Toward an African-Christian Demonology: The Demonologies of African Traditional Religion, African Christianity, and Early Christianity in Dialogue

Hans Moscicke


Christian interactions with the spirit-world of African traditional religion (ATR) have remained problematic due, in part, to the failure of Christian missionaries to understand in detail the cosmology of ATR and the angelologies and demonologies of early Christianity. In this article I suggest a way beyond this impasse. I first survey the shape of cosmology and demonology in ATR, and then examine African Christianitys variegated responses to these traditional beliefs. Finally, I submit that a retrieval of the early Christian mythological narrative about demons and its associated cosmology could help theologians accommodate the spirit-world of ATR within a truly African-Christian theology.


African theology; African traditional religion; African spirit-world; demonology; angelology; cosmology; early Christianity

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ISSN 2312-878X (online); ISSN 0256-9507 (print)

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