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A History of Christianity in Africa
From Antiquity to the Present
PAPERBACK; Published: 2/22/1995
ISBN: 978-0-8028-0843-1
432 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.25 X 9.25
DESCRIPTION
This unprecedented work is the first one-volume study of the history of Christianity in Africa. Written by Elizabeth Isichei, a leading scholar in this field, A History of Christianity in Africa examines the origins and development of Christianity in Africa from the early story of Egyptian Christianity to the spectacular growth, vitality, and diversity of the churches in Africa today.

Isichei opens with the brilliance of Christianity in Africa in antiquity and shows how Christian Egypt and North Africa produced some of the most influential intellects of the time. She then discusses the churches founded in the wake of early contacts with Europe, from the late fifteenth century on, and the unbroken Christian witness of Coptic Egypt and of Ethiopia. Isichei also examines the different types of Christianity in modern Africa and shows how social factors have influenced its development and expression.

With the explosive growth of Christianity now taking place in Africa and the increasingly recognized significance of African Christianity, this much-needed book fills the void in scholarly works on that continent's Christian past, also foreshadowing Christian Africa's influential future.

REVIEWS
African Studies Review
"Isichei has provided thoughtful insights into African religion and the dialogue between indigenous thought and Christianity. In this current work, the product of a lifetime of serious research and reflection is presented."
Booklist
"The word encyclopedic seems somehow inadequate for a book whose subject spans 2,000 years on a continent as large and diverse as Africa. . . But it is probably the best word available to convey the scope and style of Isichei's book, which is informative and readable and will surely become an important reference for historians and others interested in Africa, in Christianity, or in both. . . By chronicling diverse African struggles to disentangle and encounter it anew, and by teasing out a thread of descent that predates colonialism, Isichei lays a foundation for a more conscious and critical encounter with Christianity's enculturation outside Africa as well as in. That is a welcome contribution to the understanding of Africa and Christianity, a corrective to a history of interpretation that has too often confused them with their 'inventions' by the West."
Catholic Library World
"This scholarly yet eminently readable history fills a void; it documents the history of Christianity in Africa from first-century Egypt to the twentieth century missions. . . [This] thoroughly researched book is written in clear language that is easy to understand."
Choice
"Isichei's welcome book meets a great need. . . She writes lucidly, is evenhanded, and presents fascinating details of African acceptance, rejection, and adaptation of Christianity, from expatriate and African points of view. . . Isichei's accomplishment is startling in its breadth and sensitivity."
Christian Scholars Review
"A very readable work which will doubtless cause students to take a renewed interest in the interaction between western Christianity and Africa. . . An overview of modern African history and the growth of the church. It is packed full of delightful stories and vivid insights, making the book enjoyable to read."
Church History
"It is with congratulation one greets this book, not least for its beautiful production and (in American terms) reasonable cost. . . It is a complicated story well told and usefully arranged, stronger of course on Nigeria and on great sweeping themes, but displaying a creditable knowledge of the overseas archives, dusty and far-flung, as well as field experience in various lands."
Expository Times
"Written in an authoritative, yet highly readable style which owes much to the fact that the author is both an African historian and a professor of religion. The book is well laid out. . . An excellent book which will be of much benefit to both students and teachers of African Christianity."
International Bulletin of Missionary Research
"A kaleidoscopic book—covering the whole of African Christianity from the very beginning to our days—brimming with hundreds of persons, characters, quotes, and anecdotes. A brilliant supplement to the recent works on African Christianity by John Baur and Adrian Hastings."
Journal of Religion
"A clear historical survey of the various periods and places where Christianity has had an effect in Africa. . . The strength of this survey is its chronological frame and the broad, yet fundamental and well-researched information it summarizes. With its several maps and charts, this is a valuable one-volume introduction, one that would make a good textbook."
Missiology
"This is an exciting book, not merely because we need a one-volume summary, but because the scholarship is excellent, the style is concise and beautiful, and it is full of insights and connections which challenge."
The Catholic Historical Review
"There has been a need for a comprehensive introduction to the history of African Christianity ever since that continent emerged from its colonial condition to consist of a body of self-governing political communities. Such a history has now been produced by Professor Isichei in this well-researched volume, which has managed to cover the intended extent of both place and time in a way which is both eminently readable and most convincing. . . Altogether Professor Isichei has produced not simply a fascinating account of rival churches in Africa but a convincing history of African Christianity."

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