Aurelien Mokoko Gampiot
An African Understanding of the Bible
Penn State UP 2017
In this volume, Aurlien Mokoko Gampiot, a sociologist and son of a Kimbanguist pastor, provides a fresh and insightful perspective on African Kimbanguism and its traditions.
The largest of the African-initiated churches, Kimbanguism claims seventeen million followers worldwide. Like other such churches, it originated out of black African resistance to colonization in the early twentieth century and advocates reconstructing blackness by appropriating the parameters of Christian identity. Mokoko Gampiot provides a contextual history of the religions origins and development, compares Kimbanguism with other African-initiated churches and with earlier movements of political and spiritual liberation, and explores the implicit and explicit racial dynamics of Christian identity that inform church leaders and lay practitioners. He explains how Kimbanguists understand their own blackness as both a curse and a mission and how that underlying belief continuously spurs them to reinterpret the Bible through their own prisms.
Drawing from an unprecedented investigation into Kimbanguisms massive body of oral traditionsrecorded sermons, participant observations of church services and healing sessions, and translations of hymnsand informed throughout by Mokoko Gampiots intimate knowledge of the customs and language of Kimbanguism, this is an unparalleled theological and sociological analysis of a unique African Christian movement.