Repository logo

The forms of colonial Christianity and Zambian cultures in contemporary Zambia.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study examined the influence of PEMS and LMS on the Bemba and Lozi cultures in contemporary Zambia using the theories of relative ontology alongside coloniality. The theories above underpinned the desktop and archival research methods that were qualitative and non-empirical in nature. The study holds that the PEMS and LMS as mission bodies represented a particular form of colonial Christianity which influenced the indigenous education systems, moral norms, and the liturgy in the missionary establishments within the Barotseland and Bembaland. It has been argued that PEMS and LMS influence on the Lozi and Bemba cultures has positively and negatively affected their people. The positive contribution of the forms of colonial Christianity was the repudiation of the boiling water test and the killing of twins in most African cultures. However, the negative influence of the missional activities on indigenous rituals was the denunciation of all forms of sexual cleansing as pagan and barbaric. Furthermore, the findings showed that missional education via missional schools eroded the indigenous knowledge systems of the Lozi and Bemba people. The study argued that the new faith systems punctured the indigenous knowledge systems based on the cosmological worldviews alongside the new episteme of the LMS and PEMS. The study further argues that the indigenous knowledge systems in indigenous moral norms, education, and liturgy provided the vital knowledge tools that enabled the Lozi and Bemba to navigate their way through a maze of contestations of decoloniality in contemporary Zambia. The study acknowledges that the Lozi and Bemba cultures can exist within the context of Christianity and maintain their uniqueness as places of doing theology, moral norms, and liturgy in the context of think-feel experiences. The study notes that cultural practices such as initiation ceremonies and rituals such as imbusa should be incorporated into Christian teachings because they believed them to be life-affirming rituals to teach young people to mature into responsible adults. In addition, when applied to practical theology and missiology, reviving indigenous knowledge systems of the Lozi and Bemba would provide the locus of inspiration in teaching young people about Biblical Christian values and moral norms. The findings revealed that missional liturgy could only be meaningful if it relates to the indigenous people’s everyday experiences.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.