Les Maasai et le christianisme Le temps du grand refus

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Ces dernieres annees le christianisme a commence a gagner un nombre croissant d'adeptes parmi certaines sections des Maasai, societe guerriere de pasteurs semi-nomades occupant un territoire s'etendant au sud du Kenya et au nord de la Tanzanie. Cette expansion recente constitue un fait nouveau qui attend description et explication. Entretemps aucune science n'est encore parvenue a donner une reponse satisfaisante a une question beaucoup plus vieille: pourquoi, pendant plus d'un siecle, l'histoire religieuse de ce...

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Overview

Ces dernieres annees le christianisme a commence a gagner un nombre croissant d'adeptes parmi certaines sections des Maasai, societe guerriere de pasteurs semi-nomades occupant un territoire s'etendant au sud du Kenya et au nord de la Tanzanie. Cette expansion recente constitue un fait nouveau qui attend description et explication. Entretemps aucune science n'est encore parvenue a donner une reponse satisfaisante a une question beaucoup plus vieille: pourquoi, pendant plus d'un siecle, l'histoire religieuse de ce peuple, entoure d'ethnies qui ont toutes repondu positivement a l'action missionnaire, a-t-elle ete caracterisee par un refus categorique, oppose avec une constance remarquable, aux efforts des missionnaires occidentaux pour l'attirer vers la religion du Christ? Le livre presente une analyse critique des diverses solutions que sociologues, anthropologues, historiens et missiologues ont proposees pour resoudre une question qu'ils ont ete habitues a considerer comme une enigme et a ressentir comme une croix. La discussion des differentes hypotheses conduit l'auteur a relater divers aspects de l'ecologie, de l'histoire, de l'economie, de la structure sociale, du monde des valeurs, de l'univers symbolique et des methodes de socialisation d'une des societes les plus fascinantes d'Afrique Noire. Au bout du periple il propose sa propre lecture des origines de la resistance maasai, une interpretation dont l'originalite consiste tant dans le rejet de toute monoculture theorique que dans le refus des schemes de causalite deterministe. Dans la mesure ou la socialisation des membres d'une societe implique l'interiorisation de normes et de valeurs, il est clair que son impact ne peut etre analyse exclusivement en termes de causes au sens strict du mot, mais aussi en termes d'intentions, d'objectifs, de motifs et de raisons; en d'autres mots il est indiscernable de l'activite par laquelle le sujet octroie a son comportement sens et signification. Avant tout contribution originale a l'anthropologie est-africaine, cet essai interessera egalement les specialistes de l'univers culturel des pasteurs nomades et les etudiants du changement social. Il constitue aussi un echantillon de ce que pourrait etre une missiologie vraiment scientifique.

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