The Church in the African Diaspora

Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley, who began his career in Jamaica in a band called The Wailers, in the 1970's.  He popularized reggae world-wide, as one of his major themes was the struggle for justice against European colonialism.  He also popularized Rastafarianism, the belief that the Ethiopian emperor Hailie Selassie was the messianic heir of King David.  Selassie himself, not wishing to be worshiped, commissioned the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to minister in Jamaica.  Bob Marley converted to Christ in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition over a year before his death.  See this and this on the story of Bob Marley.  Photo credit: Mountaineer Catholic at St. John University Parish


the church in the african diaspora outside the united states

The selection of perspectives on church history in this section has been guided by three factors: (1) to demonstrate that Christianity has not been a “white man’s religion”; (2) the study of empire as a recurring motif in Scripture by recent biblical studies scholars; and (3) explorations of biblical Christian ethics on issues of power and polity, to understand how Christians were faithful to Christ or not.  Christian relational ethics continues a Christian theological anthropology that began with reflection on the human nature of Jesus, and the human experience of biblical Israel.

Other Books and Articles on the Church in the African Diaspora

Noel Leo Erskine, Decolonizing Theology: A Caribbean Perspective (Amazon book, Feb 1, 1998)

Paul Freston, Evangelicals and Politics in Asia, Africa and Latin America (Amazon book, 2001, 2003) and pdf book

Lamin Sanneh, Whose Religion Is Christianity?: The Gospel beyond the West (Amazon book, 2001) a compilation of essays

Herman L. Bennett, Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640 (Amazon book, Aug 31, 2003)

Jon F. Sensbach, Rebecca's Revival: Creating Black Christianity in the Atlantic World (Amazon book, Feb 23, 2005)

Paul Freston, Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Latin America (Amazon book, 2008) and pdf book 

Journey to Orthodoxy, Bob Marley: Orthodox Christian (Journey to Orthodoxy blog, Jun 3, 2010)

Afe Adogame, Roswith Gerloff, and Klaus Hock, Christianity in Africa and the African Diaspora: The Appropriation of a Scattered Heritage (Amazon book, May 12, 2011)

Linda M. Heywood and John K. Thornton, Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the Foundation of the Americas, 1585-1660 (Amazon book, 2007) the remarkable story of how King Afonso of Kongo became a baptized Catholic in 1491, one year before Columbus set sail for the Americas, and laid the foundation for up to 20% of the West African people taken as slaves to the Americas were Catholic Christians; this means that church history had to be falsified in order for the Catholic Doctrine of Discovery to take effect; see also John Thornton, The Development of an African Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1491–1750 (The Journal of African History, Jan 1, 2009) and John Thornton and Linda Heywood, A Forgotten African Catholic Kingdom (The Root, Aug 12, 2011). This led to the Stono Rebellion of 1739 in South Carolina (Wikipedia article), led by Catholic Kongolese; see Lisa Vox, What Impact Did the Stono Rebellion Have on the Lives of Slaves? (Thoughtco, Jan 13, 2018)

Partners in Health, Père Eddy, Haiti’s Patron Saint of Mental Health (Partners in Health, Oct 22, 2015)

Noel Leo Erskine, Plantation Church: How African American Religion Was Born in Caribbean Slavery (Amazon book, 2014)

Shira Telushkin, The Americanization of an Ancient Faith (The Atlantic, Mar 31, 2018) re: Coptic Churches in the U.S.

the church in africa: cradles of christian civilization

church and empire: reflections on faithfulness and compromise: topics