Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-qn7h5 Total loading time: 0.363 Render date: 2022-10-05T13:23:23.576Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": true, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

11 - Missionaries, the Eucharist and Cannibals in Tooro

from Part Three - THE CANNIBAL IN COLONIAL MISSIONARY ENCOUNTERS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2013

Heike Behrend
Affiliation:
University of Cologne
Get access

Summary

Enid Schildkrout and Curtiz Keim report that today, the Mangbetu, who were famous cannibals in travelogues of the 19th century in the Congo, tell tales of their former cannibalism with great amusement and point to the Eucharist as evidence that Europeans manifest the same tastes and even practise cannibalism overtly (Schildkrout and Keim 1990:258 n 3, 34). This (anecdotal) connection between the Eucharist and cannibalism has also been noted by other Western scholars. A few of them attempted to relate in particular the identification of Catholic missionaries as cannibals by Africans with the transcendent cannibalism inherent in the Eucharist and the Mass. They argued that Africans' understandings of missionary action led to cannibal (and vampire) accusations (cf. Fox-Pitt cit. White 2000).

Yet, in Africa, even before the arrival of Christian missionaries, Western travellers and explorers were rather often identified as cannibals by local people, an identification that was made independent of missionary practices of the Eucharist. Besides missionaries, colonial administrators were also associated with cannibalism. It follows that the identification of white men with cannibals conforms, above all, to the ‘classical’ stereotype of radical otherness. This chapter attempts to show that while the figure of the resurrecting cannibal in Tooro was indeed informed by missionary practices, the transcendent cannibalism inherent in the Holy Communion seems to have played only a minor role.

Whereas the relationship between cannibalism and the Eucharist in the history of the West was hotly debated (see Chapter Three), in the 19th century in Central Africa, more or less enlightened missionaries either silenced or rationalized the Eucharist when teaching Africans.

Type
Chapter
Information
Resurrecting Cannibals
The Catholic Church, Witch-Hunts and the Production of Pagans in Western Uganda
, pp. 155 - 164
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×