Spirit power in African theology: a mere extension of African magic or spirit powers? Or a genuine understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit as an active personal force? The author takes issue with the theories of a number of prominent missiologists and anthropologists who have studied African pneumatology. The focus is mainly on the African Independent Churches of the prophetic type and on African Pentecostal churches - some with and others without links with Western Pentecostal churches. All these churches share an emphasis on the inspiration and revelation of the Holy Spirit and are therefore appropriately referred to as 'Spirit-type churches'. Special attention is given to the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to African power concepts and to the African spirit world, particularly the ancestors. A fair yet critical assessment of relevant literature leads Anderson to the conclusion that the source and inspiration behind the prophetic practices of the Spirit-type churches are not an impersonal, manipulable power, but an active personal force, the biblical Holy Spirit. The manifestations of Spirit power should therefore not be interpreted one-sidedly, but as the good news of God's Holy Spirit which provides the ultimate answer to the African quest for power.
|Place of Publication
|University of South Africa Press
|Number of pages
|Published - 1991