Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
In Africa, religion is not merely about the world to come. It is not about self-denial for the glorification of deities. Rather, religion is viewed as a system of the ultimate meaning of human existence. It provides a comprehensive healing of mind and body and enhances spiritual and physical well-being. At the core of this religious worldview stands the nganga, or healer, who acts as a powerful mediator between the visible world and the realm of spirits and ancestors. The nganga is an indispensable agent in the African tradition of healing and peacemaking. The word nganga is used in the Kiluba language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in many other Bantu languages, from central Africa to In ...