The Distribution of Wealth and the Making of Social Relations in Northern Nigeria
Author: Dauda Abubakar
In ‘They Love Us Because We Give Them’ Zakāt, Dauda Abubakar describes the practice of Zakāt in northern Nigeria. Those who practice this pillar of Islam annually deduct Zakāt from their wealth and distribute it to the poor and needy people within their vicinity, mostly their friends, relatives and neighbours.
The practice of giving and receiving Zakāt in northern Nigeria often leads to the establishment of social relations between the rich and needy. Dauda Abubakar provides details of the social relationship in the people’s interpersonal dealings with one another that often lead to power relations, high table relations etc. The needy reciprocate the Zakāt they collect in many ways, respecting and given high positions to the rich in society.
Author: Matthieu Pignot
In The Catechumenate in Late Antique Africa (4th-6th centuries) Matthieu Pignot explores how individuals became Christian in ancient North Africa. Before baptism, converts first became catechumens and spent a significant time of gradual integration into the community through rituals and teaching. This book provides the first historical study of this process in African sources, from Augustine of Hippo, to canon of councils, anonymous sermons and 6th-century letters. Pignot shows that practices varied more than is generally assumed and that catechumens, because of their liminal position, were a disputed and essential group in the development of Christian communities until the 6th century at least. This book demonstrates that the catechumenate is key to understanding the processes of Christianisation and conversion in the West.

Abstract

This article discusses why American evangelical Christians, particularly white evangelicals, have granted overwhelming support to Donald Trump, first as a presidential candidate in 2016, and then as president since his inauguration in January 2017. The loyalty afforded to him by this voting bloc results in an abandonment of the values and priorities of the greater Christian mission, exchanging faithful discipleship for political expediency. While this demographic of voters does not explicitly renounce the Christian faith or their belief in the authority of Scripture, the concerns exhibited in their fidelity to President Trump as a monarchical figure stand in contrast to both biblically-based evangelicalism and historic American political values.

In: Exchange

Abstract

Christ imagery in Silence represents Endō’s intentional progression from ‘father-religion’ to ‘mother-religion’. This paper explicates the former as a distortive ideological belief—the determinism of the ‘strong’ and ‘weak’—that conveys Endō’s aversion for institutionalized and paternal aspects of Christianity; that sows feelings of superiority toward ‘the weak’ in Rodrigues (revealed especially as he administers confession); and that anthropomorphizes as an internal voice that accuses and haunts with fears of inadequacy. Christ’s immediacy through and sympathy for universal suffering relinquishes the categories of ‘strong’ and ‘weak,’ assures a doubting Rodrigues of forgiveness, and—along with the Christian-Buddhist foundation of Rodrigues’ self-renunciation—illustrates the interreligious nature of Endō’s mother-religion.

In: Exchange

Abstract

This article engages the work of two prominent but recently deceased scholars of African Christianity—the Gambian Lamin Sanneh and the Cameroonian Fabien Eboussi Boulaga. It argues that their reinterpretation of Christianity is designed to develop an imagination of resistance in the context of western domination in Africa. Sanneh approaches the matter from a historical perspective through which he narrates the emergence of a new form of Christianity, leading to his important distinction between “world Christianity” and “global Christianity.” Boulaga approaches the issue from the perspective of philosophical theology, through which he developed the “Christic model” as central to appropriating the Christian faith in Africa. The paper argues that one can hardly understand why Sanneh distinguishes between global and world Christianity and why Boulaga develops the radical Christic model, if one fails to locate their work within the framework of problematizing dynamics of western domination in Africa.

In: Exchange
In: Exchange
In: Exchange

Abstract

The 10/40 Window map is used by evangelical missionary societies to promote mission in Northern Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. It has been widely popular among Christians worldwide, but has also suffered sustained criticism. The map itself, however, has received no scholarly attention. This article investigates the 10/40 Window map through the lens of the concept of territoriality. Using insights from the field of critical cartography, it argues that the map is pivotal in directing missionary zeal, but that in turn it has also reshaped missionary thinking. This is so because the actual map’s metageographical proportions, its cartographic language and the accompanying rhetoric communicate several novel key propositions about mission. The overall argument of this article is that maps are not innocuous illustrations, but indeed that maps matter a great deal and that missionary geography should be taken seriously.

In: Exchange