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‘Fishers of Men’: religion and political economy among colonized Tabwa

  • Allen F. Roberts

In the late nineteenth century, Catholic missionaries among Tabwa southwest of Lake Tanganyika (now Zaire) sought to create a cohesive community of African Christians. The priests prohibited communal practice of Tabwa religion in the vicinity of their churches (established at points of densest population) and appropriated important means of food production like river-fishing grounds, for their own exploitation or to reward those loyal to them. As they enhanced their own economic and political influence, they contributed to Tabwa anomie, rather than community.

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