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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


CHAWARIKA, John  y  DUNCAN, Graham A. The conferment of martyrdom: Retracing Bernard Mzeki's life from his formative years in the history of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe until his death (1890-2013). Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2018, vol.44, n.1, pp.1-18. ISSN 2412-4265.

The conferment of martyrdom is a thorn in the flesh in the Anglican Church today. Bernard Mzeki has been commemorated annually since the late 1930s as a martyr in the Anglican Church of Zimbabwe. This is because Mzeki died a mysterious death on 18 June 1896 during the period of the first War of Liberation (Chimurenga) in Zimbabwe. Although there are other factors that might have contributed to the death of Mzeki, the church strongly believes that he died for his Christian faith. Whilst it is a fact that the Church of the Province of Central Africa does not have official, written criteria to confer martyr status, the mystics surrounding the death of Mzeki-as documented by Farrant (1966) and Broderick (1953)-authenticated his martyr status. In this regard, the martyrdom of Mzeki remained unique from the 1940s during the bishopric of William Paget, who accepted the unwritten "bottom-to-top" procedure in canonising his martyrdom. It is interesting to note that from the 1990s the church in Zimbabwe has had figures like Rev. Peter Wagner and Mrs Mandeya, who were presumed to have died for their faith, but were not recognised as martyrs. In the same period, Zimbabwean Bishops like Ishmael Mukwanda and others were advocating for an official, written procedure to canonise them. It is based on the above analysis that this article will examine the role played by Mzeki in the strengthening of the Anglican faith in Zimbabwe.

Palabras clave : Anglican Church of Zimbabwe (ACZ); Bernard Mzeki; conferment; canonisation; Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA); martyrdom.

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