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Fabien Eboussi Boulaga 1974
Eboussi (1974)

Fabien Eboussi Boulaga (17 January 1934 – 13 October 2018) was a Cameroonian philosopher.


Born in 1934 in Bafia, Eboussi Boulaga earned his high school diploma from the Akono Minor Seminary (South Cameroon), before joining the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1955. He was ordained as a priest in 1969, and became an official member of the Society of Jesus in 1973. He became known as a polemical figure, for example in his book Bantou problématique (1968), and in his theological stance, notably in La démission (1974), which caused an outcry in ecclesiastical circles; this latter publication called for the organised departure of missionaries. Three years later, he published La Crise du Muntu, which tackled questions of authenticity and tradition, a particularly fashionable topic in the 1970s. In 1980, he decided to leave the Jesuits and asked to return to secular life. Boulaga's departure from sacerdotal and religious life was the product of a carefully matured decision; he claimed to have "lost his faith" since 1969. A year later, he published Christianisme sans fétiche, which questions the dogmatic and metaphysical assumptions of Catholicism in a colonial context. Boulaga has a Bachelors in Theology from the University of Lyon, and a Doctor of Philosophy and of Letters, and was a teacher in Abidjan, then professor at the University of Yaoundé.

In the 1980s, Boulaga became active in associations for the defence of human rights. He published works, first on theology, and then on politics. From 1994 to his death, he was a professor at the Catholic University of Central Africa.

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