© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/157006608X289675 Journal of Religion in Africa 38 (2008) 171-208 www.brill.nl/jra African Clergy, Bishop Lucas and the Christianizing of Local Initiation Rites: Revisiting ‘Th e Masasi Case’ 1 Anne Marie Stoner-Eby Department of History, Messiah College, One College Ave, Box 3051, Grantham, PA 17027, USA firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract One of the most famous instances of missionary ‘adaptation’ was the Christianizing of initiation rites in the Anglican Diocese of Masasi in what is now southeastern Tanzania. Th is was long assumed to be the work of Bishop Vincent Lucas, who from the 1920s became widely known in mission, colonial and anthropological circles for his advocacy of missions that sought ‘not to destroy, but to fulﬁll’ African culture. Terence Ranger in his groundbreaking 1972 article on Lucas and Masasi was the ﬁrst to point out the crucial role of the African clergy. In reexamining the creation of Christian initiation in Masasi, this article reveals that Lucas’s promotion of Chris- tianized initiation was actually based on the vision and eﬀorts of the African clergy, an indication that mission Christianity in the colonial period cannot be assumed to reﬂect European initiative and African compliance. Keywords Lucas, adaptation,
Journal of Religion in Africa – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: MISSIONS; COLONIAL; INITIATION; ADAPTATION; LUCAS
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