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A theological and historical analysis of the revival movement (Uamsho) within the Anglican church of Tanzania.

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From the inception of Christianity, Jesus Christ and his followers, who had worked closely with Him, had certain objectives and perception about the faith. Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the prophecies became the ideal of the new religion. In the fulfillment of time, God had revealed Himself to His people. Each person who accepted Christianity was urged to become Christlike. The major objective of Christianity was to reveal the Father and to win followers for Him through His Son. This was first preached to the Jewish people who were then the 'chosen people*. With the exception of a small community of followers in Jerusalem, these people rejected both Christ and His message. After this rejection, Christianity was preached to the Gentiles and spread to the countries of Asia Minor, North Africa and finally Europe. The major strategy of the propagators of the Gospel message was the preaching of equality of human beings as children of God and fraternal love. By the time Christianity came to the rest of Africa and Tanzania in particular, it had gone through various interpretations and modifications. It had experienced schisms and heresies and the African, who was at the receiving end, became a victim of divisions', sects and sub-sects. The missionaries addressed themselves to individuals and through the individuals to society. Their major aim was not only to convert the individuals but also society. Those individuals who became converted to the new religion accepted not only its ethics but also new religious values that contradicted their primal understanding of God. To answer the question of how they could become Christian yet remain African, some broke away from the European type of Churches to form African Indigenous Churches. Others felt that they were called to 'give light from within' their Churches. These were the revivalists and they are numerous in Africa. This study focuses on the Revival Movement (Uamsho), in the Anglican Church of Tanzania, which emphasizes 'new life'. The Revivalists who brought this particular Uamsho did not aim to form new Churches but to reform the Church, which had ignored some important truths of the Gospel. This study discusses the origins and Theology of this Uamsho in the Tanzanian Anglican Church. The first chapter, which serves as an introduction, includes also the reasons why this is an important study and the methodology used in the research. The second chapter gives background information about the political, religious, social and economic factors that have contributed to the emergence of the Uamsho. The chief aim of chapter three is to explain the emergence and spread of Uamsho. In order to clarify the development of Uamsho, three phases are identified. This order helps to identify the main theological emphasis of wanauamsho (revivalists). The Theological issues raised in the above chapters are then drawn out and discussed in the next two chapters. Chapter four discusses the distinguishing theological characteristics of Uamsho: the meaning of being saved, the processes that lead to being saved and the life of a saved one. Following on from chapter four, chapter five discusses the Uamsho understanding of Salvation. This is then developed to the discussion of the Uamsho Christology, Pneumatology, Theodicy, and Ecclesiology. The purpose of this chapter is to test the authenticity of the Uamsho theology. We finally conclude our discussion by stating that Uamsho emerged to revive the Church that had ignored some truths of the Gospel. This chapter also suggests some recommendations to the Anglican Church in Tanzania that may challenge to be relevant to members.


Thesis (M.Th.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2004.


Tanzania--Church history., Church of England--Tanzania., Evangelistic work--Tanzania., Theses--Theology.