580801.pdf
Abstract:The political disturbances and bloodshed the Independent Church of Lumpa was involved in from the beginning of the 1960s onwards appear to have obscured the religious message of its Prophetess, Lenshina Mulenga. After a spiritual experience in the village of Kasomo (near Chinsali, Zambia) in 1953, Lenshina and began to compose hymns according to traditional modalities through which she meant to teach. In order to discover this message, as well as Lenshina's view on the religious role of Bemba women, the author examines a number of her hymns. He shows that each hymn possesses one or two symbols around which all other words are arranged. An analysis of these symbols shows that Lenshina drew inspiration both from Christianity and from the important features of Bemba religious experience. Her main contribution was the shift away from the backward-looking veneration of the ancestors to the forward-looking acceptance of Jesus Christ as the fulfilment of the legendary Light Envoy. She accepted Jesus Christ as her husband and her brother. Access to him was based on the traditional dogma of the married woman being the mediatrix of the divine. Sanctity could only be reached through an undefiled union of husband and wife within a legal marriage. Lenshina restored Bemba women's religious roles as intercessors, placed between Christ and the world, and as the initiators of the Christian cult. Notes, ref.
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