Catholic Politics and Ethnic Discourse in the Late Colonial Era
Author: J. J. Carney
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Winner of the Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize of the African Studies Association Between 1920 and 1994, the Catholic Church was Rwanda's most dominant social and religious institution. In recent years, the church has been critiqued for its perceived complicity in the ethnic discourse and political corruption that culminated with the 1994 genocide. In analyzing the contested legacy of Catholicism in Rwanda, Rwanda Before the Genocide focuses on a critical decade, from 1952 to 1962, when Hutu and Tutsi identities became politicized, essentialized, and associated with political violence. This study--the first English-language church history on Rwanda in over 30 years--examines the reactions of Catholic leaders such as the Swiss White Father André Perraudin and Aloys Bigirumwami, Rwanda's first indigenous bishop. It evaluates Catholic leaders' controversial responses to ethnic violence during the revolutionary changes of 1959-62 and after Rwanda's ethnic massacres in 1963-64, 1973, and the early 1990s. In seeking to provide deeper insight into the many-threaded roots of the Rwandan genocide, Rwanda Before the Genocide offers constructive lessons for Christian ecclesiology and social ethics in Africa and beyond.
Global Secularisms addresses the state of and prospects for secularism globally. Drawing from multiple fields, it brings together theoretical discussion and empirical case studies that illustrate "on-the-ground," extant secularisms as they interact with various religious, political, social, and economic contexts. Its point of departure is the fact that secularism is plural and that various secularisms have developed in various contexts and from various traditions around the world. Secularism takes on different social meanings and political valences wherever it is expressed. The essays collected here provide numerous points of contact between empirical case studies and theoretical reflection. This multiplicity informs and challenges the conceptual theorization of secularism as a universal doctrine. Analyses of different regions enrich our understanding of the meanings of secularism, providing comparative range to our notions of secularity. Theoretical treatments help to inform our understanding of secularism in context, enabling readers to discern what is at stake in the various regional expressions of secularity globally. While the bulk of the essays are case-based research, the current thinking of leading theorists and scholars is also included.
Lutheran tradition has in various ways influenced attitudes to work, the economy, the state, education, and health care. One reason that Lutheran theology has been interpreted in various ways is that it is always influenced by surrounding social and cultural contexts. In a society where the church has lost a great deal of its cultural impact and authority, and where there is a plurality of religious convictions, the question of Lutheran identity has never been more urgent. However, this question is also raised in the Global South where Lutheran churches need to find their identity in a relationship with several other religions. Here this relationship is developed from a minority perspective. Is it possible to develop a Lutheran political theology that gives adequate contributions to issues concerning social and economic justice? What is the role of women in church and society around the world? Is it possible to interpret Lutheran theology in such a way that it includes liberating perspectives? These are some of the questions and issues discussed in this book.
Blessed with natural beauty and rich vegetation, Rwanda is often called the "land of a thousand hills" (le pays des mille collines). A proud people, the Banyarwanda (Rwandans) possess a centric view of the world, believing that Imana (God) favors Rwanda, as conveyed through the saying "Imana yirirwa ahandi igataha i Rwanda" (God spends the day some place else but goes back home to Rwanda to sleep) and the fact that Rwanda means "the universe." However, this idyllic view of Rwanda sharply contrasts with the sad history of ethnic strife that has unfolded in the country since the 1950s: the 1959 Hutu Revolution followed by years of anti-Tutsi pogroms, undemocratic regimes, the civil war of 1990-1994, and, more significantly, the April-July 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and Hutu who opposed the killings. This new edition of Historical Dictionary of Rwanda, through its chronology, introductory essays, appendixes, maps, bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on important persons, places, events, and institutions and significant political, economic, social, and cultural aspects, provides an important reference on this central African country.