Faith and Health in Africa

Faith and Health in Africa

The Centre supports work connected through the topic Faith and Health in Africa.

Professor Emma Wild-Wood is currently supporting Drs Yossa Way and Amuda Baba in D.R. Congo to improve the teaching of health in faith schools. This project emerged from an investigation during the COVID-19 pandemic that sought to examine ‘Perceptions of COVID-19 in faith communities in DR Congo’ and ‘Conflict, epidemic and faith communities: church-state relations during the fight against Covid-19 in north-eastern DR Congo’. From these investigations the team were able to reflect with church leaders on ‘Engaging faith communities in public health messaging in response to COVID-19’, and the production of a teaching resource on ‘Faith, Healing and Medicine in the time of COVID-19’.

These writings (all open access) were influenced by an earlier study, ‘The Public Role of Churches in Early Responses to COVID-19 in Africa: Snapshots from Nigeria, Congo, Kenya and South Africa’, published in our own Studies in World Christianity. In February 2023, workshops with church leaders, medical professionals and primary school teachers to test our research revealed the importance of schools for basic health knowledge. Primary school teachers instigated a teaching tool that combines Christian teaching with good health practices. It is this work that we hope to expand.

Professor Wild-Wood is also working with Universities in Malawi and Uganda to raise the profile of Theology and Religious Studies in the discourses about faith and health. We hope to bring academics, medical professionals and practitioners from all religious traditions to discuss the intersection of faith and healing practices.

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Yale-Edinburgh 2024 – Call for Papers

Spirit and the Spiritual:
Ancestors, Deities and the Holy Spirit in Church, and Mission
26th-28th June 2024 ‧ Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT ‧ #YaleEdin2024
Proposals due 15th February 2024

Yale-Edinburgh Group

Missions from the West brought Christianity into worlds with a wide array of cosmologies. Recipient cultures embraced Christian faith while negotiating differing perspectives of spiritual realities. The subsequent transition from missionary Christianity to indigenous faith produced a range of responses to the notion of ‘spiritual beings.’ Through mission, Christianity encountered traditional religions which venerated ancestors, revered spiritual beings, and navigated intricate relationships between deities in a world far more complex than the typical Western experience. From Korea to Brazil, Nigeria to Samoa, France to India – these multifaceted cosmologies continue to animate the Christian experience producing dynamic expressions of the faith. Movements of the Holy Spirit represent another dimension of Christianity. A wide range of pneumatic Christianities populate the long history of Christian expansion around the world.

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