More Information
ISBN: 9781907713972
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 25
Publication Date: 14/06/2013
Pages: 484
Language: English

The African Christian and Islam


During the summer of 2010 Ghana played host to the first ever conference held within Africa to focus solely on the relationship of the African Christian and Islam. The event was led by John Azumah in partnership with the Center of Early African Theology. The conference, chaired by Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja welcomed over 50 participants from across 27 African countries and several denominations. This book is a collection of the papers presented by 22 of the delegates forming a historical survey and thematic assessment of the African Christian and Islam. In addition, key information on the introduction, spread and engagement of Islam and Christianity within 9 African countries is presented. The book closes with Biblical reflections that opened each day of the conference, providing useful examples of Christians reading the Bible in reference to Islam.

Author Bios

John Azumah
(Edited By)

John Azumah is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. John did his doctoral work with the University of Birmingham, UK, on Islam in Africa and Christian-Muslim relations. He is currently an associate professor of World Christianity and Islam at Columbia Theological Seminary, USA. Before that, Dr. Azumah served as lecturer in Islamic and Mission studies and director of the Centre for Islamic Studies at the London School of Theology in the United Kingdom. He has taught in theological seminaries in India, South Africa, and Ghana and was a research fellow at the Akrofi-Christaller Institute in Ghana. John is author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa: A Quest for Inter-Religious Dialogue (2001) and My Neighbour’s Faith: Islam Explained for Christian (2008).

Lamin Sanneh
(Edited By)

PROFESSOR LAMIN SANNEH did his PhD in Islamic history at the University of London. Prior to his appointment at Yale University as the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity, with a concurrent appointment as Professor of History at Yale College, he was a professor at Harvard University for eight years. Prof. Sanneh is an Honorary Research Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London, and is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He serves on the editorial board of several academic journals and has published numerous article and books including his most recent, Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity.


The African Christian and Islam demystifies the mutual ignorance that is often common amongst African Christians and Muslims, thus building a vital bridge towards interreligious epistemology. The edited book provides a complex historiography of Africa’s religious tapestry, underscoring its robustness, spiritual and confessional variegatedness and unity; but also mutual dependence in growth, development and impact . . . The urgency of such a book cannot be overstated at an increasingly insecure time in which the global arena is awash with incessant interreligious tensions, conflicts and violence. The book is a must-read for scholars, students, religious and political entrepreneurs who are genuinely committed to interreligious understanding and coexistence in Africa and globally.

Afe Adogame, PhD
World Christianity & Religious Studies,
The University of Edinburgh

John Azumah is to be commended not only for his vision of, but also for bringing about the first conference of its kind on African Christian perspectives of Islam. The stimulating papers from the conference contained in this volume have laid the foundation for African Christians to consider their relation to Muslims and Islam in the African. The combination of theoretical context, empirical information and thoughtful analysis makes this volume an ideal text not just for theological students and pastors but should be of interest Christians and Muslims seeking to live and work together for peace and harmony in Africa and beyond.

Dr. Sigvard von Sicard
Department of Theology and Religion,
University of Birmingham

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Introduction
      1. Chapter 1
        1. The African Christian and Islam: Historical and Religious Dimensions
      2. Chapter 2
        1. Patterns of Christian-Muslim Encounters in Africa
      3. Chapter 3
        1. Hermeneutical and Theological Resources in African Traditional Religions for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa
      4. Chapter 4
        1. The African Christian and Islam: Insights from the Colonial Period
      5. Chapter 5
        1. The African Christian and Islam: The Roman Catholic Perspective
      1. Chapter 6
        1. Fault Lines in African Christian Response to Islam
      2. Chapter 7
        1. Competitions and Conflict:Pentecostals’ and Charismatics’ Engagement with Islam in Nigeria
      3. Chapter 8
        1. The African Christian and Ideological Islam
      4. Chapter 9
        1. The African Christian and Muslim Militancy
      5. Chapter 10
        1. The African Christian and Islamic Da’wah and Polemics
      6. Chapter 11
        1. The African Christian and Islamic Mysticism: Folk Islam
      1. Chapter 12
        1. Egypt
      2. Chapter 13
        1. Ethiopia
      3. Chapter 14
        1. Ghana
      4. Chapter 15
        1. Kenya
      5. Chapter 16
        1. Nigeria
      6. Chapter 17
        1. Senegal
      7. Chapter 18
        1. South Africa
      8. Chapter 19
        1. Sudan
      9. Chapter 20
        1. Tanzania
      1. Chapter 21
        1. Encountering the Other: A Study of Mark 7:24-30 and Matthew 15:21-28
      2. Chapter 22
        1. Bible Reflection: Luke 7:1-10, Healing the Centurion’s Slave
      3. Chapter 23
        1. Thinking Biblically About Islam and Muslims: Christian Attitudes toward Muslim Women and Seclusion
  3. Contributors


Abraham Akrong

REV. DR. ABRAHAM AKRONG is a Ghanaian national and an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. Dr. Akrong was educated at the University of Ghana and the Trinity Theological Seminary, Ghana and obtained his PhD from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Currently Dr Akrong is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of Section of Religion and Philosophy at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra.

