‘God has come Amongst us Slowly and we didn’t Realise it!’ The Transformation of Anglican Missionary Heritage in Sudan
This chapter examines the missionary origins, through the agency of the Church Missionary Society, of the Anglican Church in Sudan (the Episcopal Church of the Sudan) and its transformation during its 100-year history, with special reference to the last fifty years. It is a study of the cultural transformation of missionary heritage in the cauldron of war and devastation. In particular the experience of the Dinka and Azande people is reflected upon. The emergence of a truly vernacular Anglicanism is described, distinctive but also faithful to Anglican principle. The significance of Bible translation, vernacular liturgy, and hymns is assessed, and the role of this new indigenous expression of Christian faith in the emergence of a distinctive South Sudanese identity that would eventually lead to independence and the setting up of a new African state, South Sudan.
Jesuits have commanded scholarly attention in recent years, with Jesuit studies almost becoming an independent academic discipline. However, their involvement in Africa remains largely unstudied, even though they were in parts of the continent for close to two centuries. Moreover, after their restoration in 1814, the Jesuits played a significant role in the evangelization of Africa. This essay is an overview of Jesuit presence in Africa over the centuries. While it gives more prominence to the historical missions of the pre-suppression period in Congo, Angola, Mozambique, and Ethiopia, it also covers more recent presence in Madagascar, southern Africa and Egypt, and concludes with a brief analysis of the state of the Society of Jesus in Africa today. The essay underscores the challenge of locating Jesuit records related to Africa and the importance of understanding early missionary efforts on the African continent for the benefit of similar efforts in our time.
This chapter is a study of an encounter between the church and the socio-political and cultural milieu of West Africa, with particular focus on Ghana. It closely analyses the relationship between contextualization and the mission of the church by addressing several questions. Does the mission of the Church require contextualization in order to be fully effective? If contextualization is necessary, then how can it best serve and enhance Anglicanism in Ghana so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can take deep and lasting root in the lives of the people, and become both the organizing principle and unifying factor of their everyday living? This chapter is based on research conducted among various people of different walks of life in the church. It seeks to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the different responses and approaches adopted by them with a view to developing an appropriate Ghanaian response to Anglicanism.