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A Christian perspective of the world of spirits : a trans-ethnic examination

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dc.contributor.advisor Song, A.
dc.contributor.author Pillay, Vernon Nicholas
dc.date.accessioned 2009-09-03T13:44:10Z
dc.date.available 2009-09-03T13:44:10Z
dc.date.issued 2006
dc.identifier.other 304915
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/59
dc.description Submitted to the Faculty of Arts In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy In the Department of Theology and Religion Studies At the University of Zululand, 2006. en_US
dc.description.abstract The existence of a ' spirit world' is acknowledged by many world religions such as Christianity, Hinduism and African Traditional Religion. Of particular interest to religionists is the personal and corporate response to such a world. A proper understanding and relationship to the spirit world helps religionists to better regulate their spiritual lives thereby allowing them to find purpose for their existence in this present world and the world beyond. To Christians, a sound knowledge of the spirit world greatly impacts on how they relate to God and others and the meeting of their holistic needs in this present world. As children of God, they already stand in opposition to the evil spiritual forces that make up part of the spirit world. Believers are cautioned by Scripture (Ephesians 6:11) not to live in ignorance of the spirit world. Man's obedience to God will mean blessing and hope while disobedience will spell sorrow and hopelessness in this life and the life to come. To this end, while examining the Christian perspective of the spirit world, the thesis also provides insightful information on the similarities and differences of the belief system pertaining to African Traditional Religion and Hinduism. Ample evidence exists of similarities rather than differences between these two religions. Some of the similarities include their view of God, the role of intermediaries, the importance of appeasing the spirits of the dead and the value of symbolism and rituals. One reason for such commonality is perhaps due to similar cultural patterns. Both these religions offer valuable principles and guidelines to practitioners in response to the spirit world. The Christian perspective concentrates more on Satan and evil spirits, their role in the universe and particularly in the lives of believers. For Christians any negligence towards the principles of God's Word leaves them vulnerable to the attacks of the evil forces. Although subjected to debate by some demon possession is one of the ways that Satan uses to disrupt the holistic wellbeing of a person. Research in the region of Isipingo in Kwazulu-Natal verified the existence of demon related problems and their hindrance to spiritual growth among churches. In the light of biblical teachings made in reference to the spirit world it is imperative that a believer's walk with God is always a walk of victory. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Christianity and other religions--Hinduism. en_US
dc.subject East Indians--South Africa--Religion. en_US
dc.subject Zulu (African people)--Religion. en_US
dc.subject Christianity and other religions--African. en_US
dc.subject Spiritualism. en_US
dc.title A Christian perspective of the world of spirits : a trans-ethnic examination en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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