“Innovative in their analytical use of oral data but traditional in their rigour. The original insight which perceived the need for a reassessment of the role is gloriously vindicated. One could build a really lively course, which raised theoretical and historiographical and interpretative problems.”
P. W. T. Baxter, formerly University of Manchester
This book examines the richly textured histories of prophets and prophecies within East Africa. It gives an analytical account of the significantly different forms prophecy has taken over the past century across the country.
Each of the chapters takes a new look at the active dialogue between prophets and the communities whom they addressed. This dialogue continues today as the politicians and activists throughout the region still look to prophetic traditions, garnering interpretations of the past in order to provide the validation of prophetic wisdom and heroes for the present.
David M. Anderson is a historian at St. Anthony's College, University of Oxford. He is the author of Eroding the Commons, co-editor of Revealing Prophets, and The Poor Are Not Us. More info →
Douglas H. Johnson is a Fellow of the Rift Valley Institute, a historian of Sudan and South Sudan, and an award-winning author and editor. He was a consultant during the Sudan peace talks and a member of the Abyei Boundaries Commission. More info →
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In August 1986, Alice Auma, a young Acholi woman in northern Uganda, proclaiming herself under the orders of a Christian spirit named Lakwena, raised an army called the “Holy Spirit Mobile Forces.” With it she waged a war against perceived evil, not only an external enemy represented by the National Resistance Army of the government, but internal enemies in the form of “impure” soldiers, witches, and sorcerers.
“No nation can win a battle without faith,” Steve Biko wrote, and as Daniel R. Magaziner demonstrates in The Law and the Prophets, the combination of ideological and theological exploration proved a potent force.The 1970s are a decade virtually lost to South African historiography. This span of years bridged the banning and exile of the country’s best-known antiapartheid leaders in the early 1960s and the furious protests that erupted after the Soweto uprisings of June 16, 1976.
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