Bruce Bennett

Bruce Bennett
University of Botswana | UB · Department of History

MA PhD

About

24
Publications
4,788
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28
Citations
Introduction
My current work is mainly in two areas: philosophy of history, and Botswana history. In philosophy of history I am particularly interested in causation and in the relevance of the philosophy of science. In Botswana history I have been working recently on precolonial society.
Additional affiliations
March 1999 - present
University of Botswana
Position
  • Senior Lecturer
January 1998 - February 1999
University of Malawi
Position
  • Senior Lecturer
September 1993 - December 1997
University of Botswana
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
October 1987 - July 1992
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • History
January 1981 - November 1986
University of Canterbury
Field of study
  • History

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
Abstract: Botswana is notable for its adherence to flogging and the death penalty in its criminal justice system. These are typically claimed to be part of immemorial tradition, with Botswana's customary courts being understood as simply a modernized form of ancient practice. However, evidence from early written sources suggests that there was a mu...
Article
Full-text available
It has usually been held that in traditional Tswana society women could not be dikgosi (chiefs) in their own right, though they could be regents. However, the historical record indicates that although it was not common, women could in some circumstances be dikgosi. Indeed, one of the traditional morafe founders (Mohurutshe/Lehurutshe) is said to ha...
Article
The Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) is a theory in physics which proposes that, rather than quantum-level events being resolved randomly as according to the Copenhagen Interpretation, the universe constantly divides into different versions or worlds. All physically possible worlds occur, though some outcomes are more likely than others, and theref...
Article
Full-text available
Precolonial Southern African farming societies used lunisolar calendars. The details have largely been lost since these calendars were abandoned in favour of the Gregorian calendar. The article seeks to investigate possible reconstructions of the Setswana calendar, especially in terms of intercalation. It is suggested that month-names may be analys...
Article
Full-text available
The discipline of history is more open than most to amateurs. This paper summarizes the contested definitions of what constitutes “professional” or “real” history, and then examines two amateur historians in Botswana, Albert G. T. K. Malikongwa and Gasebalwe Seretse. Both are engagé but both are honest and meticulous, and their work has considerabl...
Article
Full-text available
In The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb considers the importance in human affairs of "Black Swan" events of low probability but high impact. In the process he argues, in a confrontational manner, that historians' causal narratives are mainly invalid on a number of grounds but especially because the unpredictability of Black Swan (or other) events...
Article
DaviesDouglas J. and GuestMatthew. Bishops, Wives and Children: Spiritual Capital across the Generations. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2007. Pp. 207. $99.95 (cloth). - Volume 47 Issue 4 - Bruce S. Bennett
Article
Full-text available
In 1926 the regent of the Bangwato, Tshekedi Khama, was wounded in an attack by the brothers Simon and Obeditse Ratshosa. In retaliation he ordered their houses burnt down, and they were subsequently imprisoned. The Ratshosas brought a civil action against Tshekedi for the loss of their property, and won in the highest Bechuanaland Protectorate cou...
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This article is based on an exhaustive review of the criminal cases in a single colonial court in the Bechuanaland Protectorate in 1908. The laws and their implementation reflect in many cases the imposition of the new colonial order, although their impact was still limited for many Africans. Despite the colonialist values of the system, within its...
Chapter
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It is well known that Bessie Head, Botswana's most well-known author, had a long-standing interest in religion. Critical studies of her work do not always seem to give this the prominence one might expect. This chapter, deriving from a 2007 conference, argues for the complexity and multiple meanings of the religious concepts.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter, originally derived from a paper at a conference in Gaborone about minorities in Botswana, presents general historical background to clarify discussion of the issues.
Chapter
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"Modimo", in modern Setswana, means God, either in the Christian or the African Traditional Religion concept. There is however debate about the pre-Christian meaning of the word. This is part of the wider question of pre-Christian concepts of God and the supernatural. This chapter, deriving from a conference paper presented at a BOLESWA (Botswana-L...
Article
English canon law. Essays in honour of Bishop Eric Kemp. Edited by Norman Doe, Mark Hill and Robert Ombres. Pp. xvii+153 incl. frontispiece. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998. £30. 0 7083 1478 3 - - Volume 51 Issue 2 - Bruce S. Bennett
Article
The medieval canon law of affinity as an impediment to marriage combined a large range of prohibited degrees with a wide power of dispensation. After the Reformation, however, English law, in line with mainstream Protestant opinion, prohibited marriages within the degrees mentioned in Leviticus, with no provision for dispensation. The prohibited de...
Chapter
Full-text available
In general, Christianity arrived in Sub-Saharan Africa from Europe. However, discussions of this often do not consider the implications of the fact that Christianity was not originally a European religion, and had arrived in Europe itself by a missionary process. This paper considers theological aspects of the early Christianization of Europe, and...
Article
Full-text available
This is a study of two tremendous voices in conflict. One, that of John Mackenzie, was the voice of missionary Christianity and western culture; the other, that of King Sekgoma II of the Bangwato, the voice of African traditional belief and civilization. Mackenzie, while residing in the Bangwato capital in the 1860s, became involved in a struggle b...
Article
En 1857, l'Angleterre modifie sa loi sur le mariage et le divorce. Ce dernier suit une procedure judiciaire. Les affaires matrimoniales sont jugees dans une cour speciale qui accorde le divorce pour adultere de la femme ou pour adultere aggrave de la part de l'homme. L'Eglise d'Angleterre affiche une position ambigue sur la question. Des representa...

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