Postgraduate Course: History of Christianity in Africa (WRCH11003)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course explores some of the major themes in the history of Christianity in Africa since the early nineteenth century. Attention is paid to the roles played by African missionaries and indigenous leaders as well as those of European missionaries. Major emphasis is placed on the study and detailed interpretation of key primary sources.
The course explores how far the growth of Christianity in modern Africa is explicable in terms of the colonial impact. Until the 1960s most scholars had no doubt that it was: the role of mission education in attracting Africans to the white man's religion was undeniable. Since decolonisation, however, the rate of expansion of Christianity has accelerated, putting in question monolithic explanations of the relationship between colonialism and African conversion. This course aims to get beyond the rhetoric, whether colonial or postcolonial, and, on the basis of intensive examination of primary texts, encourages students to form their own judgments about the parts played by African Christians and European missionaries in the story of African Christianity since 1800.
The course begins with the largely negative view of Africa taken at the World Missionary Conference in 1910. It then explores the ways in which both missionaries and leading African Christians in the 19th century approached the complex relationship between 'Christianity, commerce, and civilization'. Particular attention is given to Christian competition with Islam, the impact of colonial rivalries on Christianity in Uganda, the emergence of prophet movements and independent churches, the Christian contribution to nationalism and decolonisation, the problematic role played by the churches in Rwanda, and explanations of the growth of Pentecostalism.
Student Learning Experience Information:
This course gives Level 11 students an opportunity to supplement attendance at the lectures for the Level 10 course Evangelism and Empire: (ECHS10016) with a separate Level 11 seminar devoted to the analysis and interpretation of key primary sources. Students will select a small archive collection for which to complete a primary sources methodological assessment, with guidance from the New College Archivist. Students are encouraged to select an essay topic related to their presentation, though this is not essential.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||This is a graduate-level course. Please confirm subject prerequisites with the Course Manager.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate a broad knowledge and advanced understanding of some key trends in the growth of Christianity as an African religion since the early nineteenth century.
- Interpret with discernment and critical intelligence selected primary sources on the history of African Christianity since 1800.
- Critique secondary literature on the history of African Christianity since 1800 using detailed examples and primary sources.
- Prepare and present a coherent class presentation based on intensive engagement with primary sources.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Emma Wild-Wood
Tel: (0131 6)50 8977
|Course secretary||Miss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227