This paper explores the life of the Basel missionary Edmond Perregaux (1868-1905) in Switzerland and among the Akan of Ghana. It is concerned with the construction and expression of his selfhood in and between two different worlds in the later nineteenth century under the aegis of an ever advancing globalization. In brief, the paper looks at a Swiss missionary as an actor in Africa and among Africans and reflects upon the matter of reconciling and integrating these two arenas of experience in the formation of his individual subjectivity. It is aimed at creating a much needed bridge between the discrete concerns of Missionary and Africanist historians, and to suggest within the framework of a single individual life the possibilities for a richer, more textured understanding of personhood when all due attention is paid to the interactions between the shaping environments of both home and abroad.
This paper examines the phenomenon of the ‘African Hindu’ in the context of the discussions on ‘transnational Hinduism’. I also report on how these African Hindus resort to a reinterpretation of the history of their Ghanaian indigenous (traditional) religion and culture in their attempt to find religious space in the almost-choked religious environment of Ghana, and also how they attempt to negotiate their new religious identity in relation to their identity as Africans (Ghanaians). I conclude with a prognosis of the form that Hinduism is likely to assume in the near future on Ghanaian soil as its African converts try to live their faith in the context of their local culture.
Most white philosophers of religion generally presume that philosophy of religion is based on what is a false universality; whereby the white/Western experience is paradigmatic of humanity at-large. The fact remains that Howard Thurman, James H. Cone and William R. Jones, among others, have produced a substantial amount of theological work quite worthy of consideration by philosophers of religion. Yet this corpus of thought is not reflected in the scholarly literature that constitutes the main body of philosophy of religion. Neglect and ignorance of African American Studies is widespread in the academy. By including chapters on Thurman, Cone and Jones, the present book functions as a corrective to this scholarly lacuna.
Hope, aspirations, and drive to the future have recently been the focus of academic concern about the ways in which people are thinking and producing their future in a time of great uncertainty. By exploring the distinct ways in which evangelical believers in Guinea-Bissau are engaged in imagining their future, this article aims to portray evangelical Christianity as a source of aspirations and visions of possible futures in contemporary Africa. Moreover, by comparing the programme of cultural and social regeneration pursued by nationalists in the 1960s and ’70s and the current evangelical project of personal and collective redemption, I argue that evangelical churches are promoting a politics of hope that translates Amílcar Cabral’s legacy in their own terms. Finally, I show how, in the wake of the failure of nationalist narratives, evangelical churches are fostering an emerging conceptualization of modernity as connectivity that underlies new dreams of a better future.
This paper focuses on the concept of the world as interpreted by Amadou Hampaté Bâ, an initiated scholar, from his experience with Fulani and Bamana religions. It examines the meaning of the world as a manifestation of spirit through Bâ’s mystical concept of the ‘living tradition’. Bâ looks at the complex interaction of the material and spiritual dimensions of the universe as it manifests itself in the physical world through symbols, and as it is informed through invisible forces communicated by the Supreme Being. Based on his understanding of Fulani and Bamana traditions, Bâ uses notions of history and art to better highlight the specific relationship between the spiritual and material realms that illustrate this sacred connection. I argue that Bâ’s mystical approach to understanding this metaphysics offers another method of thinking about some of the diverse African indigenous religions through their underlying esoteric connections.