FENZA Documents & Research
|History of the Catholic Church in Zambia, 1895 - 1995
Republished in September 2015. First published by Bookworlds in 2004.
A History of the Catholic Church in Zambia, starting from its humble beginnings and covering the development of all its important institutions. 592 pages.
| Unseen Worlds: Dealing with Spirits, Witchcraft, and Satanism
A comprehensive guide for the deliverance ministry, culturally sensitive and proceeding from a person-centred approach. 474 pages.
| Unseen Worlds: Dealing with Spirits, Witchcraft, and Satanism (study edition)
The abreviated study version, focussing on the new method and the case studies
| Dzedzere-dzedzere salingana nkugweratu: A collection of Chewa Proverbs
A comprehensive collection of Chewa proverbs with English translation, explanation and a list of catchwork. An invaluable source for teachers, preachers and all lovers of the Chewa language.
Date: May 2015. 236 pages
|Christianity in the Luangwa Valley: Where Faith and Culture Meet or Don't Meet
An account of 100 years of struggle of Christian evangelisation in the Luangwa Valley
Republished September 2015 (first published in 2006 in a limited edition). 252 pages
|Ifishilano ku Kabende na kwa Sokontwe
A history of the Bena Kabende people of Samfya area and the Aushi of chief Sokontwe, narrated by the chiefs, elders, headwomen and headmen in the Bemba language.
Republished in September 2015 (first published in a limited edition in 2005). 206 pages
|Dreams: Where do Biblical, Zambian, and Western Approaches Meet?
A comparison between Biblical, Western and Zambian approaches towards the interpretation of dreams.
Date: April 2011. 108 pages.
A paper delivered at the “International Conference on Pentecostalism and the Catholic Church”, Abuja, 13-17 November 2016.
The literal translation of chakwela makumbi is pulling down of the clouds. This time the earth is dry parched, people are thirsty and therefore hankering for rain. In some places animal have begun to die. It is in this event that Chieftaness Nkomeshya intercedes through the ancestors to God for a good rainfall.
Current research project
Interfaith & Ecumenism
Some practical suggestions for getting involved in ecumenism
A joint statement on the norms of missionary conduct by the World Council of Churches, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the World Evangelical Alliance.
A report of a Seminar held in Lusaka on the question of dialogue, justice and reconciliation, reflecting on the poor contacts between Christians and Muslims, and fears that govern the feelings of Christians concerning Islam in Zambia.
Dr. Phiri published the main findings of his research in his book Muslim Associations and the Resurgence of Islam in Zambia (published by FENZA and Lembani trust.) This article looks at the relationship between local and global Islam in Zambia, stressing the diversity of local forms of Islam. It also gives an overview over the history of various Muslim associations in Zambia.
Christianity in Zambia
Revolutions in social communication also affect new approaches to mission. This paper, presented at the December FENZA conference, places new trends in mission theology within their historical contexts.
Regiment Parish has been the locus of innovative pastoral approaches in its history of 70 years that have affected the Catholic Church in Zambia at large. In this study and collection, authors place the pastoral innovations, including the first experiments with Small Christian Communities, into their historical contexts.
Because Jesus came to bring life, and life to the full (Jn. 10:10), the Prosperity Gospel teaches that believers have a divine right to the blessings of wealth, health and a happy life as part of the covenant with God and redemption by Christ. This gospel has also shaped the Christian worldview of many Catholics in Zambia and is popular and sometimes openly preached in some groups/cells of the charismatic renewal. This article looks at some of the reasons of its great success in Africa, but also at its consequences. How far is it compatible with the Catholic faith?
Christian prophecy is of great importance in Zambia, yet it is understood in many different ways. This paper looks at the reality of prophecy in Zambia's townships and presents a number of case studies concerning its practice and perceived needs. The paper also looks at the practice of prophecy on the fringes of the Catholic Church.
The history of one urban compound (Bauleni) of Lusaka is examined in regards to the presence of different churches from 1970 to 2010. The article looks at the local facets of the Pentecostal explosion that led to the establishment of 53 different Pentecostal churches, out of which 17 were Bauleni-born.
Bauleni is a small compound in Lusaka, with maybe 20,000 - 25,000 inhabitants. This document lists the 83 churches that were present in 2008/2009, with their date of arrival, average size and some remarks on the churches' history.
Bible & Inculturation
The obedience of Jesus until death on a cross shows us the tremendous love of God for humanity. By accepting to be human and to depend on God even in death, Jesus takes away the rebellion of Adam and Eve and leads human kind back to God. The cross is also a sign of our Christian existence. Without it (sufferings in our life) we cannot follow our Master. The article examines the texts of the gospels and of St. Paul in the NT.
