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This is the first major volume to chart the historical development and character of the whole Christian Church in Africa. This book links together Ethiopian Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and the numerous 'Independent' churches of modern times, and focuses throughout on the role of conversion, the shaping of church life and its relationship to traditional values, and the impact of political power. Professor Hastings also compares the relation of Christian history to the comparable development in Africa of Islam.
Covering five centuries--from the rise of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the 15th century and the early Portuguese missionaries right through to the Church and its key role in Africa today--this major new volume is the first complete history of the Christian Church in Africa. Written by a leading authority on Church history who has spent many years in Africa, it looks at all aspects of Christianity in Africa, including its relationship to traditional values and customs, politics, and the comparable rise of Islam in Africa during the period.
Adrian Hastings is Professor of Theology and Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds. Dr. Hastings also edited Modern Catholicism: Vatican II and After (OUP, 1990).
"Hastings has established a challenging framework with exceptional clarity. His overall strategy is masterly, often strikingly original; and the framework is indubitabley African....He should succeed in stimulating a fresh generation of research, especially by Ethiopian scholars."--Times Literary Supplement
"This is a magisterial work....I cannot recommend this book too highly for those who want either to begin reading about African Christianity, or to widen their knowledge."--Church of England Newspaper