Elom Dovlo

REV. PROF. ELOM DOVLO is associate professor in the Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana. He has been head of department and vice dean of the Faculty of Arts. He pursued his doctoral studies at the University of Lancaster in England. Currently he teaches, researches, and publishes in areas of the Comparative History of Religions, Islam in Modern West Africa, New Religious Movements, Religion in the African Diaspora, and Religion in Public Life. He has held fellowships in the US, Europe, and Asia. Rev. Dovlo is also an ordained Minister of the Global Evangelical Church and the director of Studies.

John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan

DR. JOHN OLORUNFEMI ONAIYEKAN, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja in Nigeria pursued a doctorate programme at the Pontifical Urban University, Rome in Biblical Theology. Currently he is co-president of the Nigerian Inter-religious Council and co-president of the African Council of Religious Leaders (ACR). Archbishop Onaiyekan has been president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria, of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA), and of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar. He has been a member of Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican and a member Standing Committee of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.

Matthews A. Ojo

MATTHEW OJO earned his PhD degree from Kings’ College and the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in 1986, specializing in African Christianity with a special interest in Pentecostal and Charismatic movements in Africa and indigenous initiatives in Protestant Missions from Africa. He has published extensively on these and other subjects. His recent book is End Time Army: Charismatic Movements in Modern Nigeria. Ojo has served as visiting professor to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (1993–1994); Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, (1994 & 1995); Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA (2002), and the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2006), among others. Presently, he is a professor of Religious Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, and an adjunct professor at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.

Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon

BISHOP DR. JOSIAH ATKINS IDOWU-FEARON did his MA (Islamic Theology) with the University of Birmingham U.K. and completed his doctoral studies (PhD) in Sociology with the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. Presently he the Anglican BAishop of Kaduna, a Lecturer in Islamic Studies and Director of the Kaduna Anglican Study Centre and a Visiting Lecturer in Islam and Anglicanism at the Canterbury International Centre, U.K. Bishop Idowu-Fearon also serves as Chairperson of the Programme for Christian–Muslim Relations in Africa (PROCMURA) as well as Co-President, Network for Interfaith Concerns, Anglican Communion.

Moussa Bongoyok

MOUSSA BONGOYOK, originally from Cameroon, has had most of his theological education in the Central African Republic and obtained a PhD in Intercultural Studies (with a special focus on Islam) from Fuller Theological Seminary, USA. Dr. Bongoyok served as associate professor of Intercultural and Islamic studies and Academic Dean of Bangui Evangelical Graduate School of Theology and is currently the director of the Holistic Mission Institute of the Nations and Ph.D. program director at William Carey International University, Pasadena, CA.

John Chesworth

DR. JOHN CHESWORTH is lecturer and team member at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies in Oxford. Dr. Chesworth did his doctoral work on Christian-Muslim Relations in the East African context with the University of Birmingham, UK. John has served as senior lecturer and programme director of Postgraduate Courses in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya.

David W. Shenk

DAVID W. SHENK is an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church USA and holds a doctorate in religious studies education from New York University. He served within Muslim communities in Somalia and Kenya and served as academic dean at LCC International University (Lithuania). At present he is adjunct professor at the Lancaster Campus of Eastern Mennonite University and global consultant with Eastern Mennonite Missions with special attention to Islam. An accomplished author, he wrote the well-known A Muslim and A Christian in Dialogue, which he co-authored with Badru D. Kateregga, a devout Sunni Muslim scholar.

Tharwat Wahba

REV. DR. THARWAT WAHBA is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt. Dr Wahba received his PhD from London School of Theology, UK and is now Professor of Mission and Evangelism and the Chair of the Mission Department in the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt. He worked as a staff member and campus director with Campus Crusade for Christ in Egypt for twelve years. Currently, he is Chairman of the Pastoral and Outreach Ministries Council of the Presbyterian Church of Egypt.

F. Peter Ford, Jr.

REV. DR. F. PETER FORD, JR. is an ordained missionary of the Reformed Church in America, having served for twenty-eight years in the Middle East and Africa. He received his PhD from Temple University (Philadelphia) in the field of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. Currently he is Senior Lecturer of the Programme in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya. Previously he taught ICMR in Ethiopia, at Mekane Yesus Seminary and the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology.

