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Both of the book, reviewed below, can be ordered from THE EDWIN MELLEN PRESS

Zulu Religion: Texts and Interpretations. Vol. I: Traditional Zulu Ideas About God, edited by Irving Hexham, (Lewiston, Edwin Mellen, 1987), pp. 455.

This book provides essential background information for anyone wishing to understand the growth of new religions and independent/indigenous churches among the Zulu in South Africa.

What some reviewers said:

a. Irving Hexham ... is no stranger to South Africa and South African religious themes. He has become known particularly because of his important studies on Afrikaner cultural and political development and thinking...In this book, the versatile Hexham, has investigated the religious traditions of yet another segment of South Africa's population: the Zulu ... The primary value of Hexham's publication lies in his making accessible to modern readers some rare sources on Zulu religion and culture ... Africanists ... owe Hexham their gratitude for having provided them with an important research tool.

David Bosch, Missionalia, Vol 17, No. 1, April 1989, pp. 56-57.

Religious studies are thriving in Africa ... Mindful of the fact that many instructors teach comparative religion with no reference the African religions, Hexham brought these texts together to make primary data on African religion available ... The book is a source of fascination historical data on the interaction between the world view of Christian missionaries and Zulu religious thought.

Carol V. McKinney, Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1991, p. 137-138.

c. While the founders of comparative religion in the nineteenth century recognized the importance of African religion, its study declined towards the beginning of the twentieth century, and has never been revived. Since that time the field has been dominated by orientalists ... the situation is worsened by the lack of available texts--a state of affairs of which it is the chief aim of this book to remedy ... It is all fascinating reading ...

Hugo Meynell, Religious Studies and Theology, Vol. 9, No. 1, January, 1989, pp. 52-53.

d. The author of this book has tried to stick to the topic ... The bulk of the book is a compilation of those texts which are superbly fleshed out...Hexham has tried to do what many interpreters of Zulu religion have failed to do, i.e. let the text speak for itself and allow the reader to make up his or her own conclusions ... Hexham's work is, on the whole highly commendable. One wishes that a book like this should have been produced long ago."

Lizo D. Jafta, Department of Theology, University of South Africa, published review source unknown.

Texts on Zulu Religion is available from:

The Edwin Mellen Press

P.O. Box 450


New York, 14092


Fax: 1-716-754-4335