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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Presbyterian presence in Africa goes back mainly to the nineteenth-century Protestant missionary enterprise on the continent. Presbyterianism spread all over the continent through missionary activity, but especially through the work of Africans themselves. African Presbyterians have much in common with Presbyterians worldwide in terms of beliefs, values, and practices, but the African cultural context offers unique dimensions to these commonalities. Presbyterians in Africa continue to face challenges generated by their context in areas such as the engagement between the gospel and African culture, which is intertwined with Africa’s primal religions, worldviews, and many local languages. A major challenge confronting Presbyterians today is how to engage with people of other faiths, especially Muslims, in Africa’s multireligious setting. Other challenges are African multiethnicity and the implications for Presbyterian worship and polity; globalization and its impact on values and ethics; denominationalism and its ramifications for ecumenism and church unity; and the shift in the center of gravity of Christianity to Africa and other southern continents and the impact on mission, theological engagement, and reflection. Presbyterians in Africa have a rich history that should shape their continuing contribution to the development of the continent and the global church.

Keywords: Africa, language, culture, worldview, mission, education

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