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'Stop Suffering': an Examination of the Concepts of Knowledge and Power With Special Reference To Sacred Practitioners in Harare

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This article examines the concepts of knowledge and power in relation to charismatic preachers, African Initiated Church prophets and traditional healers in Harare. It explores how these practitioners perceive knowledge and power by adopting a phenomenological approach. How patients and 'consumers' regard preachers, prophets and traditional healers as being in possession of knowledge and power is also a central concern of the discussion. It is shown that believers are convinced that these specially endowed people are capable of ameliorating human distress through their esoteric knowledge and power. Through an examination of the prevailing socio-economic environment it is illustrated how most Africans are convinced that human knowledge and power are severely limited. A plea is made for religion to be taken seriously by all policy makers who desire to witness the transformation of African communities.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy University of Zimbabwe Harare Zimbabwe

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