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Placide Frans Tempels (1906–1977) was a Belgian missionary who became famous for his book Bantu Philosophy.


Tempels was born in Berlaar, Belgium, on 18 February 1906. Born Frans Tempels, he took the name "Placide" on his entry into a Franciscan seminary in 1924. After his ordination to the presthood in 1930 he taught for a short time in Belgium before being posted to the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1933. He stayed there for twenty-nine years, broken by only two short stays back in Belgium. In April 1962 he returned to live in a Franciscan monastery in Berlaar, where he died on 9 October 1977.

Bantu Philosophy

Though neither African nor a philosopher, Tempels had a huge influence on African philosophy through the publication in 1945 of his book La philosophie bantoue (published in English translation in 1959) as Bantu Philosophy).

External links

  • Placide Tempels — Website in French (with option of English navigation); includes the full text of Bantu Philosophy, plus on-line critical readings



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