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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Missionary medicine and Akan therapeutics: illness, health and healing in southern Ghana's Basel Mission, 1828-1918
Author:Mohr, AdamISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Volume:39
Issue:4
Pages:429-461
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:folk medicine
missionary history
Akan
Link:https://doi.org/10.1163/002242009X12529098509803
Abstract:The Basel missionaries in southern Ghana came from a strong religious healing tradition in southwest Germany that, within some circles, had reservations about the morality and efficacy of biomedicine in the nineteenth century. Along with Akan Christians, these missionaries in Ghana followed local Akan healing practices before the colonial period was formalized, contrary to a pervasive discourse condemning local religion and healing as un-Christian. Around 1885, however, a radical shift in healing practices occurred within the mission and in Germany that corresponded to both the bacteriological revolution and the formal colonial period. In 1885 the first medical missionary from Basel arrived in Ghana, while at the same time missionaries began supporting biomedicine exclusively. This posed a great problem for Akan Christians, who began to seek Akan healers covertly. Akan Christians argued with their European co-religionists that Akan healing was a form of culturally relative therapy, not a rival theology. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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