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The Kongolese Saint Anthony: Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita and the Antonian Movement, 1684-1706 Paperback – May 13, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0521596497 ISBN-10: 0521596491 Edition: 2 Expanded

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 Expanded edition (May 13, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521596491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521596497
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Thornton's study of Beatriz Kimpa Vita is a new departure in slave studies. African history is propelled to the fore; Thornton's approach taps the potential of the Afro-centric vision." Paul Lovejoy, York University

"Perhaps the greatest of the many achievements of Thornton's book is its depiction of Africans in very much the same terms that he, and most other European or American writers, would use to describe their own pasts. With that, Thornton bridges the gap between 'us' and 'them' that still lurks subtly in much scholarship on Africa. This is accordingly a book for non-specialists in many fields--and that is not to say that Africanists will not also find it fascinating." Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia

"...a most impressive study." Richard Gray, The Catholic Historical Review

"John K. Thornton's study of political and religious turmoil in the Kongo kingdom at the close of the seventeenth century will appeal to several audiences..." Wyatt MacGaffey, The International History Review

"...this is a very good publication, which portrays in a very lively way a society and conflicts hidden for almost three centuries. The narrative has a certain dramatic, almost Shakespearean tension, which is likely to engross the reader's attention." International Journal of African Historical Studies

"Thornton presents a fascinating and comprehensive account of the Christian movement led by Donna Beatriz Kimpa Vita in the Kingdom of the Kongo, from her birth in 1684 until her death....This study relies upon an impressive body of sources." Journal of Women's History

"Altogether this is a masterly reconstruction of events in late seventeenth-century Kongo by an experienced scholar who for over twenty years has published on many aspects of Kongo history from politics top demography, from church history to family history, and from the slave trade to the diaspora. Thornton's acquaintance with a host of difficult sources is well displayed." American Historical Review

"The Kongolese Saint Anthony...reflects a superb mastery of the rich multilayered texture of the Kongolese Christian experience....immensely pleasing....the unexpected twists and subplots provide ample footholds for the most tentative reader....the book constitutes a valuable academic resource. That it makes a pleasant read is surely a welcome bonus." Church History

"I know of no other book that recreates the history of precolonial African society in such a vivid and compelling way. It should become standard reading in courses on African history and diaspora history." Historian, Robert Harms, Yale University

Book Description

The story of Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita, a young Kongolese woman who in 1704 claimed to be possessed by St. Anthony, argued that Jesus was a Kongolese, criticized Italian Capuchin missionaries for not supporting black saints, and attempted to stop the devastating cycle of civil wars between contenders for the Kongolese throne. She was burned at the stake in 1706. Background information is supplied on Kongo, the development of Catholicism there, and the role of local warfare in the Atlantic slave trade.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chimonsho on August 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
John Thornton distills some of his prodigious research on Kongo and Angola to tell a coherent and exciting story. Dona Beatriz was a young woman who inspired a religious movement against the internal wars which overwhelmed the Kingdom of Kongo in the Atlantic slave trade era. Her charismatic leadership ran afoul of civil authorities and the Catholic Church and she was executed in 1706, but echoes of the movement endured for several decades both in West Central Africa and the New World. The author answers important questions on cultural syncretism, womens' political and spiritual roles, and the adaptation of world religions to indigenous settings. The main drawback is the welter of unfamiliar KiKongo place and personal names, which will frustrate some readers. A future edition could address this with more detailed maps, a glossary and list of main actors. Thornton skillfully provides more context in "Africa & Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World."
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Kongolese Saint Anthony is one of the best books on a pre-colonial African heroine that I have read. In an engaging drama of spirutuality and politics, John Thornton invites us to look at Africa in a way that makes Africa a part of the unfloding history of Christianity. Anyone interested in both Africa and chruch history would do well to read this throroughly authentic biography of Dona Beatrice.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott Free on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Just finished reading it and loved it. Information on pre-colonial Africa is so hard to come by. Quality info that goes beyond the surface is even harder. John K Thornton always impresses. This is actually better than Warfare in Atlantic Africa. The best thing about this in my opinion (other than the narrative itself) is the use of footnotes rather than a clumsy reference page at the back. Anywayz, i highly recommend it.
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By LS on July 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
fine
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