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Death and the Invisible Powers: The World of Kongo Belief Paperback – 1 Sep 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (1 Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253208084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253208088
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,921,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"The description of Kongo culture is vivid, beautifully clear, and absolutely authentic, as only a native could make it. The marvelous anecdotes are worth any amount of anthropological summary...I don't know of anything of its kind that is both as good, ethnographically, and as readable." - Wyatt MacGaffey. Rich in anecdote and firsthand experience, "Death and the Invisible Powers" is an account of the spiritual life of the Kongo people by a native of Lower Zaire. Setting aside the stereotypes about Kongo beliefs and practices, Simon Bockie reveals a subtle, coherent religious outlook that governs all aspects of Kongo life. Bockie shows that Kongo life is communal, rather than individualistic. But the communal order of this world is only part of the larger design that extends into the invisible world of spirits. Communication with the invisible world is an integral part of daily life, and traditional beliefs are still vigorously held by many educated and Christianized Africans, who have adapted them to urban settings.

For Bockie, this reaffirmation of African cultural identities is a significant aspect of contemporary African life that may offer encouragement to African Americans in their search for roots.

About the Author

SIMON BROCKIE was born in Banza-Lele village, Kivunda District, in the Manianga area of Lower Zaire. He holds a Ph.D. in History and Phenomenology of Religion from the Graduate Theological Union and is a government documents librarian at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Top customer reviews

15 January 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
Derric (Rau Khu) Moore author of MAA AANKH vol.I, Kamta: A Practical Kamitic Path for Obtaining Power and Maa: A Guide to the Kamitic Way for Personal
5.0 out of 5 starsInspired by Invisible Powers
13 March 2010 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful.
J. Axtell
5.0 out of 5 starsI enjoyed this book very much
13 March 2007 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful.
Angel August
5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
21 May 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
4.0 out of 5 starsGreat little book
6 January 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
Phil Rogers
4.0 out of 5 starsConcise, intelligent survey - even though dry at times
12 March 2003 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
10 people found this helpful.

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