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Author: Marja Hinfelaar


This article deals with the reburial of Bishop Joseph Dupont in Zambia in December 2000, 88 years after he left the country. After a brief précis of the burial itself, I examine the different presentations of Bishop Dupont by scholars, White Fathers, oral literature and the Bemba Catholics in Zambia, exploring the question of who kept his memory alive and for what purposes. It is not sufficient to view Dupont's funeral as an historical oddity, but rather as a manifestation of what Ranger called 'popular Christianity'. To understand this attachment to Dupont by local Catholics, one has to go beyond the official documents and academic literature and consider the historical reconstruction on the ground. As will become clear, this is the only way to explain Bishop Dupont's current heroic status.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
In: Le Fait Missionnaire
In: Living the End of Empire
In: One Zambia, Many Histories
In: The Objects of Life in Central Africa
In: The Objects of Life in Central Africa