Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (JHIA) - An institute dedicated to preserving memory and promoting historical knowledge in Africa and its adjacent islands

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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:

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).

L’Égypte et la Compagnie de Jésus

LÉgypte et la Compagnie de Jésus pictureL’Égypte et la Compagnie de Jésus, by Charles Libois, S.J. (Beirut: Dar el-Machreq, 2015), 240 pages.ISBN: 2-7214-5047-6.

In the author’s thesis presented in 1985 at the Gregorian University in Rome and partially revised, developed and published in four pats in the Monumental Historica Societatis Iesu series under the title Monumenta Proximi Orientis (Égypte), II, IV, V, and VI, there are several issues of secondary importance to a purely historical work. They, however, open up illuminating perspectives on diverse and varied relations between the Jesuits and Egypt. These include, for example, the influence of monasticism, first on St. Ignatius himself and then on the nascent Society of Jesus; perspectives on scientific labours by Jesuit scholars, whether geographical (the origin of the Nile) or exegetical; the epistolary correspondence and spirituality of the missionaries, including information on their residence or school, theatre performances in Europe; and, eventually, all their efforts towards union between Rome and the Copts, with official contacts sometimes blocked or simply abandoned. This volume brings together all these subjects, which the reader will find quite fascinating. For anyone interested in Jesuit studies, headings like Les “origines égyptienes” de la Compagnie, La Compagnie de Jésus et la géographie de l’Égypte, or L’Égypte dans les Exercises Spirituels, cannot fail to catch the eye. What is even more important is that the author provides a rich bibliography for every subject that he discusses.

Proceedings Report on Transitional Justice

doc01008820160222125828 001International Conference on Transitional Justice in Post Conflict Societies in Africa: Proceedings Report, prepared by Cathy Amenya and Florence N. Mpaayei (Nairobi: HIPSIR, 2016), 119 pages, with several pictures in color.

This is a privately printed report on the International Conference on Transitional Justice in Post-conflict Societies in Africa that took place on  8th and 9th of October 2014 at the Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR). The need to organize the conference arose from the fact that a number of African countries that had transited from periods of violent conflicts to relative peace were grappling with actualizing national healing and reconciliation which are essential to democratization processes and sustainable peace. The general objective of the conference was to stimulate strategic responses to challenges of national healing and reconciliation in African countries such as Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Rwanda. While this document is a general report on proceedings of the conference that was addressed by, among others, President Benjami William Mkapa, former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, a more scholarly collection of the conference papers has now been bublished by the Paulines Publications Africa under the title Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies in Africa (Nairobi, 2016).

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