Original Research

African Christianity and healing: Implications for pastoral care

John S. Klaasen
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 57, No 1 | a2923 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v57i1.2923 | © 2023 John S. Klaasen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 November 2022 | Published: 20 April 2023

About the author(s)

John S. Klaasen, Department of Religion and Theology, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa; and, VID Specialized University, Oslo, Norway


The rapid rise of Christianity in the developing world, and specifically in Africa, has asked renewed questions about pastoral theology and pastoral care. The African worldview, as a possible explanation for the increase in Christianity, is one of the most cited reasons for this growth. Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement are referred to as ‘new’ Christianity. The new Christianity is influenced by the practices and characteristics of the African worldview. Wholistic healing derives from the African worldview perspective that reduces the dichotomy between spiritual and science, or spirit and body. This approach to healing, differs from the Western worldview that approaches healing from a biomedical perspective. The disparity in worldviews and subsequent different approaches to healing, are assessed against the backdrop of the implications for pastoral theology and pastoral care.

Contribution: The African worldview and ‘new’ Christianity contribute by engaging critically with the separation of the two worldviews, the narrow use of experience within the dialogical movement of theory and praxis, and the key concepts of pastoral theology such as illness and suffering, reconciliation, shepherding, and pastoring.


healing; pastoral theology; pastoral care, culture, new Christianity

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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Crossref Citations

1. Why is pastoral care crucial to Africa? Towards an African pastoral care perspective
Patrick Nanthambwe
Theologia Viatorum  vol: 48  issue: 1  year: 2024  
doi: 10.4102/tv.v48i1.228