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Moller, Caroline Victoria Margaret (1968) An Aladura Church in Eastern Nigeria. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is a synchronic and diachronic study of an aladura or prayer-healing church - the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Serafim - in the Ibo town of Onitsha, eastern Nigeria. The major part of the thesis concentrates on analysing the structure of relationships in the prayer-house, the processes of role behaviour, and the norms and beliefs that sanction the role structure. The thesis concludes by extending the analysis of roles to the social field of Onitsha where members of the prayer-house earn their living. Chapter 1 begins the thesis with a diachronic analysis of the processes whereby the prophet-founder's charisma was routinised in the Eternal Sacred Order between 1925 and 1966; and the next chapter examines the emerging role structure of the prayer-house, Onitsha, between 1949 and 1966. Chapter 3 considers the religious beliefs and values of Serafim as a synthesis of customary religion and Christianity. This leads on in Chapter 4 to the process of role control which hinges on the visioners and prophets, and to Chapter 5 which studies role strain and conflict in the prayer-house. Chapter 6 begins with an examination of the principal socioeconomic features of Onitsha as a neo-urban centre. The latter part of the chapter deals with the prayer-house as a segment of the wider social field of Onitsha. The thesis concludes with an assessment of the structural significance of the role structure of the branch of the Eternal Sacred Order at Fegge, Onitsha.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:27

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