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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 We also add a lesser-known and unpublished French translation of the Flemish original of Bantu Philosophy.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.