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thebagandaathomeThe Baganda at Home: With One Hundred Pictures of Life and Work in Uganda, by C. W. Hattersley(London: The Religious Tract Society, 1908), xvi + 227 pages, several illustrations and publisher's advertisements.

An account of the life of the Baganda people of Uganda and their relationship with early Christian missionaries and British colonial officers. The book contains valuable details about the history of the Baganda,their systems of government and administration,their land and its products, their lifestyle, and the travails of life in conditions of disease, especially sleeping sickness. It also assesses the impact the western form of education and the Christian religion had on the culture of the Baganda in those early years. The many photographs and illustrations that accompany the narrative make the book easy to read and the described events vivid.

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lifeofgoncalodasilveiraLife of the venerable Gonçalo da Silveira of the Society of Jesus: Pioneer Missionary and Proto-Martyr of South Africa, by Hubert Chadwick (London: Manresa Press, 1910), xii + 117 pages with one illustration and a map.

A biography of a Jesuit priest sent to India by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th century. It recounts his fruitful mission in India and his eventual mission in the southern part of Africa. It gives an insight into the workings of the Society of Jesus and the challenges faced by Jesuits missionaries in India and Africa. The first of the Jesuits to enter the interior of southern Africa, da Silveira is presented as man whose "zeal had been tested well, and tempered by hard experience." The story of hislifeis intertwined with the descriptions of southern African kingdoms of the time, including the famous Monomotapa Kingdom, and the cultural practices and beliefs of the people of southern Africa. Also treated in the book are the perils that Christian missionaries had to endure in the region, among themtropical diseases, Muslim confrontation and native resistance.Da Silveira's life ends in martyrdom because of these challenges.

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slaveboytopriestSlave Boy to Priest: The Autobiography of Padre Petro Kilekwatranslated from Chinyanja by K. H. Nixon Smith (London: Universities' Mission to Central Africa, 1937).

A captivating story of an African priest in Malawi, who lived between 1880 and 1950. As a boy, Petro was taken into slavery by some Arab dealers in Northern Rhodesia. He traversed various ports along the Indian Ocean, including Malindi, Zanzibar, Bombay and Muscat. Eventually he was rescued by the British and taken to the Kiungani College in Zanzibar. Upon finishing school, he worked as a missionary and a teacher in various stations before becominga priest in 1917.

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germanyslostcolonialempireGermany's Lost Colonial Empire and the Essentials of Reconstruction, by John H. Harris (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., 1917).

An overview of German colonial enterprise in Africa, depicting its history, cost, policy, economic value and conquest. Written during the First World War by one who was not speaking for the Germans, it claims to lay bare in a summary form the main features of German colonial expansion and its effects on the people of Africa so that the reader "may be able now and in the future to form sound judgment." Writing about this particular book in his preface to Dawn in Darkest Africa by the same author, Lord Cromer said: "Mr Harris has acquired a firm grasp of the main principles which should guide Europeans who are called upon to rule over a backward and primitive Society and of the fact that prolonged neglect of those principles must sooner or later lead to failure or even disaster."

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faithfanciesandfetichFaith, Fancies and Fetich or Yoruba Paganism: Some Account of the Religious Beliefs of the West African Negroes, by StephenS. Farrow(London: MacMillan Co., 1926).

Anaccount of the religious beliefs and practices of western African peoples, particularly the Yoruba of southern Nigeria. A compilation of mainly personal observations during a missionary career, the book was first presented as a PhD thesis in Edinburgh in 1924. Despite the crude language that situates the book in its time, the author presents it as a "sympathetic study of the beliefs of those to whom" one is sent to minister, which is, in his opinion, "a primary duty of the Christian missionary and proves to be of the greatest value in that most responsible and blessed work—dealing with human souls." The book explores the spirituality of the Yoruba based on worship of and belief in Olorun (the supreme deity), Orishas (the lesser gods), ancestors, and Esu (the supreme spirit). It also focuses on specific religious customs and practices, including sacrifices and totems.

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erastusslaveandprinceErastus: Slave and Prince: A True Story of Ugandaby C. W. Hattersley (London: Church Missionary Society, 1910).

A chilling story of a boy named Kasaja, who was captured in a slave raid during the reign of Kabaka Mwanga in Buganda. The boy endured cruelty from various masters until he was eventually freed by missionaries. Thereafter, he enrolled in a mission school, became a Christian and was renamed Erastus. He was later recognized by his brother, at the time King of Bunyoro, and thus became a prince. He also became an inspiring teacher.

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southafricannativemissionsSouth Africa Native Missions: Some Considerations, by Fuller Latimer (London: Richard Jackson, 1907), 69 pages + 8 illustrations.

An account of the struggles encountered in the course of evangelizing South African so-called "natives". Among the challenges were the views the Europeans harboured about Africans; for example, the book says, the Dutch felt that "the native" was not human to their level and thus treated him very much as they would their horse or dog. This suggested that the"Kafir" should not be instructed to become Christian. In this way, "native missions" received little support. Another challenge came from the customs, laws and beliefs of the targeted Africans, which were markedly different from those of their evangelizers. This little book addresses the challenges and gives suggestions of how they could be overcome. The author went on to predict the future of the missionary work in South Africa, proposing ways to manage missions and to organize converts and their descendants.

