This book provides a comprehensive analysis of Animism as a religion and a culture of the Nilotic peoples of the Upper River Nile in modern 'Southern Sudan'. It gives an account of how the Animistic ritual performances of the divine chief-priests are strategies in conflict management and resolution. For centuries, the Nilotic peoples have been resisting changes to new religious identities and conservatively remained Animists. Their current interactions with the external world, however, have transformed their religious identities.
At present, the Nilotics are Animist-Christians or Animist-Muslims. This does not mean that the converted Nilotics relinquish Animism and become completely assimilated to the new religious prophetic dogmas, instead, they develop compatible religious practices of Animism, Christianity and Islam. New Islamic fundamentalism in Sudan which is sweeping Africa into Islamic religious orthodoxy, where Sharia (Islamic law) is the law of the land, rejects this compatibility and categorises the Nilotics as 'heathens' and 'apostates'. Such characterisation engenders opposing religious categories, with one side urging Sharia and the other for what this study calls "gradable" culture.
Kuel Jok is a researcher at the Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki. In Sudan, Jok obtained a degree in English Linguistics and Literature, and diplomas in Philosophy and Translation. He also studied International Law in Egypt. In Europe, Jok acquired an MA in Sociology from the University of Joensuu, Finland and a PhD in the same field from the University of Helsinki, Finland.