Young puritan preachers in post-independence Malawi

Richard A. van Dijk
1992 Africa - Journal of the International African Institute  
AbstractIn Blantyre, Malawi's main urban centre with a population of over 400,000, there are some thirty to forty young preachers who between them run fifteen or so organisations that constitute the Born Again movement. The organisations include 'ministries' and 'fellowships' as well as 'churches'. The movement startedc.1974. What is significant is that all the leaders were then teenagers; even today the second 'generation' of preachers are teenagers or in their early twenties. One theme
more » ... s. One theme dominates their message: vehement opposition to involvement in practices of a largely secretive or malevolent nature, witchcraft and 'politics' in particular. The young preachers assume these forces to be the basis of the power that elders wield in the villages or in urban townships. Yet in Blantyre, where political surveillance over everyday life is very marked, they have to be wary of challenging this older, powerful generation if they are to preserve the 'intellectual space' that religion offers them. The article ends by arguing that the theories which are used to explain urban Zionist Churches elsewhere in southern Africa are not relevant to the analysis of a Born Again movement run by successful young urbanites.
doi:10.2307/1160453 fatcat:6khwukltbbbrtpnrqo6d3a26ma