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Title: Understanding genocide : the experience of Anglicans in Rwanda, c.1921-2008
Author: Godfrey, N. C. J.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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This dissertation aims to provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between Christianity and genocide in Rwanda, looking in particular at the ways in which Anglican adherents narrate their experience of 1994. Chapter one explores the novel means of narrating one’s life which the Rwanda Mission introduced into Rwanda, and the practice of publicly giving one’s conversion testimony which was a defining characteristic of the East African Revival. Chapters two, three and four illuminate the past against which present-day Anglican accounts of 1994 are told. Chapter two argues that Anglican missionaries, like their Catholic counterparts and Belgian administrators, were obsessed with ethic categories and favoured the Tutsi because of their common European thinking concerning race. Chapter three examines post-colonial Rwanda, and shows that close cooperation between church and state followed when the Anglican predilection for the Tutsi wavered in the context of a Hutu-dominated republic. Against the background of civil war from 1990, chapter four shows that though a more inclusive territorial definition of Rwandan identity existed, ethnic identity gained a greater saliency as extremist rhetoric portrayed the RPF and Tutsis living in Rwanda as a threat to the country. Chapter five considers how perpetrators have reinterpreted their actions in the post-genocide context. Chapter six reveals how rescuers’ present-day explanations obscure their motivations for protecting people in 1994. Chapter seven discusses how through their narratives of divine intervention survivors expand their conversion testimonies, position themselves in the community and make claims on society. The study examines the variety of roles Anglicans played during the genocide, and the manner in which Christian thought was so conceived as to support genocidal violence, protect those at risk, and encourage survivors, but also to show how converts interpret the past to position themselves in the present.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available