African Christian History
(I’ll keep this updated as I acquire additional texts. Scroll down for citation for cover art.)
Akinade, Akintude E., ed. A New Day: Essays on World Christianity in Honor of Lamin Sanneh. Forward by Andrew F. Walls. Peter Lang, 2010.
In addition to being edited by an African theologian / historian of Christianity, these chapters are specific to African Christianity:
• 6. Kevin Ward, “Christianity, Revival and the Rwandan Genocide,” 103-119.
• 7. Philomena Njeri Mwaura, “A Spirituality of Resistance and Hope: African Instituted Churches’ Response to Poverty,” 120-134.
• 8. Gay L. Byron, “Redrawing the Boundaries of Early Christianity: The Case of the Axumite Empire and its Sources,” 135-141.
• 9. J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, “‘Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed’: Leadership in Ghana’s New Charismatic Communities,” 142-157.
• 10. Elias K. Bongmba, “Visions and Dreams in an African Initiated Church,” 158-176.
• 11. Deidre Helen Crumbley, “On Both Sides of the Atlantic: Independent Church Movements (ICMs) in Africa and the African Diaspora,” 177-205.
• 15. Yushau Sodiq, “Muslims and Christians in Yorubaland: Unavoidable Neighbors,” 269-287.
Alonso, Carols. A History of the Augustinians and the martyrs of Mombasa (1568–1698). Trans. Maureen Eyles. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2007.
(NB: Translated from the Spanish Los Agustinos en la Costa Suahili (1598–1698).)
Anderson, Allan H. African Reformation: African Initiated Christianity in the 20th Century. Africa World Press, 2001.
Arnauld, Dominique. Histoire du christianisme en Afrique: les sept premiers siècles. Mémoire d’Eglises. Éditions Karthala, 2001.
Ayandele, E. A. African Historical Studies. Frank Cass, 1979.
Baur, John. 2000 Years of Christianity in Africa. 2nd ed. Paulines, 2009.
Bediako, Kwame. Jesus and the Gospel in Africa: The History and Experience. Theology in Africa. Orbis / Regnum Africa, 2004
Bediako, Kwame. Theology and Identity: The impact of culture upon Christian thought in the second century and modern Africa. Regnum Studies in Mission. Regnum, 1992.
Bruner, Jason. Living Salvation in the East African Revival in Uganda. Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora. University of Rochester Press, 2017.
Budge, E. A. Wallis, trans. The Kebra Nagast. Global Grey, 2013.
(NB: The Kebra Nagast, or “The Glory of Kings” in Ge’ez, is the Ethiopian national epic and an important text for Ethiopian Coptic Orthodoxy.)
Burns, J. Patout, Jr. and Robin M. Jensen. Christianity in Roman Africa: The Development of Its Practices and Beliefs. Eerdmans, 2014.
Cannuyer, Christian. Coptic Egypt: The Christians of the Nile. Trans. (from French) Sophie Hawkes. Ed. Eve Sinaiko. Harry N. Abrams, 2001.
Collier-Thomas, Bettye. Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1850-1979. Jossey-Bass, 1997.
De Gruchy, John W. with Steve de Gruchy. The Church Struggle in South Africa. Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition. Forward by Desmond Tutu. SCM Press, 2004 / Fortress Press, 2005.
Decret, François. Early Christianity in North Africa. Trans. (from French) Edward L. Smither. Cascade Books, 2009.
[first edition: Le christianisme en Afrique du Nord ancienne. Editions du Seuil, 1996.]
Erlich, Haggai. Islam & Christianity in the Horn of Africa: Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010.
Eshete, Tibebe. The Evangelical Movement in Ethiopia: Resistance and Resilience. Baylor University Press, 2009.
Esler, Phillip F. Ethiopian Christianity: History, Theology, Practice. Baylor University Press, 2019.
Faraji, Salim. Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh. Africa World Press, 2012.
Fasholé-Luke, Edward, Richard Gray, Adrian Hastings, and Godwin Tasie, eds. Christianity in Independent Africa. Rex Collings, 1978.
Faupel, J. F. African Holocaust: The Story of the Uganda Martyrs. Revised 4th ed. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2007.
Fiedler, Klaus. Interdenominational Faith Missions in Africa: History and Ecclesiology. Mzuni Books 34. Mzuni Press / African Books Collective, 2018.
