African Clergy, Bishop Lucas and the Christianizing of Local Initiation Rites: Revisiting 'The Masasi Case'

African Clergy, Bishop Lucas and the Christianizing of Local Initiation Rites: Revisiting 'The... © 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 amstonereby@messiah.edu 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, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Religion in Africa Brill

African Clergy, Bishop Lucas and the Christianizing of Local Initiation Rites: Revisiting 'The Masasi Case'

Journal of Religion in Africa, Volume 38 (2): 171 – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2008 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0022-4200
eISSN
1570-0666
D.O.I.
10.1163/157006608X289675
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© 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 amstonereby@messiah.edu 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

Journal of Religion in AfricaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2008

Keywords: MISSIONS; COLONIAL; INITIATION; ADAPTATION; LUCAS

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