Many missionaries are working at a mission field where “witchcraft” is involved. And generally missionaries do not know how to deal with witchcraft. Most missionaries ignore it or regard it as satanic power. Aftertimes they are afraid of involving themselves with witchcraft. So I would like to give a workshop for my young missionary colleagues as I have learned in the seminary course I took on “popular religions” where readings and lectures discussed witch accusations.
Definition of witch
Dr. Priest noted the word “witch” means different things in different settings. Sometimes witch means female practitioner of Wicca/Neopaganism. However, we discuss witch here as a male or female who is believed to harm others through psychi (or supernatural) means. In that sense, witch is the cause of another’s misfortune by supernatural power.
Interpersonal Causal Ontology
According to Shweder, he divides categories for major world-wide causal ontologies for comprehending and responding to suffering. Let me explain briefly on three major causal ontologies.
Firstly, there is the Bio-chemical ontology which is notable for explanatory reference to genetic defects, hormone imbalances, and organs of the body. Bio-chemical therapy focuses on ingestion of special substances, roots, vitamins, vegetable compounds.
Second, there is the Moral causal ontology which is notable for its references to transgressions, sin, ethical failures of all kinds. The basic idea behind this moralistic approach is that suffering is the result of one’s own actions and intentions.
Lastly, there is the interpersonal causal ontology which means that one can be made sick by the envy or ill-will of colleagues, neighbors and associates who want you to die, suffer, or fail. Therapy focuses on talismans, strategies for aggressive counter-attack and, quite crucially, on the repair of social relationships. Thus, witch accusation is found in societies where interpersonal causal ontology...