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Recent Publications by Jesuits in Africa

JHIA encourages Jesuit authors (especially those in or from Africa and Madagascar) to donate a copy of their publications to the Institute for preservation. The following books reached JHIA recently:

The Genesis of Violence in Zimbabwe

the genesis of violence in zimbambweThe Genesis of Violence in Zimbabwe, by Fidelis Mukonori, S.J. (Harare: The House of Books, 2015), 144 pages. ISBN: 978-0-7974-6535-0.

The author portrays the historical origin of violence in Zimbabwe from 1879 to the present in order to enable the people of Zimbabwe to find a way forward through instilling and affirming national reconciliation regardless of ethnicity, colour or creed. The book discusses ways and means of moving Zimbabwe from a culture of violence to a culture of peace and pays significant attention to ways of promoting and optimizing dialogue in order to achieve and consolidate peace, stability and security in Zimbabwe. The author, himself director of the Centre for Peace Initiatives in Africa, concludes that reconciliation could only be possible in Zimbabwe if what happened in the past is told honestly and truthfully without fear or favour.

The Church We Want

the church we wantThe Church We Want: African Catholics Look to Vatican III, edited by Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books / Nairobi: Acton Publishers, 2016), xxxi + 272 pages. ISBN 978-1-62698-203-1.

This volume is divided into three parts. The essays in part 1 take an incisive look at the phenomenon called “the Francis effect” and the challenges it poses to the church in Africa and the world church. Part 2 contains a critique of the church in Africa and aspects of Christian identity, theological method, and ecclesial leadership. Part 3 moves the conversation to the future of Vatican III and identifies some of the issues that should claim the attention of the Church as it scans its context and environment in order to discern the imperative of mission in the world. The common aim of these three parts is to provide a critical understanding of the present reality and create paths toward growth, transformation, and change in the church. “A marvellous mosaic that luminously illustrates the major trends in African theology today. If you want to know what African Catholic thinkers are up to fifty years after Vatican II, this is the book to read” (David Hollenbach, S.J., author, The Common Good and Christian Ethics). “The global church of Christ is the beneficiary of their determination to comprehend the questions and needs of God’s people on the African continent” (M. Shaw Copeland, author, Uncommon Faithfulness: The Black Catholic Experience). “They shake up the expectations with which ‘Westerners’ approach ecclesiology, social justice, and interreligious dialogue” (Lisa Sowle Cahill, Monan Professor of Theology, Boston College).

Informal Mining and Family Vulnerability in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Informal-MiningInformal Mining and Family Vulnerability in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe: Advocacy for Human Dignity and Integrity of Creation, edited by Elias O. Opongo, S.J. (Harare: AFCAST, 2016), 94 pages. ISBN978-9966-096-38-8. 

This book is a result of research conducted on the extent of family vulnerability in informal mining sector. The research was conducted in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe by the Africa Forum for Catholic Social Teaching (AFCAST). Informal mining, also referred to as artisanal small scale mining, has dramatically grown in many parts of the world, creating employment for many poor people who would otherwise not have any opportunity for employment. Today this sector employs more than 100 million people worldwide. However, many families remain vulnerable to poor social-economic conditions under which informal mining takes place. This book, therefore, puts forward an advocacy appeal for families that are most affected by these conditions and proposes how policy makers can engage with the key stakeholders in policy review and formulation in order to protect the lives of these vulnerable families. (From the back cover)

Polish Jesuits in the Zambesi Mission

Polish Jesuits in the Zambesi Mission picturePolish Jesuits in the Zambesi Mission, by Czeslaw Bialek, S.J, translated by Jan Kielbasa, S.J., edited by Edward P. Murphy, S.J. (Lusaka: Jesuit Archives, 2016 [privately printed]), 64 pages, with some maps and pictures.

Translated from an original in Polish, this is a valuable view of the Zambezi Mission from a Polish perspective. Several works about the mission exist in English and, although Polish Jesuits played a significant role in the Zambezi endeavour, rarely do readers in English access their account of the mission’s unfolding. In this small book, Fr Bialek highlights the contribution of various Polish Jesuits from the early days of the Zambezi Mission up to the founding of Katondwe Mission in 1912. Accounts of individuals link up the missionary work launched from South Africa (Grahamstown-Dunbrody) with the establishment of the mission in Salisbury (Chishawasha, etc.) and the great development in the upper Zambezi Valley (Tete-Boroma-Miruru). He then describes the traumatic expulsion of the Jesuits from Mozambique following the 1910 anti-religious edict in Portugal. Finally, he narrates the events that led to the launching of a new mission across the Luangwa River at Katondwe in the British territory of Northern Rhodesia (today’s Zambia). The story helps the reader to appreciate the great contributions of Polish missionaries both in the Upper Zambezi Mission, under the English Province, and the Lower Zambezi Mission, under the Portuguese Province. This missionary work eventually played a part in establishing the church in Lusaka.

Histoire des Jésuites en Afrique

Histoire des Jésuites en Afrique pictureHistoire des Jésuites en Afrique: du xvie siècle à nos jours, by Léon de Saint Moulin, S.J. (Namur: Éditions jésuites, 2016), 136 pages, with illustrations. ISBN: 978-2-87299-287-4.

This book presents a rereading of the history of the Society of Jesus and its activities in Africa with the exception of countries on the continent’s Mediterranean coast. It takes advantage of the renewed understanding of the general history of Africa and widely adopts an African approach that views the continent as a whole and with its external relations not only oriented towards Europe and the West. According to the author, three periods of Jesuit history in Africa can be distinguished: the first, extending from the foundation of the Society to its suppression in 1773; the second, beginning with the restoration of the Order in 1814 and lasting until the decade of African independence (1960s); and the third, corresponding to the period after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). The second period is also the colonial period in Africa, during which missionaries worked to establish the Church and to form Christians. Their work changed during the third period when most of the former mission territories were erected into dioceses and became fully established local churches. Then, missionaries became more concerned with linking faith and justice and with evangelizing cultures and the social environment in general.

Challenges in Prayer

Challenges in Prayer photoChallenges in Prayer: Lord, Teach Us to Pray! By Melchior Marandu, S.J. (Nairobi: Paulines Publications, 2016), 104 pages. ISBN: 9966-60-009-7.

In this book on prayer, the author shares much wisdom about what prayer is. He discusses prayer from many facets, but all that he says is fundamentally in terms of furthering the intentional relationship with the God of love who can show us the way to live love. … In chapters one and two, the author draws on insights from the tradition of Ignatian spirituality. It is a worldly spirituality in the sense that it is never about withdrawing from the world but rather about taking time in prayer and reflection, which involves stepping back from engagement in the world, so that one can keep understanding how God is inviting one to live in the world. In chapters three through six, the author is dealing with difficulties of prayer. These difficulties arise because one finds oneself trying to relate to God and trying to respond in a world where the power of sin is present, alive and active. … I believe and hope that each and every seeker who picks up this book will be assisted in becoming a better pray-er, that is one who is growing in the ability “to seek and to find God in all things”. (from the “Preface” of Fr Terry Charlton, SJ).


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