How is prophecy understood in the Bible? Prophetic traditions & methods of discernment provide a Biblical foundation for a discussion on the prophetic practice in Zambia.
A Biblical reflection accompanying the African Synod's quest for justice, peace and reconciliation. The message of the prophet Amos is roaring also in today's globalizing world.
The following papers were presented at the conference:
Each particular human group has a partial view of reality. We all have categories or lenses through which we see things including human sexuality. For all of us it is very difficult to move out from our own frame of reference to appreciate and understand those who don’t think like ourselves; we tend to fear, to categorize and to reject what we do not understand.
A paper presented at the FENZA Conference (August 2010) entitled: "The Man: the head of the household?"
Ethnographic notes for a start of a research on Bauleni traditional healers.
Concrete steps to help people struggling with experiences of witchcraft attacks. During the FENZA week on witchcraft (30 May – 3 June 2011) this approach was introduced and discussed. 23 steps are suggested that have proven helpful in a good number of cases. Here a summary.
When Father Louis Oger was in charge of the Chibemba language course in Ilondola, he collected many of the archive materials that are today available in FENZA. His own works on customs and language also are available in the archives. Witchcraft beliefs and practices as well as the workings of diviners and healers (ng'anga) posed a challenge to missionaries all throughout Zambia's history with Western missionaries. In these articles (written towards the end of his life), Louis Oger laid out his own approach.
George Mwandu was once a member of the team of a famous nganga detecting charms and finding out witches in many villages in Serenje area. Here his account of his way of working, including the fabrication of fake charms.
This short article was written in response to a number of newspaper articles on witchcraft in Malawi. Witchcraft is there because we want it to be. We hate it, we fear it, we like it, we want it. Basically we cannot live without it. It is up to us to make witchcraft a reality or not. The question is: what do we want in life?
Satanism in Zambia
Gives background information to the film on Satanism in Zambia (released September 2010).
Background information to the pastoral challenges to priests & pastoral agents in the 'era' of Satanism or perceived Satanism in Zambia.
A description of the ‘Fingers of Thomas’: How the group was born, how it developed, and the method of the 'Fingers' when investigating or following up cases of Satanism. (Source: Fenza-doc No 4).
Contemporary popular concepts of Satanism in Zambia are linked to a dualistic worldview that is enhanced by the spread of popular strands of born-again Pentecostal theology.
Believing in the presence of demons does not mean to deny that in the dramas of possession also social and domestic pressures and political forces play themselves out. Possession narratives as well as the fast-spreading rumours of Satanism can give a glimpse about the tensions and pressures that accompany modern urban life in Zambia: the breakup of family structures and increasing inequalities, and how they are experienced by many people.
The pastoral challenge of Satanism can hardly be avoided today in Zambia. The article proposes a holistic approach to deliverance of those who experience satanic possession, arguing for a patient-centred approach that builds on the concepts of the patients and their families, increasing self-confidence and faith, while also addressing domestic and social tensions and pressures. Experiences of possession are placed into a worldview where God is present also in the "underworld".
Samples from the FENZA archives
Bishop Dupont('Moto-Moto') is a legendary figure in the history of the Catholic Church in Zambia. These two articles (translated into English) give back his own accounts of the events that lead him to 'succeed' chief Mwamba (1898) to avoid bloodshed. They also describe his conflicts with some administrators of the colonising British South Africa Company. A number of works of and about Bishop Dupont are available in the FENZA archives, and some French works have been translated into English to make them more accessible for the Zambian public.
Chilubula Mission was one of the most influential Catholic mission stations in Zambia. This article is an English translation of the first five years of the Mission Diary. The full Diary is available in the FENZA archives, as well as the diaries of most mission stations that were opened by the White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa)in Northern and Eastern Zambia.
Father Foulon came to Zambia at the end of the 19th Century. His notebooks can be assessed in the archives. They contain detailed drawings of what he saw and encountered among the Ba Bemba.
Missionaries have been collecting cultural and historical data of the peoples they worked with. Father Labrecque gave a number of systematic accounts of the cultures and histories of the BaBemba and of Luapula peoples. The FENZA archives contain his numerous writings. Here an extract of one of his works on the Ba Bemba.
A sample of the works of Father Maze on the Ba Bemba
The FENZA archives contain various early dictionaries and detailed grammars for the Bemba, Mambwe, Nsenga, Chewa, and Tumbuka languages. Here a simple Chewa-English dictionary that is still of use today for those wishing to learn the language.