Dr. Melchior Mbonimpa, full professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Sudbury, has published extensively on the recent history and politics in Africa, particularly of his region of origin, the African Great Lakes.
According to Dr. Mbonimpa, Religious Studies “is the study of the spiritual adventure of mankind in its various manifestations (religions) from its origins to present day.” He wants students to understand that “Religious Studies is extremely useful in understanding questions, challenges and hopes of our common humanity, of our ancestors, and of our contemporaries. Religious Studies makes it possible to understand that if, between religions, there are misunderstandings or even wars, there are still possibilities for peaceful relations based on tolerance.”
Professor Mbonimpa has published seven essays, as well as a significant number of chapters in books and articles in refereed journals. In the area of fiction, he also published six novels in which he introduced the African imaginary into Franco-Ontarian and French-Canadian literature. His two most recent books are: “L’Afrique, terre de jihad” (essay, November 2016) - a work that seeks to understand jihad from its African front, and which uses distant history to grasp the nature of the jihadist ideology, characterized notably by its desire to return to the purity of the origins of Islam; And “Diangombé, l’Immortel” (novel, November 2014), for which he won the “Littérature éclairée du Nord” Award in 2015. Based on historical facts, this novel tells the story of Diangombé, a free and rebellious spirit who founded the Secret Cult of the Immortals and thus upset the religious, political and social traditions of the African Great Lakes forever.
Currently, Dr. Mbonimpa is doing research to better understand the situation of Eastern Christians (Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon), victims of armed Islamists and other belligerents in all the wars that are raging in that part of the world. According to professor Mbonimpa “these Christian communities, enclaved in the land of Islam, deserve to be better known not only as the ultimate spiritual antagonists of Christians everywhere, but also as threatened minorities of extinction. Beyond religious issues, so are human rights and the heritage of mankind.”
If there are any 4th year students who are interested in doing research with Professor Mbonimpa, please can contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 705-673-5661, ext. 150.