Christianity and Traditional Religion in Western Zimbabwe, 1859-1923

Ngwabi Bhebe


  • Longman
  • London
  • 1979
  • English
  • Paperback
  • 212 pages

The book is out of print.


Dr. Bhebe provides an excellent case study of religious change in Africa, focusing on the area conquered in the early nineteenth century by the Ndebele, an offshoot of the Zulu nation. The conquerors were influenced by the religion of the conquered Shona people, especially by the cult of their supreme God, Mwari, who gained prominence as a deity transcending ethnic divisions. This development was taking place before there was significant Christian influence in the area and provides a well-documented case of the kind of politico-religious encounter and change which has undoubtedly occurred many times in Africa.


I believe that this book is full of ambivalences , however, they are ambivalences which inspire new thinking. - Richard Hodder-Williams,Third World Quarterly


Ngwabi Bhebe was the founding vice chancellor at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe.