M. L. Daneel

Dr. M.L. DaneelM. L. “Inus” Daneel continues to be part of the CGCM, though he recently retired from acting as a part-time professor of missiology at the BU School of Theology. Dr. Daneel has developed contextualized ecumenical ministries in theological education, community development, and earthkeeping for and with the African Initiated Churchs in Zimbabwe. He served for 16 years as senior professor in missiology at the University of South Africa, Pretoria. His widely acclaimed publications focus mainly on African Traditional Religion and indigenous African Christianity. His book Guerilla Snuff was selected one of the 75 Best Zimbabwean books of the twentieth century. Dr. Daneel was employed as a senior research officer at both the Free University of Amsterdam and the African Studies Center, Leiden. He has held research fellowships at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare; the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University; and the African Studies Center at Boston University. Daneel has lectured widely in Europe, North and South America, and Africa. With Dana L. Robert, he edits the book series “African Initiatives in Christian Mission.”

Dr. Daneel’s publications include God of the Matopo Hills (1970), Zionism and Faith-healing (1970), Old and New in Southern Shona Independent Churches, Vols. 1-3 (1971, 1976, 1988), Quest for Belonging (1987), Fambidzano–Ecumenical Movement of Zimbabwean Independent Churches (1989), Christian Theology of Africa (1989), Guerrilla Snuff (a novel, 1995), African Earthkeepers: Interfaith Mission in Earth Care, Vols. 1-2 (1998, 2000), African Christian Outreach, Vol. 1 (2001), and Fullness of Life for All (co-editor, 2003).

Over the past few years, Prof. Daneel has been conducting field-based research into the high god religion of the Shona. This research follows up studies done in the 1960s in which Daneel was the first outsider to be admitted to the high god oracle in the Matopo Hills. Born on a Dutch Reformed mission station, Dr. Daneel is a well-known ecumenical figure who functions as a bishop in an African-Initiated Church, the Ndaza (Holy Cord) Zionists. A patron of the Network of Earthkeeping Christian Communities in South Africa, he is committed to environmental preservation, African contextual theology, fishing, and watching rugby and cricket. Daneel spends six months a year in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, and six months a year in Boston.

ORGANIZATIONS FOUNDED

1991 – The Association of African Earthkeeping Churches, a grassroots environmental and tree-planting movement composed of 180 African-Independent denominations.

1988 – The Association of Zimbabewan Traditional Ecologists, a grassroots traditionalist earthkeeping and tree-planting movement composed of traditional chiefs, spirit mediums, headmen, etc.

1984 – The Zimbabwean Institute of Religious Research and Ecological Conservation, composed of departments of research, ecology, development programs, women’s desk, youth desk, wildlife, theological education by extension, finance and administration.

1972-1989 – Founder and Director of the African Independent Church Conference (Fambidzano), an ecumenical movement of independent churches for theological training and community development, founded in the midst of Zimbabwe’s liberation war and now the oldest ecumenical movement of AICs in Zimbabwe. At its peak 600 students enrolled at 40 extension centers annually.

PUBLICATIONS

BOOKS

1970a The God of the Matopo Hills – An Essay on the Mwari Cult in Rhodesia. The Hague: Mouton.

1970b Zionism and Faith Healing in Rhodesia – Aspects of African Independent Churches. The Hague: Mouton.

1971 Old and New in Southern Shona Independent Churches. Vol. 1, Background and the Rise of the Major Movements. The Hague: Mouton.

1974 Old and New in Southern Shona Independent Churches. Vol. 2, Church Growth: Causative Factors and Recruitment Techniques. The Hague: Mouton.

1987 Quest for Belonging – Introduction to a Study of African Independent Churches. Gweru: Mambo Press.

1988a Old and New in Southern Shona Independent Churches. Vol. 3, Leadership and Fission Dynamics. Gweru: Mambo Press.

1988b Christian Theology of Africa: Study Guide. Pretoria: UNISA Press.

1989 Fambidzano-Ecumenical Movement of Zimbabwean Independent Churches. Gweru: Mambo Press.

1995 Guerilla Snuff. Harare: Baobab Books. (Author’s Pseudonym: Mafuranhunzi Gumbo)

1998 African Earthkeepers. Vol. 1, Interfaith Mission in Earth Care. Pretoria: UNISA Press.

2000 African Earthkeepers. Vol. 2, Environmental Mission and Liberation in Christian Perspective. Pretoria: UNISA Press.

2001 Ed. African Christian Outreach. Vol. 1, African Initiated Churches. Pretoria: South African Missiological Society.

2001 African Earthkeepers. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press.

2003 Co-editor with Charles Van Engen and Hendrik Vroom. Fullness of Life for All: Challenges for Mission in Early 21st Century. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi.

