MARYKNOLL INSTITUTE OF AFRICAN STUDIES
OF SAINT MARY’S UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
AND TANGAZA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, NAIROBI
The Maryknoll Institute of African Studies is engaged in the publication of academic works by its students and faculty. This is done under MIAS Books, a publishing company of MIAS that has been registered with the Government of Kenya. The company was founded to publish a journal on African studies and books on African cultural reality.
The “Journal of African Cultures and Religion” which is produced bi-annually, publishes papers that students are required to write for each course. In these papers, students demonstrate their ability to search out the cultural patterns underpinning the anecdotal material of their field research, and then interrelate these patterns with the material of the lectures and readings. The papers are edited and compiled by course; the course lecturer writes a brief introduction.
AFRICAN CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE: THEMES AND EMBEDDED BELIEFS
This book consists of fifteen chapters each dealing with a primary theme of African cultural knowledge. These themes are the embedded values, ideas, beliefs, symbols and outlook that bring wholeness and coherence to a culture and are appropriated through a process of socialization. Published in 2005, and revised in 2011, the book is the result of fifteen years of research and two years of editing. This one-of-a-kind book offers a comprehensive, holistic understanding and explanation of how African cultural knowledge promotes behavior and interprets the experiences of African persons from birth to death and beyond. Also the beliefs embedded in these themes have common characteristics with the beliefs of many spiritualities worldwide including those of Christianity and Islam. The fifteen-theme structure of cultural knowledge is presented in a way that it can be applied to any culture worldwide. Details on how to purchase a copy of the book online are found at www.africancultures.org align=”left”>
AFRICAN CULTURAL DOMAINS: LIFE CYCLE OF AN INDIVIDUAL
This book consists of ten chapters each dealing with a domain of the life cycle of an individual. These domains are specific activities and events that are experienced, interpreted, understood and responded to ritually in the context of a specific cultural system. Domains show and illustrate how all the cultural activities and events in a person’s life are given meaning through the embeddthrough the embedded cultural knowledge which is accessed in an automatic manner as they are experienced and played out in real time.
The domains dealt with in this book are those that an individual personally participates in during their lifetime and those that the community undertakes on behalf of the individual especially after their death to usher them in the hereafter.
Like the book African Cultural Knowledge: Themes and Embedded Beliefs, this book was developed out of the field research done by the institute’s students over the years and published in 2008. It is the first of a four-part series that covers the thirty five domains so far identified through research in the Institute. Again, like the previous book, we do not argue that these thirty-five domains paradigm is cast in stone—depending on one’s cultural background they may be more or less than thirty five, but this domain-structure is resented in such a way that it can be applied to any culture worldwide. Details on how to purchase a copy of this book and other MAS publications are found at www.africancultures.org.
AFRICAN CULTURAL DOMAINS: CYCLE OF FAMILY AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
This book, the second in a four-part series of Domains, consists of seven chapters each dealing with a domain of the cycle of the family and interpersonal relationships. These seven domains are part of a thirty-five domain paradigm that encompasses the ordinary cultural events and activities that all individuals experience from birth to death, unless one’s death is untimely.
The material and data of this book explores new and unchartered territory dealing with the richness and depth of personal relationships within the lineal families and social lives of Africans. This is an area that has been neglected by scholars. The seven chapters presented in this book are titled: Gender Differences: Men and Women; Types of Marital Unions; Marriage and Family Life; Authority and Affection; Kinship Obligations and Roles; Neighborhood; Friendships.
The format of the book is similar to the books titled African Cultural Knowledge: Themes and Embedded Beliefs and African Cultural Domains: life Cycle of an Individual. A copy of this book can be obtained via www.africancultures.org.
PUBLICATIONS IN PROCESS
A third volume of the MIAS Journal is in the final stages of editing. Also, the third book in a four-part series on cultural domains focusing on the cycle of the community and communal activities is being analyzed and edited. The domains are given their meaning by the specific cultural knowledge of an ethnic group. The domains have been delineated into thirty-five categories, with the categories grouped into four cycles of human life namely, 1) Individual, 2) Family and Interpersonal Relationships, 3)Community and Communal activities, and 4) Religious Rituals.