Fiedler, NyaGondwe. A History of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians 1989-2007. Muzuni Books 30. Muzuni Press / African Books Collective, 2017.
Foster, Elizabeth A. African Catholic: Decolonization and the Transformation of the Church. Harvard University Press, 2019.
Fromont, Cécile. The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo. Omohundro Institute / University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
Gathogo, Julius. Mutira Mission: An African Church Comes of Age in Kirinyaga, Kenya (1912-2012). Zaph Chancery / African Books Collective, 2011.
Gatũ, John G. Fan into Flame: An Autobiography: Truly Christian, Joyfully African. Moran Publishers, 2016.
Gehman, Richard J. The Spreading Vineyard: The Growth of the Africa Inland Church, Kenya, from 1945 onward.Vol. 2 of The History of the Africa Inland Church, Kenya. Oasis International, 2016.
Gillam, Stephen J. God Loves Africa: A Christian Perspective on God’s Involvement with Africa through the Ages. Fountain Publishers, 2010.
Govinden, Betty, Isabel Apawo Phiri, and Sarojini Nadar, eds. Her Stories: Hidden Histories of Women of Faith in Africa. Cluster Publications, 2002.
Gray, Richard. Black Christians and White Missionaries. Yale University Press, 1959.
Gray, Richard. Christianity, the Papacy, and Mission in Africa. Ed. with an Introduction by Lamin Sanneh. Orbis Books, 2012.
Grillmeier, Aloys with Theresia Hainthaler. Christ in Christian Tradition: Vol. 2 From the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Gregory the Great (590-604): Part 4 The Church of Alexandria with Nubia and Ethiopia after 451. Trans. O. C. Dean [from German]. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1996.
Gehman, Richard J. The Spreading Vineyard: The Growth of the Africa Inland Church, Kenya, from 1945 Onward. Oasis International, 2016.
Hastings, Adrian. African Christianity. Seabury Press, 1977.
Hastings, Adrian. The Church in Africa 1450-1950. The Oxford History of the Christian Church. Ed. Henry and Owen Chadwick. Clarendon Press, 1994.
Hastings, Adrian. A History of African Christianity 1950-1975. African Studies Series 26. Cambridge University Press, 1979.
Hayward, Victor E. W. African Independent Church Movements. World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, 1963.
Haywood, Chanta M. Prophesying Daughters: Black Women Preachers and the World, 1823–1913. Rev. ed. University of Missouri Press, 2003, 2016.
Helleman, Wendy Elgersma and Musa A. B. Gaiya. Early Christianity: A Textbook for African Students. Langham Global Library, 2019.
Hodgson, Dorothy L. The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters between Maasai and Missionaries. Indiana University Press, 2005.
Hofmeyr, J. W. et al., eds. A History of Christianity in South Africa. Vol. 1. HAUM Tertiary, 1994.
Hofmeyr, J. W. et al., eds. The History of the Church in South Africa: A document & source book. UNISA Press, 1991.
Isichei, Elizabeth. A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present. Eerdmans, 1995.
de Jong, Albert. Catholic Mission and Colonialism: Dutch Missionaries in East Africa 1945–1965. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2018.
Kalu, Ogbu U., ed. African Christianity: An African Story. Africa World Press, 2007.
Kenny, Joseph. The Catholic Church in Tropical Africa 1445–1850. Ibadan, Nigeria: Ibadan University Press, 1983.
Kollman, Paul. The Evangelization of Slaves and Catholic Origins in Eastern Africa. American Society of Missiology 38. Orbis, 2005.
Kollman, Paul and Cynthia Toms Smedley. Understanding World Christianity: Eastern Africa. Fortress Press, 2018.
Koschorke, Klaus, Frieder Ludwig, and Mariano Delgado, eds. A History of Christianity in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, 1450-1990: A Documentary Sourcebook. Eerdmans, 2007.
Koschorke, Klaus with Jens Holger Schjørring, eds. African Identities and World Christianity in the Twentieth Century: Proceedings of the Third International Munich-Freising Conference on the History of Christianity in the Non-Western World (September 15–17, 2004). Studies in the History of Christianity in the Non-Western World 10. Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005.
• 1: Kalu, Ogbu U. “A Trail of Ferment in African Christianity: Ethiopianism, Prophetism, Pentecostalism,” 19-40.
• 2: Ward, Kevin. “African identities in the historic ‘Mainline Churches’: A case study of the negotiation of local and global within African Anglicanism,” 50-62.
• 3: Anderson, Allan. “African Independent Churches and Global Pentecostalism: Historical Connections and Common Identities,” 63-76.
• 10: Stanley, Brian. “Africa through European Christian Eyes: The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910,” 165-180.
• 14: Adogame, Afe. “African Instituted Churches in Europe: Continuity and Transformation,” 225-244.
Kawamba, Brighton. The Blantyre Spiritual Awakening and its Music. Luviri Books 10. Luviri Press / African Books Collective, 2018.
Koschorke, Klaus, Adrian Hermann, E. Phuti Mogase, and Ciprian Burlacioiu, eds. Discourses of Indigenous-Christian Elites in Colonial Societies in Asia and Africa around 1900: A Documentary Sourcebook from Selected Journals. Dokumente zur Außereuropäischen Christentumsgeschichte / Studies in the History of Christianity in the Non-Western World 4. Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016.
MacMaster, Richard K. A Gentle Wind of God: The Influence of the East Africa Revival. Herald Press, 2006.
Maxwell, David and Ingrid Lawrie, eds. Christianity and the African Imagination: Essays in Honour of Adrian Hastings. Studies of Religion in Africa. Brill, 2002.
(hardback; paperback edition published in 2013)
• 1. Richard Gray, “A Kongo Princess, the Kongo Ambassadors and the Papacy,” 25-40.
• 2. Andrew F. Walls, “Africa as the Theatre of Christian Engagement with Islam in the Nineteenth Century,” 41-62.
• 6. John Lonsdale, “Kikuyu Christianities: A History of Intimate Diversity,” 157-198.
other notable contributors include: John Mary Waliggo, Terence Ranger, J. D. Y. Peel, Kevin Ward, et al.
Neckebrouck, V. [Valeer]. Le Maasai et le christianism: Le temps du grand refus. Peeters, 2002.
Neckebrouck, Valeer. Resistant Peoples: The Case of the Pastoral Maasai of East Africa. Inculturation: Working Papers on Living Faith and Cultures 14. Editrice Potificia Universita Gregoriana, 1993.
Nkesela, Zephania Shila. A Maasai Encounter with the Bible: Nomadic Lifestyle as a Hermeneutic Question. Bible and Theology in Africa 30. Ed. Knut Holter. Peter Lang, 2020.
Noll, Mark A. and Carolyn Nystrom. Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia. IVP, 2011.
Nthamburi, Zablon, ed. From Mission to Church: A Handbook of Chritianity in East Africa. Nairobi: Uzima Press / Association of Theological Institutions in Eastern Africa, 1991.
Oden, Thomas C. The African Memory of Mark: Reassessing Early Church Tradition. IVP Academic, 2011.
Oden, Thomas C. Early Libyan Christianity: Uncovering a North African Tradition. IVP Academic, 2011.
Oden, Thomas C. How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity. IVP, 2007.
Oden, Thomas C., ed. The Songs of Africa: The Ethiopian Canticles. ICCS Press, 2017.
Orr, J. Edwin. Evangelical Awakenings in Africa. Bethany Fellowship, 1975.
Ott, Martin. African Theology in Images. Rev. ed. Kachere Mongraphs 12. Zomba, Malawi: Kachere Series, 2007.
Paas, Steven. The Faith Moves South: A History of the Church in Africa. Kachere Series, 2000.
Parsalaw, Joseph Wilson. A history of the Lutheran Church, Diocese in the Arusha Region from 1904 to 1958. Erlanger Verlag für Mission und Ökumene, 1999.
Peterson, Derek R. Ethnic Patriotism and the East African Revival: A History of Dissent, c.1935-1972. African Studies Book 122. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Phillipson, David D. Foundations of an African Civilization: Aksum & The Northern Horn, 1000 BC – AD 1300. Eastern Africa Series. James Currey, 2012.
Phiri, Isabel Apawo, Devakarsham Betty Govinden, and Sarojini Nadar, eds. Her-stories: Hidden Histories of Women of Faith in Africa. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: Cluster Publications, 2002.
Randall, Max Ward. We Would Do It Again. Missions Services Press, 1965.
(A Church of Christ Mission [South Africa] missions biography.)
Ross, Andrew C. Blantyre Mission and the Making of Modern Malawi. Luviri Reprints 2. Luviri Press / African Books Collective, 2018.
Rebillard, Éric. Christians and Their Many Identities in Late Antiquity, North Africa, 200–450 CE. Cornell University Press, 2012.
Sandgren, David P. Christianity and the Kikuyu: Religious Divisions and Social Conflict. Peter Lang, 2000.
Sanneh, Lamin. Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture. The American Society of Missiology Series 13. Orbis, 1989.
Sanneh, Lamin. Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture. 2nd ed., revised and expanded. American Missiology Society 13. Orbis Books, 2009.
(I have just received a copy of this twentieth anniversary revised edition, and look forward to reading it!)
Sanneh, Lamin. “The Yogi and the Commissar: Christian Missions and the New World Order in Africa.” Chapter 8 in World Order and Religion, 173-192. Ed. Wade Clark Roof. SUNY Series in Religion, Culture, and Society. State University of New York Press, 1991.
Schroeder, Caroline T. Monastic Bodies: Discipline and Salvation in Shenoute of Atripe. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.
Shaw, Mark R. The Kingdom of God in Africa: A Short History of African Christianity. Baker, 1996.
Suberg, O. M. The Anglican Tradition in South Africa: A Historical Overview. UNISA Press, 1999.
Sundkler, Bengt and Christopher Steed. A History of The Church in Africa. Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Taber, Charles R., ed. Church in Africa: Papers Presented at a Symposium at Milligan College, March 31-April 3, 1977. William Carey Library, 1977.
Tamrat, Taddesse. Church and State in Ethiopia 1270–1527. Forwards by Getatchew Haile and Donald Crummey. Tsehai Publishers, 2009.
Tilley, Maureen A. The Bible in Christian North Africa: the Donatist World. Fortress Press, 1997.
Tilley, Maureen A., trans. with notes and introduction. Donatist Martyr Stories: The Church in Conflict in Roman North Africa. Translated Texts for Historians 24. Liverpool University Press, 1996.
Vähäkangas, Mika. Between Ghambageu and Jesus: The Encounter between the Sonjo Traditional Leaders and Missionary Christianity. Studia Missiologica et Oecumenica Fennica 61. Helsinki, Finland: Luther-Agricola-Society, 2008.
Walls, Andrew F. The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History. Orbis / T & T Clark, 2002.
[Note: Several chapters are specific to the stories of African Christianity. My paper copy is signed by Andrew Walls.]
Walls, Andrew F. Crossing Cultural Frontiers: Studies in the History of World Christianity. Ed. Mark R. Gornik. Orbis Books, 2017.
[Note: Several chapters are specific to the stories of African Christianity. My paper copy is signed by Andrew Walls.]
Walls, Andrew F. The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith. Orbis Books / T & T Clark, 1996.
[Note: This is Christianity Today’s 1997 book of the year for its category. My paper copy is signed by Andrew Walls. Several chapters are specific to the stories of African Christianity.]
Ward, Kevin and Emma Wild-Wood, eds. The East African Revival: History and Legacies. Fountain Studies in East African History. Fountain Publishers, 2010.
(The 2nd edition, priced for the academic Western market, was published by Routledge, 2017)
Welbourn, Frederick Burkewood and Bethwell A. Ogot. A Place to Feel at Home: A Study of Two Independent Churches in Western Kenya. Oxford University Press, 1966.
Welsby, Derek A. The Medieval Kingdoms of Nubia: Pagans, Christians and Muslims along the Middle Nile. British Museum Press, 2002.
Werner, Roland, William Anderson, and Andrew Wheeler. Day of Devastation, Day of Contentment: The History of the Sudanese Church across 2000 Years. 2nd ed. Paulines, 2010.
Wild-Wood, Emma. Migration and Christian Identity in Congo (DRC). Leiden: Brill, 2008.
Ye’or, Bat. The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude. Forward by Jacques Ellul. Trans. (from French) Miriam Kochan and David Littman. Associated University Presses, 1996.
(This obviously covers geographies in addition to Africa, but includes Africa.)
The cover art is a photograph of the ceiling of the dome of Abuna Yem’ata Guh (ኣቡና የማታ ጉሕ), a 6th century monolithic hewn church building in Hawzen, Tigray, Ethiopia.
(photo credit: Max Bearak of the Washington Post)