"Mysterious the sway of the masters of the night! Of what unsubjugated region of myself had they taken possession? Did they occupy the realm where dreams are born and bred? Had they seized the spot where the most contrary desires mingle - the one to kill and the one to love, the one to make suffer and the one to adore, the phantasms born of water and fire, blood and death, in a perpetual maelstrom like the one I had seen with my own eyes in the course of the night seances at the hands of the 'ngangas'? There must be a hidden relationship, I thought, a secret pact, between the 'ngangas' and myself. Nothing else could have explained the fascination I felt when I was among them. Since childhood I had always wanted to reach other cultural worlds - to get as far away as I could from my own roots. And now that I had done so, I had the feeling of having arrived in a familiar land."
From the book
Endorsements & Reviews-
"In a most unusual and intensely personal account, a missionary shares his faith journey into an African healing ritual.
"Going well beyond the superficial phenomena studied by anthropologists and sociologists, this journey uncovers human and theological dimensions of the African soul that churchpersons must take very seriously if they are to understand Africans and, indeed, themselves.
"No work has yet appeared from Africa that more concretely challenges the goals and methods of inculturation as hitherto practiced."
Simon Smith, S.J., Jesuit Refugee Service
Eric de Rosny Robert R. Barr, S.J.
Eric de Rosny is a French missionary priest who has spent many years in West Africa.