Religion, Colonization and Decolonization in Congo, 1885-1960. Religion, colonisation et décolonisation au Congo, 1885-1960
Edited by Vincent Viaene, Bram Cleys, and Jan De Maeyer
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A comprehensive history of the interaction between religion and colonization
Religion in today’s Democratic Republic of Congo has many faces: from the overflowing seminaries and Marian shrines of the Catholic Church to the Islamic brotherhoods, from the healers of Kimban-guism to the televangelism of the booming Pentecostalist churches in the great cities, from the Orthodox communities of Kasai to the ‘invisible’ Mai Mai warriors in the brousse of Kivu. During the colonial period religion was no less central to people’s lives than it is today. More surprisingly, behind the seemingly smooth facade of missions linked closely to imperial power, faith and worship were already marked by diversity and dynamism, tying the Congo into broader African and global movements.
The contributions in this book provide insight into the multifaceted history of the interaction between religion and colonization. The authors outline the institutional political framework, and focus on the challenge that old and new forms of slavery entailed for the missions. The atrocities committed at the time of the Congo Free State became an existential question for young Christian communities. In the Belgian Congo after 1908, more structural forms of colonial violence remained a key issue marking religious experiences. And yet, religion also acted as a bridge. The authors emphasize the role intermediaries such as catechists or medical assistants played in the African “appropriation” of Christianity. They examine the complex interaction with indigenous religious beliefs and practices, and zoom in on the part religions played in the independence movement, as well as on their reaction to independence itself. Coming at a moment when Belgium confronts its colonial past, this volume provides a timely reassessment of religion as a key factor.
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Contributors: Piet Clement (Bank of International Settlements), Bram Cleys (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Anne Cornet (Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren) Marie Dunkerley (Exeter University), Zana Aziza Etambala (Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren), Anne-Sophie Gijs (Université Catholique de Louvain), Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo (University of Coimbra), Emery Kalema Masua (University of the Witwatersrand), Sindani E. Kiangu (Université de Kinshasa), Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi (Stanford University) Dominic Pistor (Simon Fraser University), Jean-Luc Vellut (Université Catholique de Louvain), Vincent Viaene
RELIGIONS AND THE COLONIAL STATE /
Internationalism, Religion and the Congo Question
Religion and Politics in the ‘Congo’. Portugal and the European inter-imperial competition, c. 1865-1890
Les droits des autochtones. Un enjeu dans les relations jésuites-État, fin XIXe-début XXe siècle
Catholic Missionaries and the Production of Kasai as a Colonial Landscape, 1890-1960
INTERMEDIARIES / INTERMÉDIAIRES
Musique et univers sonores dans le champ missionnaire des Grands Lacs. Perception, emprunts et transferts au Kivu, Rwanda et Burundi, 1908-1940
Home is where the Heart is? Debates between missions and colonial administrators over accommodation for Congolese students at the École Unique des Assistants Médicaux Indigènes, Léopoldville, 1929-1946
Religion et médecine au Congo Belge. Pratiques et savoirs des 1assistants médicaux «indigènes» issus de Kisantu (Fomulac) et de leurs patients, 1937-1961
Vivre (à) la Mission. Mémoires individuelles, histoire collective
THE CRISIS OF THE COLONIAL MISSIONS /
Tempels Revisited. The conversion of a missionary in the Belgian Congo, 1930s-1960s
Developmental Colonialism and Kitawala Policy in 1950s Belgian Congo
Les missions catholiques et les émeutes de Léopoldville, 4 janvier 1959
Le mouvement muleliste comme théorie et pratique religieuses en diocèse d’Idiofa (Province du Kwilu, R.D.C.)
Format: Edited volume - ebook
Publication: October 22, 2020
Languages: English: United States | French
Jan De Maeyer is professor emeritus of contemporary church history at KU Leuven and honorary director of KADOC-KU Leuven. His research focuses on political and social Catholicism, material Christianity, and the development of religious institutions and congregations.
Vincent Viaene studied history and international relations at KU Leuven, the Sorbonne, and Yale University. He was a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at KU Leuven, a senior Fellow at KADOC and a Marie Curie Fellow at Oxford University. In 2012 he joined the Belgian diplomatic corps. Since 2015 he is seconded to the Belgian Royal Household as Advisor of His Majesty King Philip.
David Maxwell, The English Historical Review, 2022, ceac253, https://doi.org/10.1093/ehr/ceac253
Marit Monteiro, SZRKG/RSHRC/RSSRC, 116 (2022), 403–506, DOI: 10.24894/2673-3641.00127
The book is
engaging, enjoyable, and a high-quality product, with all chapters well
written and capably edited. Students of the colonial
encounter, and in particular of missionary action in
Congo, will find rich references and numerous suggested avenues for future research.
Matthew G. Stanard, TSEG, VOL. 18, NO. 2, 2021, https://tseg.nl/article/view/10788/12072, DOI: 10.52024/tseg10788
L’ année 2010 est marquée par la commémoration du cinquantenaire de l’ indépendance de la République du Congo. Parmi les très nombreuses manifestations scientifiques qui prennent alors place, le KADOC organise un colloque international intitulé ‘Religion, Colonization and Decolonization in Congo 1885-1960’. Celui-ci réunit une trentaine d’intervenants, historiens et hommes d’Église surtout, dont la plupart proviennent de Belgique, de la République démocratique du Congo ou des États-Unis. Les actes de cette rencontre internationale paraissent dix ans plus tard sous le titre bilingue ‘Religion, Colonization and Decolonization in Congo 1885-1960. Religion, colonisation et décolonisation au Congo, 1885-1960.’
Herman Lodewyckx, Acta Comparanda, 2021