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The Making and Shaping of the City


Keith Beavon

Until now there has been no single text that brings together the material that reveals the unfolding geography of Johannesburg, South Africa. This books describes the history of the city from its days as a mining camp to its position of premier metropolis in Africa. The present geography of Johannesburg, and the problems and dysfunctions that is hat exhibited at various stages in its history since 1886, cannot be understood without a firm grasp of what has evolved of the past 120 years.

Communication and Conversion in Northern Cameroon

The Dii People and Norwegian Missionaries, 1934-1960


Tomas Sundnes Drønen

Was modern Christian mission to Africa primarily a colonial project and a civilizing mission or was it a spiritual revival spreading to new areas? This book tells the tale of the Dii people in northern Cameroon and describes their encounter with Norwegian missionaries. Through archival studies and through fieldwork among the Dii, an intriguing scenario is presented. Whereas the missionaries describe their mission as one of spiritual liberation, and the Dii highligt the social liberation they received through literacy and political independence, the author shows how both spiritual and social changes were results of captivation, miscommunication and constant negotiations between the two parties.

Hail Orisha!

A Phenomenology of a West African Religion in the Mid-Nineteenth Century



Orisha worshippers who were not subjected to forced migration to the Americas in the nineteenth century remained their own masters, inhabiting cities, towns and farm villages in their West African kingdoms. This study uses documentation from Yoruba writings and from the written record of European missionaries to describe the various facets of their religious life. Arranged in the form of a phenomenology, the work deals with such matters as the veneration of the environment; carved images of the divine; the orisha celebrated in festival, worship and sacrifice; systems of divination; female and male religious specialists; and the protean divinities themselves.
The comprehensive use of archival material will ensure the abiding value of this historical picture of the orisha, useful for comparisons with the present day.

Disputed Desert

Decolonization, Competing Nationalisms and Tuareg Rebellions in Mali


Baz Lecocq

This book deals with the relation between the Malian state and the Tuareg people in the late 20th century, which has been characterized by three violent uprisings against Malian authority by Tuareg nationalists: between 1963 and 1964, between 1990 and 1996, and again between 2006 and 2009. In presenting a detailed history of this conflict between an African state and a people inhabiting it involuntarily, a number of social and political tensions are brought to the fore which haunt all of the Sahel today: the heritage of slavery, local and European concepts of race and the racialisation of social and political relations, colonial rule, the inchoate process of decolonisation, and the presence of competing nationalist forces in one postcolonial state.


Edited by John Hunwick and O'Fahey

The second volume of Arabic Literature of Africa (of which six volumes are planned) deals with the literature of Central Sudanic Africa, i.e. the area lying between the present Republic of the Sudan and Mali.
The bulk of the work concerns Nigeria, which has produced a voluminous and varied Arabic-Islamic literature. The smaller and less studied Arabic literature traditions of Chad, Cameroun and Niger are also examined.
The work is arranged both chronologically and by sub-region, and writers have been grouped within chapters according to their scholarly and religious affiliations. Full details are given of known manuscripts, published editions and translations. There are indexes of titles, authors, first lines of poetry and a general index. An initial overview and chapter introductions provide an outline intellectual history.

Islam in Nineteenth-Century Wallo, Ethiopia

Revival, Reform and Reaction


Hussein Ahmed

While presenting an historical account of the internal dynamics of Islam in Wallo, Ethiopia, with particular emphasis on the modes of its introduction and dissemination, and on its relationship with the Ethiopian state and regional power structure, this book describes the background to, and manifestations of, the revival and consolidation of Islam in the region in the nineteenth century by assessing the role of Muslim scholars, traders and chiefs in that process. It also traces the origin of the tradition of Islamic renewal and reform, and analyzes the response of Wallo Muslim religious intellectuals to the attempt of the Ethiopian Christian monarchs of the period to bring about the political unification of the kingdom by imposing a policy of religious coercion on the Muslims of Wallo.
Based largely on hitherto-untapped oral and written indigenous sources, and supplemented by external archival and documentary evidence, the study is aimed at redressing the historiographical and interpretive imbalance embedded in the scholarly, institutional and popular perceptions on Islam in Ethiopia.



This study presents the religious factor in the development of a separatistic group identity among the forebears of the Afrikaners during the Dutch colonial period of South African history. Dutch Reformed covenant theology and baptism practice rooted in the thousand generation covenant theory helped to shape this self-understanding.
It traces the basic developments of covenant theology in the Netherlands during the period and demonstrates how these concepts were conveyed to colonial South Africa. The dominant strain of covenantal thought treated the entire community as redeemed and called to be separate. It was presented through a variety of means through which virtually every colonist was exposed.
This study offers a balanced historical approach to the role of theological concepts in the colonial roots of Afrikaner group identity. It answers traditional scholarship in the field which either directly identify the concepts behind the development of apartheid with Calvinist theology or, more recently, deny that the Reformed faith had any role in the development of apartheid ideology until the twentieth century.

Bembaland Church

Religious and Social Change in South Central Africa 1891-1964



Roman Catholic missionaries entered the territory of Bemba-speakers in Central Africa in 1891. Seventy years later the Church in Bembaland was about to enter a new phase as an independent religious community within a newly established African nation. This book traces the stages of church growth from its pioneering introduction to a traditional agricultural polity, through periods of disturbing economic and social change, to the later challenges from autochthonous Christian foundations originating in both the Catholic and Protestant traditions.

Democracy and Democratization in Africa

Towards the 21st Century


Edited by Udogu

The 9 contributors to this volume are Africanists whose comprehension of the political "vernacular" of Africa helped to sharpen their analyses of a continent on the eve of a new millennium and in the aftermath of the Cold War. The debate over the most relevant political models for African countries has till recently been conducted against a backdrop of the competing claims of socialism and capitalism. Attempts to consolidate democracy and constitutional have taken place in the shadow of intractable economic problems, prompting the question of whether democracy can survive in Africa without economic prosperity. The papers published here address many of these problems, as well as dealing with the questions of ethnicity, leadership, the power of the military, and prodemocracy movements within African nation states.


Emma Wild-Wood

Christianity and migration have greatly influenced society and culture of sub-Saharan Africa, yet their mutual impact is rarely studied. Through oral history research in north eastern Congo (DRC), this book studies the migration of Anglicans and the subsequent reconfiguring of their Christian identity. It engages with issues of religious contextualisation, revivalism and the rise of Pentecostalism. It examines shifting ethnic, national, gender and generational expressions, the influence of tradition, contemporanity, local needs and international networks to reveal mobile group identities developing through migration. Borrowing the metaphor of 'home' from those interviewed, the book suggests in what ways religious affiliation aids a process of belonging. The result is an original exploration of important themes in an often neglected region of Africa.