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Thinking with Africa

  • Andrew McGowan

Abstract

Africa is not only a geographical region but an idea which Westerners, including modern Anglicans, have used ‘to think with’. This includes how accounts of recent Christian growth and decline used by Westerners and Africans alike, and which may require nuance in themselves, have been used questionably in debates about other issues. The real diversity of African Anglican thought and experience offers more complex and enriching possibilities, and should be engaged more directly and fully.

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Footnotes

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1

. Andrew McGowan is editor of the Journal of Anglican Studies, and McFaddin Professor of Anglican Studies and Dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University.

Footnotes

References

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2. Valentin Y. Mudimbe, The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1988).

3. One important recent exception explores the role of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) in slavery: Travis Glasson, Mastering Christianity: Missionary Anglicanism and Slavery in the Atlantic World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

4. See, notably, Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Rise of Global Christianity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

5. Miranda K. Hassett, Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and their African Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007).

6. Daniel Muñoz, ‘North to South: A Reappraisal of Anglican Communion Membership Figures’, Journal of Anglican Studies, 14.1 (2016), pp. 71-95.

7. The value of Muñoz’s extrapolation of ‘African Average Church Attendance’ (‘North to South’, p. 87) while based on three significant Churches, may be limited by the common history of the three as British colonies.

8. Muñoz, ‘North to South’, pp. 75-76.

9. On the other hand, the discussion of the origins of this method in Frank Wade, Transforming Scripture (New York: Church Publishing, 2008), reflects contests even over the ‘real’ origins of the one method. Africa would then be left with just part of one way of reading the Bible (see pp. 86-87).

10. Gerald West, ‘(Southern) African Anglican Biblical Interpretation: A Postcolonial Project’, Journal of Anglican Studies, 8.2 (2010), pp. 140-64.

11. Claude Lévi-Strauss, Totemism (trans. Rodney Needham; Boston: Beacon Press, 1963), p. 89. The original phrase was ‘bonne à penser’.

12. Miranda K. Hassett, Anglican Communion in Crisis; Jason Bruner, ‘Divided We Stand: North American Evangelicals and the Crisis in the Anglican Communion’, Journal of Anglican Studies, 8.1 (2010), pp. 101-25.

13. A number of these articles and the effort to gather such a group arise from work done by regional associate editor Janet Trisk and founding editor Bruce Kaye, to whom warm thanks are extended by the present editor.

14. ‘Church Uniforms as an Indigenous Form of Anglicanism: A South African Case Study’, in this issue.

15. ‘Anglicanism, Uhuru and Ujamaa: Anglicans in Tanzania and the Movement for Independence’, in this issue.

16. ‘Church as Mbumba and Bishop as Nkhoswe: Anglican Ecclesiology and Missiological Imperatives in Central Africa’, in this issue.

17. ‘Living in Communion within Anglicanism’.

18. ‘For Such a Time as This: Conflict, Community and the Courts in the South African Church’.

1 . Andrew McGowan is editor of the Journal of Anglican Studies, and McFaddin Professor of Anglican Studies and Dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University.

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Journal of Anglican Studies
  • ISSN: 1740-3553
  • EISSN: 1745-5278
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-anglican-studies
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