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madagascarordrurysjournalMadagascar or Robert Drury's Journal During Fifteen Years Captivity on that Island (London: T.Fisher Unwin,1890[1729]), 398 pages + maps and other illustrations.

A gripping narrative by Robert Drury, who, for fifteen years, lived as a slave in Madagascar. A shipwreck rendered him captive to the island's native inhabitants when he was still a boy. Drury grew up, laboured and even married in Madagascar before he returned to England. His description of the islanders' life, customs, believes, manners and economic activities is thus a valuable eye-witness account of Madagascar in the early 18th century.

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whitefathersandtheirmissionsThe White Fathers and Their Missions, edited by J. Bouniol (London: Sands and Co., 1929), 334 pages, including several illustrations and an index.

A comprehensive account of the mission of the White Fathers (the Missionaries of Africa) in different parts of their target continent, stretching from north through central to south Africa. The book gives dates, statistics, pictures, maps and illustrations of the missions in great detail. Direct speeches capture the reader's imagination, making century-old events vivid in the mind. One will find in this book early details of then little known places like Tabora and Ujiji in central Tanzania and eye-witness descriptions of King Mutesa of Buganda, among others.

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soulofthebantuThe Soul of the Bantu: A Sympathetic Study of the Magico-Religious Practices and Beliefs of the Bantu Tribes of Africa, by W. C. Willoughby (London: Student Christian Movement, 1928), xxvi + 476 pages.

A product of a missionary working among the Banangwato people in the southern part of Africa, this book is a compilation of a quarter-century study of the life and thoughts of Bantu peoples between the Vaal and the Zambezi. It delves deep into the yearnings, discontents and satisfactions of the Bantu through their laws, religion, customs and folklore, and it includes a comparative study of other similar communities in Eastern Africa. While clearly belonging to his age, the author nevertheless attempts to understand what his contemporaries simply condemned. He "examines Bantu ancestor-worship, hoping to find some particle of good therein that can be used for the moral and social betterment of the men who hold it dear, and especially for reconciling them to the most uplifting influence that has ever played upon humanity—the religion of Jesus."

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ewespeakingpeoplesThe Ewe Speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West Africa, Their Religion, Manners, Customs, Laws, Languages, by A. B. Ellis (London: Chapman and Hall, 1890), 331 pages and a map.

A broad and detailed description of the systems of governance, military organization, laws, customs, religious beliefs and different dialects of the Ewe-speaking peoples of West Africa. It includes an interesting analysis of some aspects of the Ewe language and folklore, as well as a list of proverbs that manifest a rich cultural heritage.

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religionoftheafricanThe Religion of the Africans, by Henry Rowley (London: W. Wells Gardner,[c.1874]), 191 pages + publisher's advertisements.

The author aimed to lay bare an African religious worldview by bringing out its treasures of perspectives, beliefs and customs that, for the foreigner, appeared always to be hidden in mystery. Belief in God, good and evil spirits, ancestral spirits, witchcraft and fetishes is dealt with methodically in the book. At the author's time, to declare that "'I believe in God'—an uncreated Supreme Spiritual Being, is the creed which underlines all else that the Africans believe" would seem to have amounted to a declaration of heresy.

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britishcolonizationBritish Colonization and Coloured Tribes, by S. Bannister (London : William Ball, 1838), xii + 323 pages + publisher's advertisements.

The book takes a broad view of British colonization in different parts of the world. An apologia for colonialism in the same tradition as Kipling's much later poem—"The White Man's Burden"—it recounts the influence, the suffering and the dangers the British encountered and still had to encounter in their civilizing mission. The book further describes the improvement and protection the British offered to the colonies and the role played by missionaries in the process of colonizing South Africa, India and Australia.

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jaboproverbsfromliberiaJabo Proverbs from Liberia: Maxims in the Life of a Native Tribe, by George Herzog, assisted by Charles G. Blooah (London: Oxford University Press, for International Institute of African Languages & Cultures, 1936), xvi + 272 pages.

A collection of over 400 proverbs and sayings from the Jabo community of Nimiah in the Eastern part of Liberia. Many of the proverbs and sayings were contributed by Charles G. Blooah, a native of Nimiah. Each of them is first written in the Jabo language and accompanied by phonetic symbols, then an English literal translation is provided, and finally a rephrased version is produced to bring out the meaning. A comprehensive explanation is also given, which includes the application of the proverb or saying in a particular context. As the author puts it, "For the Jabo, quoting proverbs is an art, a game, a running commentary on life." The proverbs and sayings in this volume reveal a certain depth of the life, culture and thoughts of the Jabo people. They remind one of the saying by the late Chinua Achebe, that "proverbs are the kola nuts with which words are eaten".

