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Nuer Prophets: A History of Prophecy from the Upper Nile in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology)
by:Douglas H. Johnson
This is the first major study of the Nuer based on primary research since Evans-Pritchard's classic Nuer Religion. It is also the first full-length historical study of indigenous African prophets operating outside the context of the world's main religions, and as such builds on Evans-Pritchard's pioneering work in promoting collaboration and dialogue...
This is the first major study of the Nuer based on primary research since Evans-Pritchard's classic Nuer Religion. It is also the first full-length historical study of indigenous African prophets operating outside the context of the world's main religions, and as such builds on Evans-Pritchard's pioneering work in promoting collaboration and dialogue between the disciplines of anthropology and history. Prophets first emerged as significant figures among the Nuer in the nineteenth century. They fashioned the religious idiom of prophecy from a range of spiritual ideas, and enunciated the social principles which broadened and sustained a moral community across political and ethnic boundaries. Douglas Johnson argues that, contrary to the standard anthropological interpretation, the major prophets' lasting contribution was their vision of peace, not their role in war. This vision is particularly relevant today, and the book concludes with a detailed discussion of events in the Sudan since independence in 1956, describing how modern Nuer, and many other southern Sudanese, still find the message of the nineteenth-century prophets relevant to their experiences in the current civil war.
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