Old and New in Shona Religion is a multimedia archive of the photography of Dr. Marthinus L. Daneel, cataloguing and annotating his photographs from the 1960s to the 1990s. Marthinus “Inus” Daneel was born in Zimbabwe. He moved into communal lands in Masvingo Province in 1965 and has spent over 50 years working among Shona indigenous churches as a scholar, organizer of theological training programs, ecumenist, and environmentalist. Adopted by Bishop Samuel Mutendi (founder of the Zion Christian Church in Zimbabwe), and made a bishop in the Ndaza Zionist Church, Daneel has a unique insider’s perspective on African Initiated Churches (AICs) and Shona traditional religion. From 1985 to 2000, the religion-based tree-planting movement he led was the largest such grassroots movement in southern Africa. Daneel is emeritus professor of missiology in the University of South Africa, and the Boston University School of Theology.
The site is an archive of the photos he took along the way. You can explore the photographs by browsing our Collections or by Subject. Each album and photo includes descriptions and are tagged with subjects. The site also includes other multimedia features such as audio slides, commentaries, films, and online resources.
This introductory video is designed as a brief overview of M. L. Daneel’s work as a photographer, as well as a glance at the contents of the Old and New in Shona Religion photo archive.