The Fifohazana: Madagascar’s Indigenous Christian Movement

by Cynthia Holder Rich

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



Introduction by Cynthia Holder Rich

Chapter 1: The Contribution of Rainisoalambo to the Indigenization of the Protestant Churches in Madagascar by Rafanomezantsoa Roger

Protestant Missiological Approach to Malagasy Traditional Religions

The Indigenization Brought About by Rainisoalambo

Rainisoalambo: His Life and Times


Community Life

Conclusion: Rainisoalambo’s Legacy

Liturgical Reform and Renewal

Lay Leadership Calling and Development: The Role of the Mpiandry

Chapter 2: The Prophet Nenilava and the Development of the Ankaramalaza Revival Movement by Andrianasolo Jaona and Randriamanantena Yvonne


Call to Ministry


The Movement Spreads




The Ministry of the Shepherds

Revival Centers

Ankaramalaza Toby

Development of Other Tobys


Chapter 3: The Missions and the Fifohazana: Cultural Clashes and the Question of Power by Kjetil Anno

One September Morning in 1954

The Norwegian Missionaries: Who Were They?

Soatanàna, 1894: A Long-Awaited Stirring of the Spirit?

Rainisoalambo, the First Malagasy Revival Leader

The Missionary Community Discusses the Movement

The 1903 Inspection and the Malagasy Free Synod

The Giants and the Missionaries

Rajaofera, the Preacher

Rakotozandry, the Confessor

Nenilava, the Prophetess

Authority and the Fifohazana as Initiatives From Below

The Fifohazana as Actively Making Choices

The Gender Issue

Revival and Revolt

Clash of Culture and Ethos


Chapter 4: Holistic and Integrated Care for Spirit, Mind, and Body as Practiced by the Fifohazana by Rakotojoelinandrasana Daniel


Holistic Nature of the Fifohazana: Historical and Sociocultural Factors

Animism, a Fertile Soil for the Fifohazanaand Its Holistic Development

Historical Roots of the Fifohazana

The Fifohazana and Modern Medicine

Holistic and Integrated Care in a Fifohazana Toby

The Toby: A Holistic Community of Healing and Wellness

Holistic Understanding of Diseases and Illnesses

Toby Ambohibao Antananrivo

Critique of the Holistic and Integrated Care of the Fifohazana

Internal Critique

External Critique

The Critique of the Acceptance of Demons and Spirits

Values of the Fifohazana as a Holistic and Integrated Model

Integration of Science and Christian Healing Ministry

Rediscovering the Holistic Dimension of Salvation

Impact of the Fifohazana’s Holistic and Integrated Model

The Fifohazana as a Model of Holistic and Integrated Care for the Church

Chapter 5: “Work and Strengthening”: Who Do Shepherds Treat With Expulsion of Demons and Prayer? by Hans Austnaberg

“Work and Strengthening”

People Treated With Expulsion of Demons and Prayer

Exploring the Shepherds’ Practice

Controversies Highlighted

Attempts at Interpretation

Chapter 6: Women’s Power and Authority in Madagascar by Cynthia Holder Rich

Women’s Work With Spirits

The Public Speech of Women

Community Ambivalence Regarding Women’s Power and Speech

Women in Precolonial and Colonial Madagascar

The Ministry of Women and the Fifohazana in Theological Education and as Ordained Ministers

Chapter 7: The Conquest by the Spoken Word by Kevin A. Ogilvie


Volahavana Germaine (Nenilava)


Chapter 8: Reflections on the Relationship Between Language and Revival in Madagascar by Leoni Bouwer


Orality Versus Literacy

Nineteenth Century Christianity and Language

Madagascar: A “High-Context” Culture

Language Perceptions in Madagascar

Further Aspects of Language Behavior

Final Thoughts and Questions

Chapter 9: The Doctrine of Revelation and the Fifohazana by Mark H. Rich

Proposal: A Reflective Framework

Appearances and Sayings of Jesus

The Covenant Meal

The Words and Deeds of the Leaders of this New Community

The Community Itself

The Written Proclamation and History of the Movement

The Resurrection and the New Creation

Discussion: Revelation in the Fifohazana


Covenant Meal

Conclusion: Prospects for Research and Renewal by Cynthia Holder Rich and Mark H. Rich

Serial, Rather Than Progressive, Growth

Political Dimensions of the Movement

Health and Illness

Multilayered, Multifaceted Discrimination

Looking Toward the Future

Glossary of Malagary Terms

Select Bibliography

List of Contributors

Illustration Credits



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