2007 All Things Hang Together – Holistic Theologies at the African Grassroots. Pretoria: UNISA Press.

BOOKS IN PROGRESS

When Mwari Speaks – Revelations and Influence of an African Deity.

Mbuya Juliana – Traditionalist Messenger of God.

ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS

1969 “De Stad Zion in Rhodesië.” In Natuur en Techniek, 37e jaargang, 3, Heerlen.

1971 “Shona Independent Churches and Ancestor Worship.” In African Initiatives in Religion, ed. D. Barrett. Nairobi: East African Publishing House.

1972 “Adaptation and Transformation in the Shona Independent Churches.” In Proceedings of the Rhodesia Christian Conference Bulawayo.

1973 “The Christian Gospel and the Ancestor Cult.” Missionalia 1:2:46-73

1974 “Shona Onafhanklike Kerke in Rhodesië.” Allerwegen, Nederlandse Zendingsraad, Amsterdam, 5de jaargang, 3.

1975 “Shona Independent Churches in a Rural Society.” In Christianity South of the Zambezi, Vol. 1, ed. A.J. Dachs. Gweru: Mambo Press.

1976a “African Religion: Shona Beliefs in Spirits.” In Proceedings of the Rhodesia Christian Conference, Bulawayo.

1976b “Independent Church Leadership South of the Zambezi.” In African Perspectives: Religious Innovation in Modern African Society. Leiden: African Study Centre.

1977 “The Growth and Significance of Shona Independent Churches.” In Christianity South of the Zambezi, Vol. 2, ed. M.F.C. Bourdillon. Gweru: Mambo Press.

1980 “The Missionary Outreach of African Independent Churches.” Missionalia 8: 3:105-120.

1982a “Fission Dynamics in African Independent Churches.” In Denominationalism, Its Sources and Implications: Proceedings of the 6th Symposium of the Institute of Theological Research, ed. W.S. Vorster. Pretoria: UNISA Press.

1982b “Swart Messianisme’ – Verwording of Kontekstualiasasie?” Inaugural Lecture, UNISA Press.

1983a “Black Messianism: Corruption or Contextualization?” Theologia Viatorum 11:1.

1983b “Charismatic Healing in African Independent Churches.” Theologia Evangelica 16:3:27-44.

1983c “Communication and Liberation in African Independent Churches.” Missionalia, 11:2:57-93.

1984a “The Banks of Jordan.” In Infant Baptism – The Arguments for or Against, eds. König, Lederle, and Möller Roodepoort: Cum Books.

1984b “Black Messianism: Corruption or Contextualization?” in Theologia Evangelica 17:1:40-77.

1984c “Life around the Pool in African Independent Churches.” In New Faces in Africa – Essays in Honor of Ben Marais, eds. J. Hofmeyr and W.S. Vorster. Pretoria: UNISA Press.

1984d “Towards a THEOLOGIA AFRICANA: the Contribution of Independent Churches to African Theology.” Missionalia 12:2:64-89.

1985 “Charismatiese genesing in die onafhanklike kerke in Afrika.” In Dit is Ek, die Here wat julle gesond maak – Opstelle oor goddelike genesing, eds. Henry Lederle and Charles Theron, Pretoria.

1985b “African Christian Independency.” Co-authors Chirenje, J Mutero, Dillon-Malone and J.D.Gort. Mission Studies 2:1:76-81.

1987 “Fambidzano – Ekumeniese Beweging van die Shona Onafhanklike Kerke in Zimbabwe.” Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae.

1989 “The Encounter between Christianity and Traditional African Culture: Accommodation or Transformation?” Theologia Evangelica 22:3:36-51.

1990 “Exorcism as a Means of Combating Wizardry: Liberation or Enslavement?” Missionalia 18:1:220-247.

1990b “Fambidzano: een rondreizende theologie-opleiding.” In Wereld en Zending: Oecumenish tijdschrift voor missiologie en missionaire praktijk, 19e jaargang, 3.

1990c “Swart voete: dans van ontmoeting en bevryding.” In J. Hofmeyr, J.N.J. Kritzinger and W. Saayman: Wit Afrikane? in gesprek met Nico Smith, Taurus.

1991a “African Christian Theology and the Challenge of Earthkeeping (I).” Neue Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft 47:2: 129-142.

1991b “African Christian Theology and the Challenge of Earthkeeping (II).” Neue Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft 47:3: 225-246.

