The purpose of this website is to make available a number of documents
related to the life and work of Placide Tempels, author of the widely
discussed Bantu Philosophy. We apologize to our English-speaking
visitors for the fact that many texts are in French. Unless indicated
otherwise, the documents were prepared by Prof.
Dr. A.J. Smet (Passionist Fathers), Professor Emeritus in the Facultés
Catholiques de Kinshasa and a Tempels specialist.
In addition to a detailed biography of Tempels,
two extensive bibliographies are presented: an exhaustive bibliography
of Tempels' own publications, and secondly a bibliography of publications
on Tempels and on the book Bantu Philosophy.
In the section Full Texts, we first of all
offer several editions of Bantu Philosophy. Included are the
edition of 1945, published by Lovania at Elisabethville, the edition that
appeared in the "Kongo-Overzee Library" with De Sikkel in 1946,
and the English translation (second edition) of 1959. We also add a lesser-known
and unpublished French translation of the Flemish original of Bantu
Philosophy. This translation was prepared by Tempels's friend E.
Possoz; it was the first translation ever made but its publication
was not deemed appropriate in the 1940s. Finally, there is a comparative
edition, by A.J. Smet, of the first manuscripts and the various edited
versions of Bantu Philosophy. This critical edition also adds
and discusses the unedited 8th chapter of Bantu Philosophy.
Still in the same section, we offer a number of lesser-known papers by
Tempels, some of which have never been published before. First of all,
twelve papers related to African
philosophy are presented. These twelve papers were written by Tempels
in the margin of, and while preparing, his magnum opus Bantu Philosophy.
Also, you can consult six papers in which Tempels deals with ethnographic
issues in the Belgian Congo.
In Other, we offer full-text
papers written on Tempels and Bantu Philosophy by other people,
most of whom are closely related to the history of the Centre Æquatoria.
Some of these texts are also accompanied by a reaction from Tempels.