Contextualization of the Gospel in Zaramo Culture: Jesus as a Mganga (The Healer) in Zaramo Context: In Bringing the Gospel to the Zaramo People
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The thesis is examining Jesus as a healer in the realm of understanding of Mganga in Zaramo context. My work is constructing a contextual Christology based on the concept of Jesus as a healer. For Bantu ethnic people in general and Zaramo in particular, the whole life of a person is religion, from the birth to death. They have strong faith and they are people of religion. For them everything happen in their life has the reason and it must have the answer of why it happens so that either to give thanks to God if it is good thing or to find the solution to stop it if it is bad thing, this might be sickness, birth, death, starving, harvest, calamities. In this case Mganga (traditional healer) is the important figure in this society who can give the answer for this question. Christological model used here is Jesus as a healer which presents Jesus who can be seen as both ordinary as human being and his uniqueness shows his divinity; in the light of mganga (the traditional healer). This approach has been made due to the reason that when Christianity came among the Zaramo of Coastal area in Tanzania their emphasis was on divinity of Jesus which was holy and against the culture. As a result, the Zaramo neglect the Christianity silently by keeping their tradition believes and practices and attend to the church in occasion days. Many African scholars and theologians have tried to present Jesus using African concepts and cultural values as King, ancestor, healer, chief, first son, diviner; so that Christianity will not be understood as a foreign religion but as an African religion. From this point of view, I conducted field research in the Zaramo society, visited different church denominations, church ministers, traditional healer, people who healed by waganga; to hear their contribution in this field about their understanding of Mganga (the traditional healer) and use this model to contextualize Jesus as a healer whereby Jesus will take the central position as a healer in Zaramo community. And this is what needed to be used by missionary, evangelist and the church as a whole in doing mission within Zaramo.