oa Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Conflicting paths towards manhood in Timothy Wangusa's 'Upon this Mountain'

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-9507



In this novel of 1989, Ugandan literary scholar Timothy Wangusa explores the cultural incompatibility of missionary Christianity as manifested in Anglican endeavours in eastern Uganda and certain folkways of the Gisu people of that region. The principal character is a young convert who strives for intellectual and spiritual maturity at a Christian boarding school while maintaining close ties to his village near Mount Eigon, where circumcision is upheld as an indispensable rite de passage to manhood. Wangusa explores dimensions of this protagonist's dilemma and criticises the moral hypocrisy and cultural myopia of the Anglican missionaries in question. ""Upon this mountain"" is primarily a reconstruction of religio-cultural conflicts and an account of disaffection with both mandatory male circumcision and missionary Christianity.

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