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Religions 2018, 9(6), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9060176

Mobilising Religious Assets for Social Transformation: A Theology of Decolonial Reconstruction Perspective on the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs (MNGRA) in Zambia

1
Human Development Science–Human Sciences Research Council—(HDS-HSRC), Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
2
Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
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Abstract

The article argues for a theology of decolonial reconstruction to aid the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs (MNGRA) in its search for a new political vision for Zambian society. The MNGRA was established in 2017 by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to strengthen the Declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation. The second republican President Frederick JT Chiluba declared Zambia a Christian nation (hereafter, the Declaration) on 29 December 1991. In 1996, the Declaration was enshrined in the preamble of the National Constitution. Zambian Pentecostalism, perceived as chief architect and guardian of the Declaration, is also believed to have masterminded the introduction of the MNGRA. A female Pentecostal Pastor, Hon. Rev. Godfridah Sumaili, in fact heads the ministry. One of the key roles of the MNGRA is to stimulate faith-based organizations and religious communities’ interest, support and participation in pursuit of social reconstruction and transformation of the nation. To this effect, MNGRA has deployed a methodology, which seeks to dialogue with these organizations and at the same time use a ‘top-bottom’ approach to promote religious morality in the process of social reconstruction and transformation. This article argues that, being a ministry with a strong conservative Christian orientation, MNGRA is in danger of falling prey to a Pentecostal demo-theocratic (democratic and theocratic) political paradigm which rejects certain human rights, religious pluralism, and knowledge constructions from other religions, which are perceived inferior. The article also analyses the viability of ‘top-bottom’ approach utilizing a theology of decolonial reconstruction. This approach embraces a pluralistic model of integral religious praxis at all levels of life. View Full-Text
Keywords: theology decolonial reconstruction; Zambian Pentecostalism; Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs (MNGRA); spiritual capital; religious pluralism theology decolonial reconstruction; Zambian Pentecostalism; Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs (MNGRA); spiritual capital; religious pluralism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kaunda, C.J.; Kaunda, M.M. Mobilising Religious Assets for Social Transformation: A Theology of Decolonial Reconstruction Perspective on the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs (MNGRA) in Zambia. Religions 2018, 9, 176.

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