Black Minds Matter - Archbishop Milingo and the Vatican

Black Minds Matter tells the story of one of the most outspoken clerics of Africa, Emmanuel Milingo, who was Archbishop of Lusaka from 1969 to 1983. Milingo became widely known for his healing ministry, which was rooted in African spiritual ideas. This brought him into years of conflict with the dominant powers in the Catholic Church, and eventually led to his excommunication in 2006.

The debate about Milingo was one with racial overtones, not only in Church circles but also in the Western press, which showed a sensational interest in the matter. African cosmology was simply dismissed as primitive and ‘superstitious’. In the twenty-first century, however, white dominance is no longer the norm. With new generations of black people standing up for their social and political rights, especially influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement, this book argues that if black lives matter, black minds should matter as well.

This book also argues that Milingo has been a true decoloniser of minds and as such was far ahead of his time. His continuing struggle for spiritual autonomy reflects a final phase in the decolonisation of Africa: the decolonisation of the mind, both of Africans and Europeans.

At the age of 91, Milingo is now approaching the end of his turbulent life. Though in the past few years his health had rapidly declined, he recently made a remarkable and unexpected recovery. The photo on this page dates from November 2021.

This book has appeared in the ASC Occasional Publications series; Issue 43, 2021.

Author(s) / editor(s)

Gerrie ter Haar

About the author(s) / editor(s)

Gerrie ter Haar is a scholar of religion and emeritus Professor of Religion and Development at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has published extensively on religion in Africa and the African diaspora.

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