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HTS Theological Studies

versión On-line ISSN 2072-8050
versión impresa ISSN 0259-9422


GATHOGO, Julius M.. African Indigenous knowledge versus Western science in the Mbeere Mission of Kenya. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2023, vol.79, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2072-8050.

This article sets out to explore the way in which Western science and technology was received in the Mbeere Mission of central Kenya since August 1912 when a medical missionary, Dr T.W.W. Crawford, visited the area. In his dalliance with ecclesiastical matters, Crawford, a highly trained Canadian medical doctor, was sent by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) at Kigari-Embu, in 1910, to pioneer the Anglican mission in the vast area that included Mbeereland, where Mbeere Mission is situated. Contending with the African indigenous knowledge in medicine, environmental conservation, agriculture and other forms of indigenous science, the introduction of Western science and technology, 1912 to 1952, the article argues, did not erase the former; rather, it complimented it. Pockets of general resistance were evident, though Mbeereland, unlike its neighbouring Mutira Mission of 1912, did not offer elaborate opposition to the Western science and technology, partly because the locals could have learnt about it from their neighbours who had experienced it much earlier. Through a historico-narrative design, the research article endeavours to primarily review the coming of Western medicine in Mbeereland: Did it conflict with the African medicine? Methodologically, the data have been collected via archival sources, oral interviews and by reviewing applicable literature. CONTRIBUTION: The input of this research article to the HTS Journal's vision and scope is seen by appreciating its focus on the interface between African indigenous knowledge and the European science and technology. Although the main focus is African versus western medicine, and how it was historically received in Mbeere Mission of Central Kenya, it largely speaks for the tropical Africa. The article is within the multidisciplinary areas in missiology and historiography.

Palabras clave : Mbeere Mission; African medicine; African indigenous knowledge; science and technology; Kenya.

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