Encounters between Jesuits and Protestants in Africa


Protestants entering Africa in the nineteenth century sought to learn from earlier Jesuit presence in Ethiopia and southern Africa. The nineteenth century was itself a century of missionary scramble for Africa during which the Jesuits encountered their Protestant counterparts as both sought to evangelize the African native. Encounters between Jesuits and Protestants in Africa, edited by Robert Alexander Maryks and Festo Mkenda, S.J., presents critical reflections on the nature of those encounters in southern Africa and in Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Fernando Po. Though largely marked by mutual suspicion and outright competition, the encounters also reveal personal appreciations and support across denominational boundaries and thus manifest salient lessons for ecumenical encounters even in our own time.

This volume is the result of the second Boston College International Symposium on Jesuit Studies held at the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya) in 2016. Thanks to generous support of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College, it is available in Open Access.

Open Access


Open Access

Biographical Note

Robert Aleksander Maryks, PhD (2006) in history, Fordham University, is associate professor of history, associate director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, and editor of Jesuit Sources at Boston College. He has published on various aspects of the history of the Jesuits, including, most recently, Pouring Jewish Water into Fascist Wine I and II (Brill, 2011 and 2017), A Companion to Ignatius of Loyola (Brill, 2014), and Exploring Jesuit Distinctiveness (Brill, 2016). He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Jesuit Studies, the Jesuit Studies book series, Boston College Jesuit Bibliography: The New Sommervogel Online, and Jesuit Historiography Online. 

Festo Mkenda, S.J., DPhil (2009), University of Oxford, is director of the Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa. He is the author of Mission for Everyone: A Story of the Jesuits in Eastern Africa (Paulines, 2013) and of several articles in the same area.

Table of contents

Part 1: Introduction

Protestantism and Early Jesuits
Robert Aleksander Maryks
Jesuits, Protestants, and Africa before the Twentieth Century
Festo Mkenda, S.J.

Part 2: Memories of Earlier Missions

1 Following in Jesuit Footsteps: British Expeditions to Ethiopia in the Early Victorian Era
Jesse Sargent

2 A Protestant Verdict on the Jesuit Missionary Approach in Africa: David Livingstone and Memories of the Early Jesuit Presence in South Central Africa
Festo Mkenda, S.J.

Part 3: Encounters in Southern Africa

3 Jesuits and Protestants in South Africa, 1685–2015
Anthony Egan, S.J.

4 Encounters between Jesuit and Protestant Missionaries in their Approaches to Evangelization in Zambia
Choobe Maambo, S.J.

5 Soror nostra es : Jesuits, Protestants, and Political Elites in Southern Africa among the Shona and the Ndebele, 1889–1900
Aquinata Agonga

6 Jesuit Portraits of Protestant Missionary Activity in Southern Africa in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Wilfred Sumani, S.J.

Part 4: Encounters in Madagascar, Congo, and Fernando Po

7 Jesuits and Protestants in Nineteenth-century Madagascar
Jocelyn Rabeson, S.J.

8 Jesuit–Protestant Encounters in Colonial Congo in the Late Nineteenth Century: Perceptions, Prejudices, and the Competition for African Souls
Toussaint Kafarhire Murhula, S.J.

9 The Adulteresses Were Reformers: The Perception and Position of Women in the Religious Fight of Fernando Po, 1843–1900
Jean Luc Enyegue, S.J.



All interested in Jesuit studies, mission history, Christianity in Africa, Catholic-Protestant encounters and ecumenism in general.

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