Academic Papers: Promising Practices

WHRIN 2014 Country Report: Witchcraft Accusations and Persecution in Nepal

Joint report with Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales and Forum for Protection of People’s Rights (PPR Nepal). Launched at National Women’s Commission in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 2014. See full report here

Here Be Witches! – World Policy Journal

While witchcraft may seem like a curious relic of a less scientific era, for millions across the globe, the spirit realm continues to play a significant role in day-to-day life—and sometimes with fatal consequences.  See full report here 

Spirituality Within Assessments: Leethen Bartholomew

Assessments are carried out to aid in understanding the clients’ situation and may be used to identify resources, weaknesses and strengths. When working with families this is important to gain an understanding of the role spirituality plays in their decision making process and how their spirituality may act as either a source of stress or support in times of need.

This paper outlines how gaining an understanding of the client’s level of spirituality will help you understand what the individual’s beliefs are and what their past and current practices are. It also helps gives practitioners some of the tools that they may need to do so. To read the full paper please click here

African witchcraft in theological perspective

This article is a theological contribution aimed at creating an understanding of the phenomenon of witchcraft in South Africa. Witchcraft still causes major social problems in this country. Thearticle argues that the development of a culture of human rights and the improvement of the judicial process alone will not solve this problem. Witchcraft is a too deeply rooted religious phenomenon. The phenomenon is described in its religious complexity and diversity. Witchcraft is discussed within the framework of the African theodicy. Full article here.

UK. Government Launches National Action Plan to Tackle Child Abuse Linked To Faith and Belief

The Department for Education released this national action plan to help raise awareness of the issue of child abuse linked to faith or belief and to encourage practical steps to be taken to prevent such abuse. It has been developed through partnership on the National Working Group between central government and local statutory partners, faith leaders, voluntary sector organisations and the Metropolitan Police. See full details here 

Felix Riedel: Children in African Witch-Hunts – An introduction for Scientists and Social Workers.

Children are branded as witches on a mass-scale in Congo,Nigeria and Angola. Recent interpretational frameworks about these child witch-hunts employ a simplistic materialism centred on political and economic crises. Meanwhile, historic sources from distinct regions disprove the claim of a purely modern problem. While the concept of child-witchcraft is old and equally well-known from the European context, the recent crisis points indeed at a massive shift in propaganda and victimization strategies. In this text, two showcase film-analyses further question the importance of a crisis for the ideologemes. In the meantime, journalistic evidence and experiences of social workers spearhead the research as ethnographers seem to avoid the issue. Moral demands call for an implementation of advanced theory, psychological competence and social work with children accused of witchcraft.

See full paper here

Tanzania: Illness and Death Experiences in North-Western Tanzania: an Investigation of Discources, Practices, Beliefs and Social Outcomes, Especially Related to Witchcraft, Used in Critical Contextualisation and Education Process with Pentecostal Ministers

This research (1) by Steven Rasmussen for his PHD secured detailed information on discourses and practices during selected episodes involving illness and/or death in Northwestern Tanzania with particular attention to the beliefs involved, and to the social outcomes of these practices and (2) used this material as the basis for a carefully documented critical contextualization and education process in which ministers inductively grappled with the theological and pastoral issues which these cases represent.

Please click here ILLNESS AND DEATH EXPERIENCES IN NORTHWESTERN TANZANIA