African Earthkeepers: Interfaith Mission in Earth-care by Daneel, M.L.
University of South Africa | 01 January 1998
Paperback | 320 pages
Author Professor Inus Daneel grew up in Zimbabwe and has extensively researched the traditional and Christian religions of the Shona people. Appalled at the environmental devastation caused by war Daneel initiated and became the driving force behind an unusual partnership in 'the war of the trees'. His intimate knowledge of traditional Shona culture and religion and the friendships he established with various Shona tribesmen enabled Daneel to share with traditional chiefs and spirit mediums (traditionally custodians of the land) the urgency of restoring the land. Thus the partnership between Daneel, the Christian missionary and academic, and Shona traditionalist religious leaders began in a tree-planting venture that overcame religious differences. Daneel records the religio-ecological motivation and endeavour of the African Earthkeeping Movement and its impact on Shona peasant society. Of special interest are the newly introduced mafukidzanyika (clothing the land) ritual ceremonies as opposed to the traditional rain ritual ceremonies, indicating the innovation and adaptation that has taken place, This volume deals mainly with the traditional religious contribution of the earthkeeping struggle; the second volume describes the Christian counterpart. This book will fascinate academics and the general reader.