1991c “The Encounter between Christianity and Traditional African Culture: Accommodation or Transformation?” in Kultuursverskeidenheid in Afrika ed. J. Snyman. Potchefstroom.

1991d “The Liberation of Creation: African Traditional Religious and Independent Church Perspectives.” Missionalia, 19:2: 99-121

1991e “Towards a Sacramental Theology of the Environment in African Independent Churches.” Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft und Religionwissenschaft [vol]:37-65.

1991f “Fambidzano: ekumenies-teologiese opleiding onder die Shona onafhanklike kerke in Zimbabwe.” Theologia Evangelica 24:[no.]:10-24.

1992a “African Independent Church Pneumatology and the Salvation of All Creation.” Theologia Evangelica

1992b “The African Indigenous Model of Mission.” In Missiology: Study Guide, ed. Willem Saayman, 192-243. Pretoria: UNISA Press.

1993a “African Independent Church Pneumatology and the Salvation of All Creation.” International Review of Mission 82:326:143-166.

1993b “African Independent Churches Face the Challenge of Environmental Ethics.” Missionalia 21:3: 311-332.

1993c “Healing the Earth: Traditional and Christian Initiatives in Southern Africa.” Journal for the Study of Religion 6:1.

1993d “Healing the Earth: Traditional and Christian Initiatives in Southern Africa.” In Perspectives in Theology and Mission from South Africa: Signs of the Times, ed. Daryl M. Balia. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.

1994 “African Independent Churches Face the Challenge of Environmental Ethics.” In Ecotheology: Voices from South and North, Orbis Books, ed. D. Hallman. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press; Geneva, Switzerland: WCC Publication.

1995a “Contextualizing Environmental Theology at UNISA.” Religion and Theology 2:1.

1995b “Mwari the liberator – Oracular Intervention and Zimbabwe’s Quest for the ‘Lost Lands.’” Missionalia 23:2:216-244.

1996a “African Independent Churches Face the Challenge of Environmental Ethics.” In This Sacred Earth-Religion, Nature, Environment, ed. R.S. Gottlieb. New York and London: Routledge.

1996b “Earthkeeping in Missiological Perspective: An African Challenge.” Mission Studies 13: 25-26:130-188.

1996c “Environmental Reform – A New Venture of Zimbabwe’s Traditional Custodians of the Land.” Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law. Birmingham, U.K.

1998 “African Independent Churches.” In Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly.

1999 “African Traditional Religions and Earthkeeping.” African Studies Center Working Papers , Boston University.

2000a “Church and Eco-justice at the African Grassroots.” In Christianity and Ecology ed. M.E. Tucker, R. Ruether, and D. Hessel. Religions of the World and Ecology Series. Cambridge: Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions.

2000b “Earthkeeping in Missiological Perspective: An African Challenge” in African Studies Center Working Papers, Boston University.

2001 “AIC Designs for a relevant African theology of missions,” African Initiatives in Christian Mission, ed. M. Daneel

2001 “AICs in Southern Africa: Protest Movements or Missionary Churches?” Working Paper, Currents in World Christianity Project, Cambridge University, U.K.

2003 “Liberative Ecumenism at the African Grassroots.” In Fullness of Life for All, eds. I Daneel, C Van Engen, H Vroom. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

2004a. “The Association of African Earthkeeping Churches.” In Krech III, S., Merchant, C., and
McNeill, J., (eds). Encyclopedia of World Environmental History. New York: Berkshire/Routledge.

2004b “African Earthkeeping Churches,” in Bron Taylor, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature.
Continuum International.

2004c “AICs in Southern Africa: Protest Movements or Missionary Churches?” in Donald Lewis, ed., Christianity Reborn: The Global Expansion of Evangelicalism in the Twentieth Century. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.

2006 “African Initiated Churches as Vehicles of Earth-care in Africa” in R.S. Gottleib, ed., Oxford
Handbook on Religion and Ecology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2007 with D.L. Robert, “Worship among Apostles and Zionists in Southern Africa,” in C. Farhadian, ed., Christian Worship Worldwide: Expanding Horizons, Deepening Practices. Grand Rapids:
Eerdmans.

2007 “Holistic African Theology: Enacted in Rural Zimbabwe,” Center for Global Christianity and Mission News, September-October, 2007. B.U.

2008 “Coping with Wizardry in Zimbabwe in African Initiated Churches (AICs)”, in Nelly van Doorn Harder and Laurens Minnema, eds., Coping with Evil in Religion and Culture (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2008):51-70.