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经济学人:伦敦巫术 激情犯罪

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Books and Arts;Book review;Black magic in London;

文艺;书评;伦敦巫术;

Crimes of passion;The Boy in the River. By Richard Hoskins.

激情犯罪;《河里的男孩》,理查德·霍斯金斯著。

In the late 1980s Richard Hoskins, young and newly married, spent six years as a missionary in Bolobo, upriver from the Congolese capital, Kinshasa. Now back in Britain and something of an Africa specialist, he advises the authorities on tribal and ritual crimes. In his new book, “The Boy in the River”, Mr Hoskins argues that these atrocities are a perversion of African belief systems and highly unusual.

在二十世纪八十年代早期,年轻且新婚不久的理查德·霍斯金斯,在博洛博(地名)做了六年的传教士,该地位于刚果首都,金沙萨市的上游。现今已返回英国,有几分非洲专家味道的他,在部落和宗教式犯罪问题上给当局提出相关建议。在他的新书《河里的男孩》中,霍斯金斯先生说这些暴行是对非洲信仰的一种曲解,是极不寻常的。

His first case, in 2002, involved the mutilated torso of a boy they named Adam, found in the River Thames. The police thought it was a muti killing, a South African practice that involves removing organs for use in tribal medicines. Mr Hoskins recognised that Adam was in fact a human sacrifice (a term the police initially recoiled at) by a Nigerian tribe. His evidence was the precise slit in the victim’s neck and a body drained of blood—a divine tribute that is condemned as juju, or black magic, in West Africa. The boy’s killer has not yet been convicted, but the investigation did uncover a trafficking ring that smuggled African children to Britain for such ritualistic abuses.

在2002年,他的第一个案例:在泰晤士河中发现的一名为亚当(Adam)的男孩的残缺躯体。警方认为这是起巫术杀人案(见注释),这是一种南非部落习俗,取出人体器官以作药用。霍斯金斯先生辨认出亚当实际上是一个尼日利亚部族的活人祭品(一个警方最初所不愿提及的术语)。他给出的证据是受害人脖子上精确的切口和鲜血流尽的躯体—一种被谴责为juju(某些西非部族所用的物神)的“神圣”礼物,或者可称为西非的巫术。杀死男孩的凶手仍未被定罪,但通过此次调查,警方却发现了一个偷运非洲儿童,卖到英国作为仪式献祭的走私集团。

Mr Hoskins and his wife suffered their own tragedy in Congo; one of their twins was stillborn, the other died before she was two. He admits his work presents emotional challenges. But he is not overly sentimental. He writes about criminology, how the police deal with the media and the perverted beliefs behind the crimes. Much of the book is about kindoki. Mr Hoskins understands this as a benign affliction treated with a potion of plant extracts from a nganga, a traditional healer. But there is a growing trend of pastors in new revivalist Christian churches, both in Africa and Britain, preaching a different, malevolent kind of kindoki. They convince parents that their children are possessed by demons which must be exorcised through isolation, fasting and beatings. Gullible and desperate believers, who consider their pastors to be “little Gods”, will pay good money for them to cure this malady.

在刚果,霍斯金斯夫妇自己也惨遭了不幸;双胞胎中的一个是死胎,而另一个在两岁前死亡。他承认在他的作品中带给了读者情感上的挑战。但他并没有过度感伤。他写到犯罪学,警察怎样与媒体周旋,怎样应对罪行背后扭曲的信仰。书的大部分是关于kindoki (非洲巫术手册)。霍斯金斯先生把这认为是一种较为仁慈的折磨,用从 nganga(刚果哺果苏木)中提取的植物药剂治疗,这是一种传统治疗物。但在非洲及英国,复兴基督教会的牧师有增加的趋势,布道一种不同的、恶毒的kindoki。他们使得父母们相信自己的孩子被魔鬼蛊惑,必须通过隔离、禁食和鞭打才能除怪。这些将他们的牧师当做“小神”的绝望而易受骗的信徒们,就会付出很多的钱给他们以治愈这种疾病。

The most harrowing case is that of Kristy Bamu. Attempting to exorcise the boy of kindoki, his sister and her boyfriend tortured him to death over five days in December 2010 using an array of weapons, including light bulbs, floor tiles, knives and pliers. Mr Hoskins testified in court that Africans do not practise exorcism like this.

最悲惨的事例是一个叫克里斯蒂 巴姆的男子。为了驱除kindoki 的鬼怪,在2010年十二月,他在被妹妹及妹妹的男朋友使用大量武器,包括电灯泡,地板瓷砖,刀子及拳脚相加折磨五天后死去。霍斯金斯先生在法庭上证明非洲人并不用这样的方式除怪。

It is heartening to read that the British authorities go to great lengths to solve these crimes, but infuriating to learn about the flaws in the system. An important witness to the Adam crime, for example, was deported before she could be properly questioned. An eye-opening book that makes a strong case for cultural understanding.

所以当知道英国当局不遗余力要解决这些犯罪时,是很振奋人心的,但在知道系统中的不足时又难免让人感到愤怒。例如,亚当一案中的一个重要证人在被正当地审问钱就被驱逐出境。所以这是一本为文化理解提供了有力事实证据的书。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
traditional [trə'diʃənəl]

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adj. 传统的

 
witness ['witnis]

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n. 目击者,证人
vt. 目击,见证,出席,

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malevolent [mə'levələnt]

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adj. 有恶意的,恶毒的

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ritual ['ritjuəl]

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n. 仪式,典礼,宗教仪式,固定程序
adj.

 
exorcise ['eksɔ:saiz]

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vt. 除怪,驱邪

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precise [pri'sais]

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adj. 精确的,准确的,严格的,恰好的

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initially [i'niʃəli]

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adv. 最初,开头

 
array [ə'rei]

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n. 数组,(陈)排列,大批,一系列
vt.

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tribute ['tribju:t]

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n. 贡品,颂词,称赞,(表示敬意的)礼物

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victim ['viktim]

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n. 受害者,牺牲

 


关键字: 伦敦 巫术 经济学人

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