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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter examines conversion to Christianity, one of the most significant social and cultural transformations in twentieth-century Africa. The focus is upon the role of Christianity in African society, with emphasis on the making of identities of class, ethnicity, gender, generation, and nation. The diversity of African Christianity is examined in terms of both the range of African societies it encountered and the spectrum of changing mission Christianities, which extend back as far as the late fifteenth century. Scholarship has been advanced through a greater sensitivity to missionary and African literary production as well as increasing use of photographic data. Growing interest in African cultural history has caused scholars to shift emphasis away from missionaries and their institutions towards an interest in what Christianity meant for ordinary adherents, including the mental transformations involved in conversion and the significance of baptism, pilgrimage, and the religious landscape.

Keywords: Bible, conversion, cultural encounter, literacy, missionaries, revival.

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