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:

Transitional Justice

doc01008720160222125624 001Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies in Africa, edited by James Stormes, S.J., Elias Opongo, S.J., Peter Knox, S.J., and Kifle Wansamo, S.J., 263 pages, ISBN: 9966-08-981-0

This is a pioneering book on the transitional justice debates in Africa. A collection of essays from a 2014 conference on the theme, the book has been recommended by key persons in the field of transitional justice: "The volume interrogates the challenging terrain of post-conflict justice and offers new thinking on strategies for peacebuilding in Africa. This is an indispensable collection that will appeal to policy-makers, academics, analysts, practitioners and students of justice and politics of peaceful transition across Africa and around the world" (Dr Tim Murithi, Head of Justice and Reconciliation in Africa Program, Institute of for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, South Africa). "The writers, in their various articles, display a deep appreciation on how best transitional measures can apply in Africa. They are consistent in their observations that nations should avoid being formulaic or prescriptive in their application of transitional transitional justice measures. This publication is therefore a must read for academics, practitioners and policy makers working in the field of transitional within the African context" (Christopher Gitari, Head of Office, Kenya Program, International Centre for Transitional Justice in Africa).

Early Days of the Jesuit Zambesi Mission 1880 - 1900

early-days-of-the-jesuit-zambesi-missionEarly Days of the Jesuit Zambesi Mission 1880 -1900: Accounts by John Weisskopf and Francis Richartz, edited by Edward P. Murphy, S.J., 135 pages, with 2 maps.

Weisskopf’s accounts were written for his family, friends and benefactors back in Holland to elicit interest and support for men and money for the Zambesi Mission. He gives a detailed picture of the daily life at the Depot where few people lived but from where various attempts were made to meet and negotiate with king Lebushi and Chief Moemba with a view to setting up mission stations among their people.

Francis Richartz led a a band of six Germans and one Austrian to set up a mission station at Chishawasha, near the settlement of Salisbury (Harare). With great energy and drive, the two Fathers and five Brothers set up a station with a flourishing farm.

In the account the journey up from South Africa is briefly described. A short introduction to the Shona way of life is also given. The central part of the history describes Jesuits' almost traumatic experience of the Shona Rising of 1896.

Public Health, Medicine, and Bioethics


Public Health, Medicine, and Bioethics: Vectors for Sustainable Social and Economic Development, by Armel Setubi  F. (Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2015), 113 pages, ISBN: 978-3-659-67997-1.

When relating health to social and economic development, one can assert that good health standards mean development and poor health standards mean lack of development. This suggests that the basis for a country’s sustainable development is, among other things, the enjoyment of good health standards by its population. Thus, effort must be made to further research. For example, advances in germ-line gene engineering could highly benefit people if well used and properly regulated. Ensuring good health standards to a country’s population is possible through the building of public health systems and the practice of ethical values which can enlighten social and medical practices. The bioethical model and the public health system applied must take into account the social-anthropological mindset which forms the common soul of particular groups of people. Problems which are embodied in the empirical givenness of people’s day-to-day living  are what animated the subject matter of the author's analysis. He shows that, by adopting an attitude that is devoid of prejudices, one can approach his or her own culture or that of others with insights that could help to improve health and social conditions, as well as stimulate viable development.


The Church We Want

Church We_WantThe Church We Want: Foundations, Theology and Mission of the Church in Africa: Conversations on Ecclesiology, edited by Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator SJ (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2015), 342 pages, ISBN: 9966-08-933-0.

The output of research and scholarship on the theology of the church in Africa has not matched the mandate of the synod to “work out the theology of the Church-as-family with all the riches contained in this concept” (Ecclesia in Africa no. 63). This volume fills this gap by presenting incisive analyses, models, and portraits of the church in Africa from diverse historical, theological, ecumenical, cultural, and contemporary perspectives and contexts. It builds on the previous volume [Theological Reimagination: Conversations on Church, Religion and Society in Africa, (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2014)] by gathering many past contributors in a community of theological scholarship that engages in conversation as an ongoing process of maturation of thought, broadening of vision, and deepening of reflection. Striking and unique features in these essays open up new paths for understanding the theology, identity, and mission of the church in Africa and the world. (From the back cover)

Swahili Language and Culture Intensive Course

Swahili Language_CultureSwahili Language and Culture Intensive Course, written by Teguh Ariwibowo SS, and edited by James J. Spillane SJ (Gejayan: Sanata Dharma University Press, 2015), pages 128, ISBN: 978-602-9187-89-2. 

This book is hoped to be the first step in the process of making a preliminary but intensive Swahili course for foreigners available at the St Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT). At the global level, Swahili has grown fast, and today estimates show that it is spoken by some 120 – 150 million people. In response to the rapid spread of the language over vast territories, top world institutions have adopted Swahili as a major communication channel, with leading world broadcasters having programmes in the language. Hence this course is a good stepping stone for students who want to pursue a professional career in Africa. (Adapted from the preface)

Theological Reimagination

Theological ReimaginationTheological Reimagination: Conversations on Church, Religion, and Society in Africa, edited by Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator SJ (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2014), 304 pages, ISBN: 9966-08-862-8.

Focusing on church, religion, and society in Africa, this project gathers African theologians in conversation about issues that shape all three institutions. As the title indicates, their conversations pivot on “reimagination,” and the choice is not arbitrary. Imagination relates to the power the mind to undo the confines of the status quo and scale seemingly insurmountable boundaries with boundless creativity and audacity. Applied to theology, reimagination creates alternative worlds of meaning and purpose that embody God’s self-revelation in innovative and creative ways. Theological reimagination depicts the central task of this research project and the commitment of each participant and author. (From the back cover; see also The Church We Want: Foundations, Theology and Mission of the Church in Africa: Conversations on Ecclesiology [Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2015])








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