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Pentecostal Theology in Africa

Editor Clifton R. Clarke is the Assistant Provost for the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies and Associate Professor of Black Church Studies and World Christianity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

By way of conclusion, this selection of essays is a very readable cataloguing of key issues pertaining to APs. Different depths of exploration of the issues concerned means that this book contains some evaluation and scholarly analysis of matters raised. It successfully gives a reader a flavour of much that is going on in Africa today. Weaknesses of the book include its failure to engage sufficiently with AP’s rooting in indigenous contexts: much evaluation of AP is as if it is a variant on Western Christianity. At times too positive for a scholarly text, and too much rooted in a perspective from the West, the above weaknesses arise from an underestimation of the impact of African languages (barely mentioned as an issue: most of the book seems to assume AP is entirely rooted in Western English) and cultures on the subjects under question.  The book is a suitable stimulation to discussion on AP at undergraduate level. It provides a broad background to issues in AP. It makes a good introduction to a breadth of issues that can enable a reader interested in knowing more to later explore AP in more contextual detail.

Reviewed by Jim Harries


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Category: In Depth, Summer 2018

About the Author: Jim Harries, PhD (University of Birmingham), is professor of religion with Global University and adjunct faculty with William Carey International University. He works closely with a wide variety of churches in western Kenya in informal theological education. These include many African founded churches, Pentecostal churches, and the Coptic Orthodox church. Jim uses indigenous languages, and local resources in his ministry. He chairs the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission and is the author of Vulnerable Mission: Insights into Christian Mission to Africa from a Position of Vulnerability (William Carey Library, 2011), Three Days in the Life of an African Christian Villager (New Generation Publishing, 2011), Theory to Practice in Vulnerable Mission: An Academic Appraisal (Wipf and Stock, 2012), Communication in Mission and Development: Relating to the Church in Africa (Wipf and Stock, 2013), Secularism and Africa: In the Light of the Intercultural Christ (Wipf and Stock, 2015), New Foundations for Appreciating Africa: Beyond Religious and Secular Deceptions (VKW, 2016), The Godless Delusion: Europe and Africa (Wipf & Stock, 2017), and a novel African Heartbeat: And A Vulnerable Fool (2018). Facebook: Vulnerable Mission. Twitter: @A4VM.

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