Prophet Harris, The 'Black Elijah' of West Africa

Abridged by Jocelyn Murray

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Prophet Harris, The “Black Elijah” of West Africa offers the only comprehensive study of the thought of William Wade Harris, the Glebo (Liberia) loyalist whose prophetic mission from 1910-29 moved tens of thousands of West Africans out of traditional religion into the stream of Christianity and modernization, particularly in the Ivory Coast.
It reviews that unparalleled breakthrough, thoroughly examines traditional African, Western missionary and colonial influences which helped determine religious innovation and shape his vocation as prophet of Christ's reign of peace and prosperity. Heretofore unused sources, enriched by documents and photos, expose biblical eschatological and messianic dynamics which tied Harris' words, symbols and charisma together in a holistic African Christianity. The source of long-standing contentions between Ivoirian Harrists, Methodists and Catholics is uncovered in the well-intentioned but changing colonial and missionary responses to his impact.

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David A. Shank, Ph.D. (1981) in Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen (Scotland) retired (1989) from the Group for Religious and Biblical Studies with its Documentation and Resource Center in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. As participant-observer, researcher, and participant with African-Initiated Churches in West Africa he has published numerous articles and promoted All-Africa Conferences with publications fostering ecclesial partnership and bridge-building. (Ministry in Partnership with AICs, 1991).
"Technically the production of the book is to be praised for the ample room and the clarity of the print, including the footnotes that are placed properly at the foot of the page. [The author] has truly been resourceful and amazing to find so much additional and detailed data hitherto unknown. This is a very satisfying book for all students of modern prophetic movements." - Gordon Haliburton, in: International Review of Mission
"L'édition soignée contribue à faire de cet ouvrage un bel instrument de travail." - Jeanne Marie Léonard, in: Études Théologiques et Religieuses, 1996
"Shank's book would make a worthy addition to most Africanist library collections." - David Groff, in: International Journal of African Historical Studies, 1996
Missiologists, Missionary Historians, African Church Historians, African Historians, Africanists, Sociologists of Religion, African Theologians, Students of Religious Change.
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