n HTS : Theological Studies - Towards the inculturation of marriage rituals in the National Baptist Convention of Zimbabwe - research

Volume 75 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



In this article, we seek to give a missiological critique of the inculturation of marriage rituals in the National Baptist Convention (NBC) of Zimbabwe. We examine and explore the inculturation that could help expedite greater engagement between the NBC of Zimbabwe and the Shona and Ndebele cultures in Midlands and Matabeleland regions. The challenges facing the inculturation of marriage rituals are examined. We use missiological research methodologies that include the seven-point praxis matrix propounded by Kritzinger. The praxis matrix is used as a grid of missiological questions in qualitative paradigms. A case study design and sample of fifteen research respondents from six of the thirteen denominations are used. The sample includes the National Executive members, pastors, elders, deacons, church committee members and lay member. Interviews and observations are the instruments. The findings reveal that Convention members regard inculturation of marriage rituals important. They inculturated payment of bride price, ululating, dancing, and marrying someone whose background is known since they are biblical. Polygamy, divination and ancestor veneration is rejected. Kusungira ritual and conducting marriage rituals in November is controversial. Inculturation is hindered by fear of syncretism, clash of doctrines, expensive and oppressive and many ethnic groups in the Convention. It is recommended that the Convention encourages payment of bride price and carefully handles controversies surrounding marriage rituals. The preaching and teaching against views that perpetuate patriarchy subordination of women by men men in the society and the fusion of the church and traditional wedding ceremonies should be encouraged.

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