Spiritan News

Recently Published Book Highlights Spiritan History in Africa

BETHEL PARK, PA – August 14, 2017

We are pleased to share news of the recent publication of Afrique, a l’ombre des dieux, a stunning collection of visual artifacts and history from the Spiritans’ work in Africa over the past three centuries.

Although the book is written in French and does not currently offer an English translation, the reader does not need to speak the language to appreciate the more than 200 images contained within its pages.

Afrique, a l’ombre des dieux

Afrique, a l’ombre des dieux highlights with rare archival documents and expert analyses the arrival and immersion of Spiritans as missionaries and anthropologists in Equatorial Africa. From the mid-nineteenth century, our members lived alongside populations whose languages, customs, and rituals they learned in order to build meaningful, long-term connections and share the word of the Gospel.

Exceptional works of African art, which until now have been displayed only in our Spiritan houses in France and known only to a limited audience, are presented in this book in all their diversity and richness to the general public.

As stated in this translation from the preface by the Superior General, Fr. John Fogarty, C.S.Sp., “At a time when there is growing interest of the public in not only the history of Africa, but also its culture and art, this book proposes to return on an exciting and yet little-known episode: the contribution of Catholic missionaries in the field of African ethnology.”

View some of the extraordinary images here.