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theextinctionofchristianchurchesinnorthafricaThe Extinction of the Christian Churches in North Africa, by L. R. Holme  (London: C. J. Clay and Sons, 1898), vi + 263 pages and a map.

Based on the 1895 Hulsean Prize Essay, this book is a critical review of the rise and fall of Christian churches in North Africa. It is valuable for its wealth of historical data. It addresses not only the development of Christianity in North Africa but also the contribution from that region to the advancement of the same faith in Europe. Struggles against state-imposed paganism and challenges encountered in dealing with the peoples of North Africa are detailed. Religious figures from the region, including Saints Augustine and Cyprian, feature prominently. Moreover, the book offers an insight into the development of various doctrines and religious practices before providing an account of the demise of what the author called "African Christianity".

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thebagandaathomeThe Baganda at Home: With One Hundred Pictures of Life and Work in Uganda, by C. W. Hattersley (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1908), xvi + 227 pages, several illustrations and publisher's advertisements.

An account of the life of the Baganda people of Uganda and their relationship with early Christian missionaries and British colonial officers. The book contains valuable details about the history of the Baganda, their systems of government and administration, their land and its products, their lifestyle, and the travails of life in conditions of disease, especially sleeping sickness. It also assesses the impact the western form of education and the Christian religion had on the culture of the Baganda in those early years. The many photographs and illustrations that accompany the narrative make the book easy to read and the described events vivid.

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bantufolkoreSpecimens of Bantu Folklore from Northern Rhodesia, by J. Torrend (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1921), iv +187 pages with a map, tables and musical illustrations.

An interesting and precious collection of folklore from the Bene-Mukuni and the Ba-Tonga peoples of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). Each story in the book is first narrated in English, and this is done in such a way that the reader gets a picturesque impression of the described events. Each event relates to the culture of a particular community. After the English narrative, the story is repeated in the original local language, complete with the songs rendered into notation. Those with an idea of music and of the specific local language can even sing the songs that accompany each story. The stories themselves reveal the culture, the beliefs and the lifestyles of the Bene-Mukuni and the Ba-Tonga. The book creates the impression of an African family seated round the evening fire, attentively listening to a story and drinking from the wells of its wisdom.

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bantubeliefsandmagicBantu Beliefs and Magic: With Particular Reference to the Kikuyu and Kamba Tribes of Kenya Colony; Together with some Reflections on East Africa After the War, by C. W. Hobley (London: H. F. & G. Holborn, 1922), 312 pages, with several illustrations.

This is a comprehensive account of the religious beliefs and cultural practices of the Kikuyu and Kamba people of Eastern Africa. It burrows into the world of spirits and into indigenous priesthood and sacrifice. Practices and rites that marked birth, circumcision, marriage, death and burial are recounted in a manner that highlights their spiritual and religious significance to individuals and communities. Issues surrounding curses, purification and blessing are given a prominent place. An account of the role of blacksmiths and magicians concludes the book's first part, giving way to a second part that focuses on matters of governance, laws, customs, oaths, legends and dances. The role of women in these communities is also highlighted. This book is a treasury of information about the values that shaped the world view of these two communities.

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lifeofgoncalodasilveiraLife of the Venerable Gonçalo da Silveira of the Society of Jesus: Pioneer Missionary and Proto-Martyr of South Africa, by Hubert Chadwick (London: Manresa Press, 1910), xii + 117 pages with one illustration and a map.

A biography of a Jesuit priest sent to India by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th century. It recounts his fruitful mission in India and his eventual mission in the southern part of Africa. It gives an insight into the workings of the Society of Jesus and the challenges faced by Jesuit missionaries in India and Africa. The first of the Jesuits to enter the interior of southern Africa, da Silveira is presented as a man whose "zeal had been tested well, and tempered by hard experience." The story of his life is intertwined with the descriptions of southern African kingdoms of the time, including the famous Monomotapa Kingdom, and the cultural practices and beliefs of the people of southern Africa. Also treated in the book are the perils that Christian missionaries had to endure in the region, among them tropical diseases, Muslim confrontation and native resistance. Da Silveira's life ends in martyrdom because of these challenges.

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jesuitformationandinculturationinindiaJesuit Formation and Inculturation in India Today: Final Report of the Inculturation Commission and Conclusions of the Jesuit Conference of India, edited by J. Aixalá (Delhi: Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1978), 207 pages.

A report of a study on inculturation that was commissioned by the Jesuit Conference of India. The study was carried out by the Conference's Commission on Inculturation. Its mandate was to consider the implications of the 32nd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus for Jesuit life and formation in India, especially on the field of inculturation. Treating all aspects of Jesuit training from the pre-novitiate to the novitiate, from juniorate to integrated philosophy and theology, and from regency to tertianship, the report highlighted the importance of a formation that took into consideration cultural, social and political contexts and proposed action for the 1980s and the 1990s. Although the report is now out-dated and somewhat out of place beyond India, it still provides a model for similar studies elsewhere, and its conclusions are valuable material for comparative purposes.

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