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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Kongo prophet as social theorist: an essay in meta-anthropology
Author:MacGaffey, WyattISNI
Periodical:Cahiers des religions africaines
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:African Independent Churches
Abstract:It is something of a commonplace that social science in the Western tradition, directly descended from medieval theology, retains not only a subject-matter but an ethical and prophetic intention often strongly religious in quality. This quality is evident even in thinkers supposed to be most materialistic. Less familiar is the idea that the doctrine of prophets springing from entirely different cultural traditions might contain social sciences formally equivalent to our own. The author seeks this formal equivalence in the relationship between the categorical structure of thought on the one hand, and on the other the institutional structure of the society in which the thinker finds his audience. The prophetic doctrines to be explored for this purpose are those of Kimbangu Mpadi and Dizolele. This study is based on documents generated by these prophets which emerged at three different junctures in the history of Lower Zaire, and on the author's extensive fieldwork in Lower Za´re during the 1960's. - Notes.