By Adrian Hastings
The church buildings in Africa most likely represent an important development region for Christianity within the moment half the 20 th century. From being a couple of fairly tightly managed 'mission fields' zealously guarded by means of the nice missionary societies, Catholic and Protestant, they've got emerged around the final many years in bewildering type to selfhood, a club of shut on 100 million adherents and an influential position either inside their very own societies and on this planet Church. This publication surveys the background of Christianity all through sub-Saharan Africa throughout the 3rd zone of this century. It starts in 1950 at a time while the church buildings have been nonetheless for the main half emphatically a part of the colonial order and it takes the tale on from there around the coming of political independence and the ameliorations of the Sixties and early Seventies.
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On returning to Johannesburg he lost his post as a curate, because Clayton would not permit him to keep it without giving an 26 Church and State assurance that he would not undertake further action of this sort without permission. In the next three years he took up residence for a time with a poor African minister, the Reverend Theophilus, in Tobruk', one of the most appalling and crime-ridden of shanty towns, until he was again arrested, for living in a native area. After investigating labour conditions in the notoriously slave-driving farms of the eastern Transvaal and publishing an article on the subject in the Rand Daily Mail to the fury of the farmers, he was drawn into the defence of the rights of the Herero people in South West Africa.
The Anglican missionary effort was itself relatively small in the overall picture, yet the Union Jack still tended to carry 19 1950 with it something of an Anglican quasi-establishment. The Archbishop of Cape Town and his colleagues elsewhere had enjoyed a political role decidedly superior to that of the representatives of any other church - and they could always appeal quietly back to Canterbury: a letter from the archbishop at Lambeth Palace to 10 Downing Street on some matter of colonial concern was not unusual.
Furthermore the rapid emergence of Albert Luthuli, who had been almost apolitical until 1950 but represented a remarkable combination of the older Christian commitment and chiefly links with the new forcefulness proper to a nationalistic mass movement, helped at this time to avoid a collision of the sort which left the Gold Coast's senior Christian leadership somehow imprisoned within what was for the time yesterday's discredited party - the United Gold Coast Convention. The political problems which the Church would shortly have to face within the new system of a nationalist one-party state were, anyway, of so different a character from those of the colonial period that the legacy of Christian political attitudes derived from the immediate past was likely to be of limited lasting usefulness.
A History of African Christianity 1950-1975 by Adrian Hastings