Original Research

The role of the Eucharist in national healing, reconciliation and peacebuilding: A case study of Zimbabwe’s fractured society

Sekgothe N. Mokgoatšana, Mischeck Mudyiwa
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 46, No 1 | a142 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v46i1.142 | © 2022 Sekgothe N. Mokgoatšana, Mischeck Mudyiwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 November 2021 | Published: 15 December 2022

About the author(s)

Sekgothe N. Mokgoatšana, Department of Cultural and Political Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa
Mischeck Mudyiwa, Department of Cultural and Political Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa

Abstract

This study examines the role of the Eucharist in national healing, reconciliation and peacebuilding with particular focus on Zimbabwe’s fractured society. The article is divided into two main parts. The first segment examines the Zimbabwean situation on the socio-political level and the need for unity, reconciliation and healing therein. The second section underlines the potential of the Eucharist as a game changer on Zimbabwe’s chequered religious, social and political landscapes. Thus, the role of the church in national healing shall be examined and evaluated. In view of the fact that Christianity controls over 85% of Zimbabwe’s total population, the article proposes to seriously consider the adoption of the Eucharist not just as a model for deepening ecumenical growth but also for national healing, integration and peacebuilding. For this reason, the article strongly argues that the Eucharist is an underutilised strategy in religious reconciliation, national healing and peacebuilding. As a nation with religious, social and political landscapes that have traditionally been dominated by Eucharistic exclusivity, denominational divisions, tribal tensions, animosity and political violence, among other challenges, the adoption of the Eucharist as a ‘peacemaker’ would signify not just a common Christian source of being in the one God and a fulfilment of the deepest African liturgical and enculturation aspirations but also the introduction of a new model and paradigm in Zimbabwe’s healing and peacebuilding thrust and trajectory.

Contribution: The study used the association between the Eucharist and the uniting powers of food in secular contexts to underline the prospects and centrality of the Eucharist as an antidote for national healing, reconciliation and peacebuilding on Zimbabwe’s fractured society.


Keywords

Eucharist; national healing; reconciliation; peacebuilding; fractured society; Zimbabwe.

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