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A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present Paperback – February 22, 1995
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The word encyclopedic seems somehow inadequate for a book whose subject spans 2,000 years on a continent as large and diverse as Africa, a continent where--by some estimates--Christianity is expanding at a rate roughly double that at which it is declining in the Western world. 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. But as important as what it contains is what it does. Much of Christianity's history in Africa and elsewhere is inscribed in the tragic consequences of its confusion and entanglement with European culture and colonialism. 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. Steve Schroeder
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