Simon Kimbangu. 1921: De la Prédication À la Deportation. Les Sources

By Thornton, John K. | The International Journal of African Historical Studies, January 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Simon Kimbangu. 1921: De la Prédication À la Deportation. Les Sources


Thornton, John K., The International Journal of African Historical Studies


Simon Kimbangu. 1921: De la prédication à la deportation. Les sources. Volume I. Fonds Missionnaires Protestants (1) Alliance Missionnaire Suédoise (Svenska Missionsförbundet, Smf. Edited by JeanLuc Vellut. Fonts Historiae Africanae. Brussels: Academie Royale des Sciences Coloniale, 2005. Pp xxxiii, 178; 32 illustrations. SEK 280 paper.

The Swedish Protestant missionaries who arrived in the Kikongo speaking regions of the Belgian Congo in the last years of the nineteenth century made important contributions to our understanding of the region. Undoubtedly the most important of these missionaries was Karl Laman, whose four-volume study of Kongo ethnography capped off his already definitive dictionary of the Kikongo language. But what was published by the Swedes was only the tip of the unpublished material that remained in their missionary archives, including thousands of pages of notes, along with the notes that Laman and his Kongo collaborators left. Equally important is the fact that Swedish missionaries wrote much of the published material, pamphlets, annual reports, and even monographic studies in Swedish, making them inaccessible to most scholars of African history

Jean-Luc Vellut has set about producing French translations of an important body of this material, the first volume of which is devoted more or less entirely to the Swedish relations with Simon Kimbangu, the Kongo prophet whose career, which began in 1921, greatly affected Swedish missionary work. The work is the first of a projected four-volume project conceived by Fontes Historiae Africanae to gather sources relevant to Simon Kimbangu, his work, and its results.

The present volume begins with the basic source material, day-to-day diaries kept in the mission stations and subsequently retained. …

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