More Information
ISBN: 9781907713590
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 24
Publication Date: 14/02/2013
Pages: 474
Language: English

The Transformation of African Christianity

Development and Change in the Nigerian Church

£31.99

The explosion of the church in Nigeria is phenomenal, with a forward momentum that is as remarkable as the missionary optimism of the first century Church. The history reveals a tightly woven narrative of the process of beginnings, growth, and change. The Transformation of African Christianity is a systematic ecclesiological reflection on the extent to which the understanding and practice of ‘church’ have changed during one and a half centuries of Christianity in Nigeria. This provides pastors and practitioners with an interpretive framework for a contextual yet biblical way of doing church as Nigeria moves into the future. It will also give the theorist a missiological and theological compass to guide the work of theorizing and provide symmetry of understanding and interpretation in the ongoing appraisal of non-Western and global Christianity.

Author Bios

Sunday Jide Komolafe
(By)

SUNDAY JIDE KOMOLAFE is Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Christian Renewal and Advancement in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also Associate Professor of Ministry & Theology at the Africa Centre for Theological Studies. He received his Phd in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena - USA. Some of the works he has authored include Christ, Church, and the Cosmos: A Missiological Reading of Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians (Missiology, 2007) and The Changing Face of Christianity: Revisiting African Creativity (Missiology, 2004). Sunday specialises in the field of practical theology.

Endorsements

This is an impressive account of mission history, of the role of African culture and agency in the historical transmission of the Christian faith, of the understanding of the nature of the Church, and of the different ecclesiastical paradigms that have emerged from different experiences, practices and theological thinking. The book has made its mark as an important interpretative account of Christianity in Nigeria. It deserves to be read by scholars of African Christianity, Christian missions, and those interested in religious change in Africa.

Prof. Matthews A. Ojo
Department of Religious Studies,
Obafemi Awolowo University

The dynamic characteristics of Christian churches in Nigeria present, in many ways, an ecclesiological model for the entire continent. Dr. Sunday Komolafe has produced a much needed publication for his own context which, while located in Nigeria, is actually much broader than Nigeria. This precedent work shows the author’s ability to synthesize historical, cultural and theological dimensions in the Nigerian church. I commend this book highly as a product of excellence and integrity.

Prof. Dean S. Gilliland
Professor Emeritus of Contextualized Theology and African Studies
Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Intercultural Studies


The story of Christianity in Nigeria remains one of the most remarkable of modern times. In this detailed study, Komolafe examines major factors that have shaped the church in Nigeria from the beginning and provides a meaningful appraisal of contemporary transformations from a biblical perspective. The treatment is insightful and the analysis is fresh. A welcome addition to the growing body of African scholarship.

Prof. Jehu J. Hanciles
Brooks Chair of World Christianity, Candler School of Theology
Emory University

