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Faith in African Lived Christianity

Bridging Anthropological and Theological Perspectives

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Edited by Karen Lauterbach and Mika Vähäkangas

Faith in African Lived Christianity – Bridging Anthropological and Theological Perspectives offers a comprehensive, empirically rich and interdisciplinary approach to the study of faith in African Christianity. The book brings together anthropology and theology in the study of how faith and religious experiences shape the understanding of social life in Africa. The volume is a collection of chapters by prominent Africanist theologians, anthropologists and social scientists, who take people’s faith as their starting point and analyze it in a contextually sensitive way. It covers discussions of positionality in the study of African Christianity, interdisciplinary methods and approaches and a number of case studies on political, social and ecological aspects of African Christian spirituality.

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Hans Olsson

In Jesus for Zanzibar: Narratives of Pentecostal (Non-)Belonging, Islam, and Nation Hans Olsson offers an ethnographic account of the lived experience and socio-political significance of newly arriving Pentecostal Christians in the Muslim majority setting of Zanzibar. This work analyzes how a disputed political partnership between Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania intersects with the construction of religious identities.

Undertaken at a time of political tensions, the case study of Zanzibar’s largest Pentecostal church, the City Christian Center, outlines religious belonging as relationally filtered in-between experiences of social insecurity, altered minority / majority positions, and spiritual powers. Hans Olsson shows that Pentecostal Christianity, as a signifier of (un)wanted social change, exemplifies contested processes of becoming in Zanzibar that capitalizes on, and creates meaning out of, religious difference and ambient political tensions.

Megachurches and Social Engagement

Public Theology in Practice

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Mark J. Cartledge, Sarah Dunlop, Heather Buckingham and Sophie Bremner

This book is the first detailed academic study of megachurches in the UK. In particular, it explores the nature and significance of social engagement by megachurches in the context of London. The research contains empirical case studies of two Anglican and three African diaspora Pentecostal churches. As well as exploring the range of social engagement activities provided by these churches, the study offers explanations in term of theological motivations and the influence of globalisation. Subsequently, the book outlines the importance of the findings for the relationship between church and society in the contemporary context, addressing the implications for social policy and practice. The book advances discussions in public theology, megachurch studies, Pentecostal and Charismatic studies and ecclesiology.

Biblical Interpretation and African Traditional Religion

Cross-Cultural and Community Readings in Owamboland, Namibia

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Helen C. John

In Biblical Interpretation and African Traditional Religion, Helen C. John juxtaposes grassroots biblical interpretations from Owamboland, Namibia, with professional interpretations of selected New Testament texts, effectively demonstrating the capacity of grassroots interpretations to destabilise, challenge and nuance dominant professional interpretations. John uses a cross-cultural and dialogical approach – ‘Cross-Cultural Biblical Interpretation Groups’ – to explore the relationship between African Traditional Religion (ATR), Christianity and biblical interpretation in Owamboland, Namibia. She contextualises the grassroots Owambo interpretations using fieldwork experiences and ethnographic literature, thus heightening the cross-cultural encounter. In particular, John reflects on Western epistemologies and the Eurocentric interpretative trends that are brought into relief by the African interpretations gathered in Owamboland.

Costly Communion

Ecumenical Initiative and Sacramental Strife in the Anglican Communion

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Edited by Mark D. Chapman and Jeremy Bonner

Costly Communion: Ecumenical Initiative and Sacramental Strife in the Anglican Communion seeks to engage with Anglicanism’s theological responses to the onset of the twilight of empire and to explore the diversity of Anglican sacramental and ecumenical controversies during the twentieth century. From sacramental initiation and the doctrine of Eucharistic sacrifice to church order and the historic episcopate, Costly Communion offers insights into Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical attempts to resolve the divisions provoked by the impact of the Oxford Movement from the 1830s. In its engagement with sub-Saharan African contextualization of the Anglican, moreover, Costly Communion analyses the unanticipated threat that Anglican diversity now poses for the unity of the Anglican Communion.

Contributors are: Jeff Boldt, Jeremy Bonner, Hugh Bowron, Mark Chapman, Colin Buchanan, Ken Farrimond, Joseph Galgalo, Benjamin Guyer, Charlotte Methuen, Thomas Mhuriro, Esther Mombo, Zablon Nthamburi, Kevin Ward.

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Marthe Hesselmans

In Racial Integration in the Church of Apartheid Marthe Hesselmans uncovers the post-apartheid transformation of South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church. This church once constituted the religious pillar of the Afrikaner apartheid regime (1948-1994). Today, it seeks to unite the communities it long segregated into one multiracial institution. Few believe this will succeed. A close look inside congregations reveals unexpected stories of reconciliation though. Where South Africans realize they need each other to survive, faith offers common ground – albeit a feeble one. They show the potential, but also the limits of faith communities untangling entrenched national and racial affiliations. Linking South Africa’s post-apartheid transition to religious-nationalist movements worldwide, Hesselmans offers a unique perspective on religion as source of division and healing.

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Edited by David Thomas and John A. Chesworth

Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History 12 (CMR 12) covering the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas in the period 1700-1800 is a further volume in a general history of relations between the two faiths from the 7th century to the early 20th century. It comprises a series of introductory essays and also the main body of detailed entries which treat all the works, surviving or lost, that have been recorded. These entries provide biographical details of the authors, descriptions and assessments of the works themselves, and complete accounts of manuscripts, editions, translations and studies. The result of collaboration between numerous leading scholars, CMR 12, along with the other volumes in this series, is intended as a basic tool for research in Christian-Muslim relations.

Section Editors: Clinton Bennett, Luis F. Bernabe Pons, Jaco Beyers, Emanuele Colombo, Karoline Cook, Sinéad Cussen, Lejla Demiri, Martha Frederiks, David D. Grafton, Stanisław Grodź, Alan Guenther, Emma Gaze Loghin, Gordon Nickel, Claire Norton, Reza Pourjavady, Douglas Pratt, Radu Păun, Charles Ramsey, Peter Riddell, Umar Ryad, Mehdi Sajid, Cornelia Soldat, Karel Steenbrink, Ann Thomson, Carsten Walbiner

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Edited by Robert Aleksander Maryks and Festo Mkenda, S.J.

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.

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Edited by Louis Jonker, Gideon Kotzé and Christl M. Maier

This volume presents the main lectures of the 22nd Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in September 2016. Sixteen internationally distinguished scholars present their current research on the Hebrew Bible, including the literary history of the Hebrew text, its Greek translation and history of interpretation. Some focus on archeological and iconographic sources and the reconstruction of ancient Israelite religion while others discuss the formation of the biblical text and its impact for cultural memory. The volume gives readers a representative view of the most recent developments in the study of the Old Testament.

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Getatchew Haile

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s Tradition on the Holy Cross is a volume that combines both ancient and derived Ethiopic literature on the Cross. The work brings together all the major sources from manuscripts preserved in different monasteries and edited and translated into English. The sources include homilies by Minas bishop of Aksum, John Chrysostom, James of Sarug, as well as a number of anonymous authors, all translated from Greek during the Aksumite era.
The derived literature includes works by the famous men of the pen, including the fifteenth-century Abba Giyorgis of Sägla and Emperor Zär’a Ya‘ǝqob. Poetic hymns to the Cross constitute a part of the collection, one of these being glorification of the Cross by Abba Baḥrǝy, author of several important works.