September 10, 2008

Book Notice: The Kanungu Cult-Saga

S. Kabazzi-Kisirinya, Nkurunziza R.K. Deusdedit, and Banura Gerard, eds., The Kanungu Cult-Saga: Suicide, Murder or Salvation? (Kisubi, Uganda: Marianum Press, 2000), 112 pp.

The Kanungu Cult-SagaThe Kanungu Massacre has been permanently etched into the history and culture of Uganda since it tragically took place eight years ago. The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God was a breakaway cult from the Roman Catholic Church which ultimately ended the lives of hundreds of men, women, and children. Why did it happen? This obvious but difficult to answer question has been ringing in the minds of many people through the years. To come to a better understanding of this tragic movement, a number of scholars came together at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda to present their research and analysis. Their resulting papers have been collected and combined into this essential resource.

From the back cover:
The Kanungu mystery fire in which hundreds of followers of the Movement for the Restoration of the ten commandments perished is and will remain a dark chapter in the history of Uganda. As many questions are being raised, researchers from Makerere University have attempted to provide clues to possible answers. Crucial among them are the following: Firstly, was it a case of mass suicide or murder?

Secondly, what role did religion and religious belief play in the tragedy? Finally, what are the wider implications for Uganda and indeed the whole society at large? it is hoped that insights in these questions will inspire other researchers to elucidate further the mystery of Kanungu.

Table of Contents:
S. Kabazzi-Kisirinya, Foreword, 7
Deusdedit R.K. Nkurunziza, Introduction, 9
Gerard Banura, Chris Tuhirirwe, and Joseph Begumanya, Kanungu Research Team's Report, 12
Gerard Banura, A Critical Evaluation of the Kanungu Tragedy, 47
A.B.J. Byaruhanga-Akiiki, Religion, Cults, and Sects: Towards a Comprehensive Understanding of Terms, 56
Paddy Musana, New Religious Movements in Uganda: Characteristics and Roots, 67
Sylvia Tamale, Cults and Sects in Uganda: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 80
Sources, 87
Appendices, 90
Publisher contact:
Marianum Press