African Images of Christ: “Jesus as Healer”: Narratives and Treatable but as Yet Incurable Illness

T. Soko de Jong

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    One important African image of Christ is “Jesus as Healer.” There have been many studies on suffering and the prosperity gospel as they relate to faith and healing. Very little research, however, has been done concerning treatable but as yet incurable diseases. This paper focuses on narratives of “Jesus as Healer” from the perspective of faith communities responding to the question: “How do you understand ‘Jesus as Healer’ in situations of living with treatable but not yet curable illness?” I highlight some Pentecostal and Baptist insights that have so far emerged from my ongoing field research in Blantyre, Malawi. The empirical data reveals that images of Jesus as Healer in this liminal space (in which people whose conditions do not yet have a cure rely on biomedical treatment to sustain their health) are diverse even within communities of the same denomination. In this paper, I focus on three respondents whose experiences overlapped. They described God’s sovereign will, how the Bible records stories of both healing and nonhealing, and how the healing goes beyond the physical to encompass the whole being. Their responses reflect their personal spiritual experiences, medical knowledge, exposure to chronic illness, and theologies that may not always necessarily fit (nor contradict) a denominational narrative, but add nuance and fresh perspectives. I will discuss the data using the tcheni pa kalanka (orthodoxy in context) ethos, which I am using in my ongoing research. Finally, the paper concludes with some ways the knowledge gained through this study contributes to ongoing theological conversations about “Jesus as Healer.”
    Originele taal-2English
    TitelWho do you say I am
    SubtitelChristology in Africa
    RedacteurenRodney L. Reed, David K. Ngaruiya
    Plaats van productieCarlisle
    Uitgeverij Langham Global Library
    Aantal pagina's13
    ISBN van geprinte versie9781839735325
    StatusPublished - 2021
    EvenementAfrican Images of Christ: “Jesus as Healer” Narratives and Treatable but as Yet Incurable Illness
    : African Society of Evangelical Theology Conference "Who do You say that I am?", Christology in Africa
    - Africa International University, Karen Campus, Nairobi
    Duur: 6 mrt. 20207 mrt. 2020


    ConferenceAfrican Images of Christ: “Jesus as Healer” Narratives and Treatable but as Yet Incurable Illness
    Verkorte titel"Jesus as Healer" Narratives

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