author={John K. Thornton},
  journal={The Journal of African History},
  pages={53 - 77}
  • J. Thornton
  • Published 1 March 2013
  • History
  • The Journal of African History
Abstract This article examines the way in which Christianity and Kongo religion merged to produce a syncretic result. After showing that the Kongo church grew up under the supervision and direction of Kongo authorities rather than missionaries, it will track how local educational systems and linguistic transformations accommodated the differences between the two religious traditions. In Kongo, many activities associated with the traditional religion were attacked as witchcraft without assigning… 
The Kingdom of Kongo and Palo Mayombe: Reflections on an African-American Religion
Historical scholarship on Afro-Cuban religions has long recognized that one of its salient characteristics is the union of African (Yoruba) gods with Catholic Saints. But in so doing, it has usually
Conquest and Theology: The Jesuits in Angola, 1548–1650
The Jesuits played a key role in the evangelization of the Portuguese colony of Angola and its surrounding Kimbundu-speaking neighbors when they came with the colonial mission of Paulo Dias de Novais
African Voices Echoing in European Texts: The Muffled Meanings of the Madzimbabwe of the Mocaranga between the Sixteenth and the Nineteenth Centuries
Abstract The present article contributes to understanding of the Zimbabwe political institution of the southern portion of the Zambesi Valley based on the conceptualization of its population, between
Duress and Messianism in French Moyen-Congo
Th e Matsouanist religion in Congo-Brazzaville has its roots in Amicale, a sociopolitical association and movement that aimed to improve the rights of colonial subjects that emerged in the late
The Devil's Beatings. African Dimensions of Early Modern Demonology in the Atlantic World
With the possible exception of the Kingdom of Kongo, the history of Christianity in Atlantic Africa in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries has not been examined in depth. We know even less about
Jesuits, Protestants, and Africa before the Twentieth Century
Sixteenth-century Africa was anything but a “dark continent” for the Jesuits. Their early missionary imagination clearly included Africa, and parts of the continent received Jesuits from as early as
Black Saints in Early Modern Global Catholicism
From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, Spanish and Portuguese monarchs launched global campaigns for territory and trade. This process spurred two efforts that reshaped the world: missions
Christianity and the formation of the ideology of power in Soyo in the 17th century.
The aim of the article is to present the role of the Christian elements in the formation of the ideology of power in Soyo in the mid of the 17th century. Thanks to its location, the province of Soyo
The African Adoption of the Portuguese Crusade during the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Abstract The Portuguese engagement with the continent of Africa following the conquest of Ceuta in 1415 was framed, among numerous conditions, as a crusade (Portuguese: cruzada). However, crusading
The Kingdom of Kongo and the Thirty Years’ War
The Thirty Years’ War, while still regarded as primarily a European war, also has, as some historians recognize, an Atlantic dimension. That Atlantic dimension in turn is widely recognized as


The Development of an African Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1491–1750
Scholarly opinion on the conversion of the Kingdom of Kongo to Christianity has generally been that it was superficial, diplomatically oriented, impure, dangerous to national sovereignty or rejected
Religion and Society in Central Africa: The BaKongo of Lower Zaire
the manner in which the old economic arguments of industrialists and financiers in favour of Empire were joined by a new breed of nationalists, who used the colonial question as a political rallying
There are Many Kongo Worlds: Particularities of Magico-Religious Beliefs Among the Vili and Yombe of Congo-Brazzaville
ABSTRACT The article analyses the distinctiveness of magico-religious practices in the north-western sector of the vast Kongo cultural complex, namely among the peoples who refer to themselves as
Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640
Acknowledgments 1. Soiled Gods and the Formation of a Slave Society 2. "The Grand Remedy": Africans and Christian Conjugality 3. Policing Christians: The Inquisition and Ecclesiastical Courts 4.
Christians, Blasphemers, and Witches: Afro-Mexican Ritual Practice in the Seventeenth Century
"The Decline of the Native Population" shows how following the Spanish conquest of New Spain in 1521, among other factors, led to an increased demand for African slaves to add to the labor force and
The Church in Africa, 1450-1950
This is a complete history of the Christian Church in Africa. It covers five centuries - from the rise of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the 15th century and the early Portuguese missionaries right
Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the African-Portuguese World, 1441-1770
Exploring the cultural lives of African slaves in the early colonial Portuguese world, with an emphasis on the more than one million Central Africans who survived the journey to Brazil, James Sweet
Kongo and the King of the Americans
In this article, I try to translate what America means to a MuKongo, the ordinary inhabitant of the province of Kongo Central in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The subject has the advantage of
Come vero Prencipe Catolico: the Capuchins and the rulers of Soyo in the late seventeenth century
Opening Paragraph Students of Europe's contact with Africa have long regarded the Christian missions in the ancient kingdom of Kongo as a peculiarly potent symbol. For some the conversion and
At the Back of the Black Man's Mind
THERE can be no question as to the originality and value of this book as a contribution to West African ethnology. Mr. Dennett has lived many years amongst the Bavihi and other tribes of the Kakongo