Pragmatic Faith and the Tanzanian Lutheran Church
Bishop Erasto N. Kweka’s Life and Work
Amy Stambach, Aikande Kwayu
Pragmatic Faith and the Tanzanian Lutheran Church: Bishop Erasto N. Kweka’s Life and Work examines the operations and organization of the Tanzanian Lutheran church through the life and times of its longest serving diocesan bishop, Erasto N. Kweka. Amy Stambach and Aikande Kwayu develop the concept of pragmatic faith, belief-in-practice, to analyze the integration of religious experience, institutionalism, and doctrine or orthodoxy. Pragmatic faith breaks down the lingering binary found in anthropological studies of Christianity between transcendental experience and pragmatic struggle, and between religious revival as rupture or continuity. Stambach and Kwayu analyze the instrumental use of religion in practice, as well as its socially mobilized potential for revelation and transformation. A key analytic agenda of this book is to illuminate how a church that retains the organizational and ritual forms of a European mission church "became" culturally localized over time and yet, paradoxically, also existed pre-colonially. Accordingly, this book offers detailed and ethnographically-grounded perspective on how leaders and laypeople affiliated with the Tanzanian Lutheran church connect the church with other significant institutions, not only the state and the government, but also descent groups, extended families, self-help groups, and existing civic organizations, in order to live meaningfully.