Adbul Rahman Yakubu

ABDUL RAHMAN YAKUBU is an ordained minister in the Bible Church of Africa, Ghana. He holds a Masters degree in Contextual Theology from Kampen University (the Netherlands) in Christian-Muslim relations. Currently he is pursuing a PhD from the same university in contextual theology and interfaith relations in Ghana. Rahman and his family live in a predominantly Muslim area, where he trains pastors and church leaders with a view to enhancing inter-faith relations.

Stephen Mutuku Sesi

DR. STEPHEN MUTUKU SESI is an ordained minister of the Africa Inland Church Kenya. He has served as a tutor at Pwani Bible Institute and also as the National Director of the Christian Education Department. Stephen did his doctoral work at Fuller Theological Seminary on worldview change among Digo Muslims of Kenya. Dr. Sesi is now a lecturer in Christian Muslim Relations and Islam in Africa at Africa International University, formerly Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology.

Matthew Hassan Kukah

MATTHEW HASSAN KUKAH studied Philosophy and Theology at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary in Jos, Nigeria. He undertook his PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies and has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He served as secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, member of the Human Rights Violation Investigation Commission, was secretary of the National Political Reform Conference. He is currently chairman of the Ogoni Shell Reconciliation Committee and Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna, Nigeria.

Daniel Abdou Karim L. Gomis

REV. DANIEL ABDOU KARIM L. GOMIS is minister of the Church of the Nazarene of Senegal. Daniel did his Masters in African Literature and Civilizations and presently lectures in Christian Ethics, Homiletics, and Spiritual Formation at the Nazarene Theological Institute in Dakar. He also serves as the French editor of Africa Nazarene Publications and a member of the Christian-Muslim Evangelical dialogue committee. Daniel holds a Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.

Manfred Jung

MANFRED JUNG studied in Switzerland, Germany, and the USA, and holds an MTh from Stellenbosch University (2005). He is currently pursuing doctoral studies on the dynamics of the expansion of Islam in South Africa with the University of South Africa. He is heading up Christian Concern for Muslims (CCM) Services and is the managing director of AcadSA Publishing, a Christian Academic publishing house in South Africa. He is a trainer and consultant in the field of Muslim Evangelism.

James Bol Obwonyo

REV. JAMES BOL OBWONYO PADIET is an ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan. He holds a Masters degree in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations from St. Paul’s University, Limuru-Kenya. He is currently a pastor in charge of the Good Samaritan Presbyterian congregation in Sudan, Malakal, Dean of Studies for Laa Amoleker Academic Bible School of PCOS-Dolieb Hill Presbytery, and a full-time teacher for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the Government of Southern Sudan, Upper Nile State, Malakal.

William Andrew Kopwe

REV. WILLIAM KOPWE is a Lutheran minister, serving in Tanga Region, Tanzania. He studied Theology at Makumira University College, Arusha, and completed an MA in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya. At present, he is a doctoral candidate at the Open University of Tanzania.

Mercy Amba Oduyoye

MERCY AMBA ODUYOYE is a Ghanaian Methodist theologian. She is currently the director of the Institute of African Women in Religion and Culture at Trinity Theological Seminary in Ghana. Oduyoye earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Ghana in 1963, a second bachelor's degree from Cambridge University in 1965, and a master's degree from Cambridge in 1969. From 1967-1979, she was youth education secretary for the World Council of Churches; from 1987–1994, she was Deputy General Secretary for the same organization. She has taught at Harvard University, Union Theological Seminary, and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Oduyoye has written four books and over eighty articles focusing on Christian theology from a feminist and African perspective.

Serge Moussa Traore

SERGE MOUSSA TRAORE is an ordained Roman Catholic priest from Burkina Faso and a member of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa committed to the promotion of Muslim-Christian dialogue in Africa. He holds a Masters from the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies of Religions and Cultures, of Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy and a diploma in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Pontifical Institute of the Study of Arabic and Islamics, Rome, Italy. Serge is author of: The Truth in Islam According to the Official Teaching of the Catholic Church (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2010). He worked in Rwanda as a missionary priest where he collaborated in the Programme for Muslim-Christian Relations in Rwanda. Serge is currently doing a doctoral level research in Islam in Mauritania.

Josephine Katile Mutuku

JOSEPHINE KATILE MUTUKU has taught at Africa International University (AIU) since 2004 and is currently a full time lecturer in Missions. She holds a Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, M.Th. and Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary. Josephine is founder of Kyeni International Organization that takes care of orphans and widows. Her publications include Social Change Among Digo Muslim Women: Implications for Mission and a co-author of African Missiology: Contribution of African Thought.

Related Books

Related by Classification