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Foreword
  3. Introduction
  4. PART I: PAST AS PROLOGUE: REASSESSING NIGERIA’S PRE-CHRISTIAN CULTURAL PAST
  5. Chapter 1
    1. The Ferment of Nigeria’s Pre-Christian Cultural Past
      1. Social Organization and Political System
        1. The Igbo Socio-Political Structure
        2. The Yoruba Socio-Political Structure
      2. The Roles of Secret Societies within the Socio-Political System
        1. The Ekpe Society
        2. The Ogboni Fraternity
      3. Polygamy, Marriage, and Family Life
      4. Socio-Political Economy
        1. Agriculture and Commodity Trade
        2. Domestic Slavery: The Anatomy of a Socio-Political Economy
        3. European Commercial Presence and its Effects on the Local Context
      5. Religious System
        1. Theology, Cosmology, and Anthropology: The Supreme God and Other Agencies
        2. Islamic Contact and the Process of Religious Change
      6. Summary
  6. PART II: TRANSFORMING THE CONTEXT: THE PROTESTANT MISSION ERA IN NIGERIAN CHRISTIAN HISTORY, 1841-1918
  7. Chapter 2
    1. The Early Christianization of Nigeria
      1. The Evangelical Revival and the Appeal of Foreign Missions
        1. The CMS of Great Britain
        2. The Southern Baptist Mission of North America
      2. Protestant Missionary Presence in Nigeria: Motives and Prospects
      3. Missions Along New Frontiers: The Yoruba and the Niger Missions
        1. The CMS Yoruba Mission
        2. The Southern Baptist Yoruba Mission
        3. The Niger Mission
      4. Missionary Encounter with a Non-Christian Context
      5. From Mission to Church: The Evolution of a Movement
  8. Chapter 3
    1. The Formation of an African Ministry
      1. Henry Venn and the Ideal of a Native Ministry as a Working Objective
        1. Indigenizing the Episcopacy: The Bishopric Controversy
        2. Bishop Samuel Crowther: “The Symbol of a Race on Trial”
      2. The Hijacking of the Episcopacy and the Rise of Nigerian Nationalism
      3. The Southern Baptist Mission, its Ecclesiology and Structures of Ministry
      4. The Emerging Theology of the Church
        1. Evangelical Theology and the General Hermeneusis of the Gospel
        2. Personal and Social Transformation
      5. Protestant Missions, Ecclesiastical Colonialism, and Respectability
      6. Summary
  9. PART III: RECLAIMING THE CONTEXT: THE RISE OF NIGERIAN INDIGENOUS CHURCH MOVEMENTS, 1918-1980S
  10. Chapter 4
    1. Nigerian Ecclesiastical Independency
      1. The Starting Point of Independency
        1. Missionary Ideologies and Activities
        2. From Ethiopianism to Independentism
      2. Prophetic Aladura Churches
      3. The Origins of the Aladura Churches
        1. The Precious Stone Society and Foreign Alliances
        2. The Great Revival of the 1930s
      4. The Context of Aladura Christianity
      5. The Ministry of the Aladura
        1. Worship
        2. Aladura Worship: Gateway of Paganism?
      6. The Theology of the Aladura
      7. Vernacularization, Interpretation, and Appropriation
        1. Prayer
        2. Spiritual Power
      8. Summary
  11. PART IV: MODERNIZING THE CONTEXT: THE RECONSTRUCTIONIST CHRISTIANITY OF THE CHARISMATIC/PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENTS, 1980S-2000S
  12. Chapter 5
    1. Charismatic/Pentecostal Movements
      1. Charismatics and Pentecostals: A Historical Perspective
      2. The Making of Nigerian Pentecostalism: Sketching the Connections
        1. Classical Pentecostals, 1918-1941
        2. The Charismatic Movement, 1944-1980s
        3. Neocharismatics, 1980s-2000s
      3. The Context of the Neocharismatic Churches
        1. The Cultural Dimension
        2. The Religious Dimension
        3. The Socio-Political Dimension
        4. The Economic Dimension
      4. The Ministry of the Neocharismatic Churches
        1. Koinonia: The Community of the Saved
        2. Evangelism: Propagating the Word
        3. Socio-Political Activism
      5. The Theology of the Neocharismatic Churches
        1. The Theme of Salvation
        2. Power Theology
      6. Summary
  13. PART V: FROM THE MARGINS TO THE CENTER: THE POLITICAL ORIGINS OF UNITY IN NIGERIAN CHRISTIANITY, 1960-1993
  14. Chapter 6
    1. Reluctant Ecumenism: Historical Legacies of Christian Political Thoughts
      1. The Politicization of Religion in Modern Nigeria
        1. Fulani Hegemony and Ethnic Politicking: The Legacy of Usman Dan Fodio’s Jihad
