Writing the History of African Christianity: Reflections of an Editor

Writing the History of African Christianity: Reflections of an Editor WRITING THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN CHRISTIANITY: REFLECTIONS OF AN EDITOR 1 by DAVID MAXWELL (University of Keele) ABSTRACT This article reviews the literature on African Christian Studies from the 1990s onwards and suggests new directions for research. The fi eld has drawn great impe- tus from a series of historical/anthropological debates over conversion and the rel- ative signi fi cance of missionary imperial hegemony and African agency. But there is a great need for work on twentieth-century missionaries and their contribution to colonial science. And there are too few studies of African leaders within mis- sion churches, particularly in the era of decolonisation. Research on Pentecostalism has fl ourished but needs to be historicised. New areas for research are: African Christian diaspora and its impact on host communities; the impact of develop- ment and human rights agendas on the church; the e ff ects of the AIDS pandemic. As the African Church becomes a more prominent part of World Christianity, scholars need to assess how African moral sensibilities are recasting the theology and politics of the historic mission churches. To mark Adrian Hastings’s retirement as editor in 1999, the Journal of Religion in Africa (30.1, 2000) published his http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Religion in Africa Brill

Writing the History of African Christianity: Reflections of an Editor

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Publisher
BRILL
Copyright
© 2006 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0022-4200
eISSN
1570-0666
D.O.I.
10.1163/157006606778941977
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

WRITING THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN CHRISTIANITY: REFLECTIONS OF AN EDITOR 1 by DAVID MAXWELL (University of Keele) ABSTRACT This article reviews the literature on African Christian Studies from the 1990s onwards and suggests new directions for research. The fi eld has drawn great impe- tus from a series of historical/anthropological debates over conversion and the rel- ative signi fi cance of missionary imperial hegemony and African agency. But there is a great need for work on twentieth-century missionaries and their contribution to colonial science. And there are too few studies of African leaders within mis- sion churches, particularly in the era of decolonisation. Research on Pentecostalism has fl ourished but needs to be historicised. New areas for research are: African Christian diaspora and its impact on host communities; the impact of develop- ment and human rights agendas on the church; the e ff ects of the AIDS pandemic. As the African Church becomes a more prominent part of World Christianity, scholars need to assess how African moral sensibilities are recasting the theology and politics of the historic mission churches. To mark Adrian Hastings’s retirement as editor in 1999, the Journal of Religion in Africa (30.1, 2000) published his

Journal

Journal of Religion in AfricaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2006

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