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Title: Political theologies in late colonial Buganda
Author: Earle, Jonathon Lynn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 9581
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis is an intellectual history of political debate in colonial Buganda. It is a history of how competing actors engaged differently in polemical space informed by conflicting histories, varying religious allegiances and dissimilar texts. Methodologically, biography is used to explore three interdependent stories. First, it is employed to explore local variance within Buganda’s shifting discursive landscape throughout the longue durée. Second, it is used to investigate the ways that disparate actors and their respective communities used sacred text, theology and religious experience differently to reshape local discourse and to re-imagine Buganda on the eve of independence. Finally, by incorporating recent developments in the field of global intellectual history, biography is used to reconceptualise Buganda’s late colonial past globally. Due to its immense source base, Buganda provides an excellent case study for writing intellectual biography. From the late nineteenth century, Buganda’s increasingly literate population generated an extensive corpus of clan and kingdom histories, political treatises, religious writings and personal memoirs. As Buganda’s monarchy was renegotiated throughout decolonisation, her activists—working from different angles—engaged in heated debate and protest. This debate resulted in massive literary output preserved in the Luganda press, party pamphlets and personal correspondence. Written evidence is taken from private papers, institutional archives and the local and international press. This project is shaped further by oral ethnography. By suggesting that Buganda’s past is well interpreted polemically, the result of this study is a more comprehensive understanding of the life of the mind than has been offered thus far by historians of Uganda. More broadly, by exploring the theological and political within the same analytic framework, this thesis contributes to our understanding of political theology in the history of Africa. Finally, by using biography to rethink Uganda’s past globally, this project furthers the use of global intellectual history in the history of modern Africa.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral