Christianity and Social Change in Africa is the most comprehensive look at the African encounter with Christianity in recent years. The book’s themes are drawn from the pioneering work of J.D.Y. Peel, building on his creative explanation of the African experience of Christianity. The volume covers a broad range of themes, including religious expansion, the rise of Pentecostalism, and the use of new media and technologies to convert people and reform believers. The various manifestations of religious impact run through all the chapters, covering aspects of culture, politics, the economy, and the landscape. The volume also explores the success of Africans in exporting Christianity to other parts of the globe, a phenomenon that has redefined both the message and meaning of this religion.
The contributors are a distinguished roster of scholars who draw on years of experience and research to present remarkable ideas and original interpretations of the forces Christianity exerts in Africa. The essays reflect the importance of comparative historical inquiry, inter-disciplinary perspectives, Peel’s contributions to the transformation of history and sociology, and the paths that a new generation of scholars must chart to comprehend the power of African Christianity.
“For all interested in the processes and power relations of cultural (self)representation and (self)determination in the African context, this book is essential.” — The International Journal of African Historical Studies
“The chapters are well written, persuasive and well structured. The book is a useful tool for the study of social transformation and cultural persistence in African, diaspora and cultural studies.” — Journal of African History
“This is an important book for scholars of Nigeria and the Yoruba world, but also for those interested in the ongoing question of religious change in Africa and the diaspora. Indeed, some of the individual essays have the potential to become classics… This book is a fitting salute to the legacy of John Peel.” — African Studies Review
“At a time when Christianity in Africa is experiencing a great leap forward, Christianity and Social Change in Africa facilitates an exploration of some of the themes more critical to this development… The book signals interesting directions for future research and should be welcomed by anyone interested in the still unfolding landscape that is Christianity in Africa.” — Pneuma