About the book:
Africa's traditional beliefs - including ancestor worship, divination and witchcraft - continue to dominate its spiritual influences. Readers in search of a better understanding of the continent will be enriched by this book's timely exploration of sub-Saharan Africa's natural philosophy. The author's meticulous research reveals that, whereas technology-driven Western societies prefer to rely largely on logical explanations, many Africans continue to obey their intuition - trusting in images, dreams and divination to rationalise misfortune and illness. African Magic explains why so many Africans understand the relationship between people and unfortunate events not through the Western concept of chance in the case of accidents, or germ theory in the case of illness, but through belief in witchcraft. The book records a collection of true stories which illustrate this traditional belief system. Included are the famous Malawian diviner whose prophecies were considered so accurate that people flocked from neighbouring countries to consult him; a group of Western-trained Mozambican psychologists who successfully refined cross-cultural therapy by working with traditional healers to combat post-traumatic stress syndrome among child soldiers; Ghanaian and Zimbabwean 'witches' living in a nightmare world where popular belief becomes their reality; and a Zambian archbishop whose attempt to embrace traditional African beliefs provoked serious conflict within his Christian church.