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'Melodies to God': The Place of Music, Instruments and Dance in the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe

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This paper examines the type of music played in the Seventh Day Adventist churches in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe. Although the Seventh Day Adventist Church in general allows the use of instruments and dance in worship, the Seventh day Adventist churches in Masvingo condemns such practices. Their music is essentially a capella. The paper contends that such a stance perpetuates the early missionary attitude that tended to denigrate African cultural elements in worship. It is argued in this paper that instrumental music and dance enriches African spirituality and that the Seventh Day Adventist Churches in Masvingo should incorporate African instruments and dance to a certain extent if they are to make significant impact on the indigenous people. It advocates mission by translation as opposed to mission by diffusion.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe;, Email:; 2: Lecturer in World Religions and Science of Religion, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe;, Email:


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