        2. The Colonial Factor in the Hausa-Fulani/Northern Hegemony
      2. Self-Government and Political Imagination:
      3. The Religious Dimension
        1. The First Republic: The Religious Politics of Sir Ahmadu Bello, 1960-1966
        2. The Political Dimension of Christian Ecumenism: The Christian Association of Nigeria Since 1976
      4. Toward a Religio-Political Synthesis: The Constitutional Debates of 1978 and 1988
        1. Toward the Second Republic: The First Constitutional Crisis of 1978-1979
        2. Toward the Third Republic: The Babangida Era, 1985-1993
      5. Violent Faces of Religion: The Christian-Muslim Clashes
  15. Chapter 7
    1. The Past in the Present: Toward Authentic Christian Ecumenism
      1. Early Attempts at Christian Unity in Nigeria
        1. The Formulation of Church Union: Impulses from the Missionaries
        2. African Agents: Their Roles and Contributions
        3. Interdenominational Cooperation
      2. Toward Authentic Christian Ecumenism
      3. Summary
  16. PART IV: WHAT ON EARTH IS THE CHURCH?: AN EXPLORATION IN BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING
  17. Chapter 8
    1. The Relevance of a Biblical Starting Point
      1. Etymological Analysis of Biblical Presuppositions
        1. Ekklēsia in the Old Testament
        2. Ekklēsia in the New Testament
      2. Paul, Israel, and the Church
      3. Luke-Acts: The Primitive Church in Jerusalem
        1. The Context of the Church
        2. Contextual Issues in the Jerusalem Church
      4. The Ministry of the Jerusalem Church
        1. Liturgical Life and Worship
        2. Harmony and Community Sharing
      5. The Theology of the Jerusalem Church
        1. The Jerusalem Church Council
        2. Facilitating Social Unity between Two Factions
  18. Chapter 9
    1. The Apostolic Churches as Models for Appropriate Ecclesiology
      1. Christianity in Rome
      2. The Church in Rome
        1. The Context of the Church
        2. Contextual Issues in the Roman Church
      3. The Ministry of the Roman Church
        1. Sacrificial Living as a Mark of Christian Ministry
        2. Complementarity of Charismatic Ministry
      4. The Theology of the Church
        1. Dynamics of a Coherent Christian Relationship
        2. Christ: The Point of Convergence
      5. Christianity in Corinth
      6. The Church in Corinth
        1. The Context of the Church: “A Tale of Two Cities”
        2. The Establishment and Composition of the Corinthian Church
        3. Contextual Issues in the Corinthian Church
        4. The Ministry of the Church
        5. The Theology of the Church
      7. The Church in the Epistle to the Ephesians
      8. Composition of the Church
        1. The Context of the Church
        2. The Ministry of the Church
        3. The Theology of the Church
      9. Summary
  19. PART VII: FOUNDATIONS FOR ORTHODOXY IN THE POST-APOSTOLIC CHURCH
  20. Chapter 10
    1. The Early Church and Hellenism
      1. The Context of the Early Church
        1. The Religious Trends
        2. The Intellectual-Literary Trends
        3. The Socio-Political Trend
      2. The Ministry of the Early Church
        1. Ecclesiastical Office as Ministry
        2. The Ideal of Martyrdom
        3. Missionary Orientation as Ministry
        4. Reasoned Defense as Ministry
      3. The Theology of the Early Church
        1. Early Christian Worship
        2. The Development of the Liturgy
        3. Theological Developments in the Early Church
      4. Summary
  21. PART VIII: BETWEEN PAST AND FUTURE: TRANSFORMING ECCLESIOLOGY IN TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY NIGERIA
  22. Chapter 11
    1. Toward a Biblical, Contextual, and Missional Ecclessiology in Nigeria
      1. The Hermeneutical Obligation to Context and Scripture
        1. New Testament Ecclesiology as “Hermeneutical Key” to
        2. Biblical and Contextual Ecclesiology
        3. The Challenge of Hellenism as “Hermeneutical Key” to Biblical and Contextual Ecclesiology
      2. Theological-Hermenutical Framework for a Biblical and
      3. Contextual Ecclesiology in Nigeria
      4. Toward a Responsible and Missional Ecclesiology in Nigeria
        1. Doxological Challenge
        2. Leadership Challenge
        3. Discipleship Challenge
        4. Intellectual/Theological Challenge
        5. Ethical Challenge
      5. Conclusion
  23. Bibliography
  24. Index

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