Conversion as a Social Process: A History of Missionary Christianity Among the Valley Tonga, Zambia

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Lit, 1997 - Social Science - 308 pages
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Conversion as a Social Process presents a detailed and multi-faceted account of the genesis of an African mission church in Southern Zambia. Its main theme is the transformation of European missionary Christianity into an important medium for Africans to negotiate creatively the challenges of the modern world. The first part of this case study scrutinizes the contextual conditions, and the consequences, of the translation process of the European missionary message into the forms of African culture and modes of thought. Particular attention is devoted to the role of the mission-trained school teachers as the first African interpreters of the gospel who also formed the nucleus of an educated African elite both in religion and in politics. The second part analyzes the developments of post-colonial and post-missionary African Christianity in a rural setting. It argues that Christian ethics and worldview offer new means of self-identification in a complex world for women and youth in particular. Drawing on local oral sources, archival material, and ethnographic literature the book represents a new genre of intercultural ecclesiastical history.

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Conversion as a Social Process presents a detailed and multi-faceted account of the genesis of an African mission church in Southern Zambia. Its main theme is the transformation of European missionary Christianity into an important medium for Africans to negotiate creatively the challenges of the modern world. The first part of this case study scrutinizes the contextual conditions, and the consequences, of the translation process of the European missionary message into the forms of African culture and modes of thought. Particular attention is devoted to the role of the mission-trained school teachers as the first African interpreters of the gospel who also formed the nucleus of an educated African elite both in religion and in politics. The second part analyzes the developments of post-colonial and post-missionary African Christianity in a rural setting. It argues that Christian ethics and worldview offer new means of self-identification in a complex world for women and youth in particular. Drawing on local oral sources, archival material, and ethnographic literature the book represents a new genre of intercultural ecclesiastical history.  

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