Jamaa (Swahili, ‘family’). A large charismatic movement among African Roman Catholics in Zaire. It was founded in the early 1950s among urban workers attached to the copper mines in the Katanga area, by a Belgian Franciscan missionary, Placide Tempels. It expressed the ideas in his influential book Bantu Philosophy (1945), which interpreted RC teaching in terms of African culture. After a sympathetic beginning, relations with the RC hierarchy deteriorated, Tempels was withdrawn to Belgium in 1962, members were virtually excommunicated from about 1970. In spite of this Jamaa has spread widely into Kasai and beyond, and produced deviant secessions known as Katete.
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