Global Christianity and the Black Atlantic

Global Christianity and the Black Atlantic

Basic information

  • Author(s):
    • Andrew E. Barnes
  • Published: February 1, 2017
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Page count: 219
  • ISBN: 9781481303927

Global Christianity and the Black Atlantic

Many Europeans saw Africa’s colonization as an exhibition of European racial ascendancy. African Christians saw Africa’s subjugation as a demonstration of European technological superiority. If the latter was the case, then the path to Africa’s liberation ran through the development of a competitive African technology.

In Global Christianity and the Black Atlantic, Andrew E. Barnes chronicles African Christians’ turn to American-style industrial education—particularly the model that had been developed by Booker T. Washington at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute—as a vehicle for Christian regeneration in Africa. Over the period 1880–1920, African Christians, motivated by Ethiopianism and its conviction that Africans should be saved by other Africans, proposed and founded schools based upon the Tuskegee model.


"Barnes traces an overlooked but important episode in South and West African intellectual history during which Africans and African American leaders allied through the medium of Protestant Christianity to define and promote a program of educational reform designed to empower Africans in the modern world. He deftly advances our appreciation of how intellectual life in colonial Africa, too long constrained by notions of resistance and domination, is indeed rich with creative agendas for change which drew on Black Atlantic currents."

—Philip S. Zachernuk, Dalhousie University, author of Colonial Subjects: An African Intelligentsia and Atlantic Ideas

"With over three decades of serious scholarship on Christianity, Andrew Barnes demonstrates yet again that he is at the forefront of originality and innovative scholarship. He emphasizes, with remarkable skill and compassion, how Africans extended ideas of modernization and education, thereby transforming Christianity itself, in this impressive book on the connection between religion, change, and progress."

—Toyin Falola, University Distinguished Teaching Professor and Jacob and Frances Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin

"Andrew Barnes brings to life an important but largely forgotten world: the ‘Christian black Atlantic’ of the early twentieth century. Carefully interweaving African American history with the histories of Western and Southern Africa, he reveals the complex strategies by which African Christians addressed colonialism and white racism, inspired by Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee. An authoritative, illuminating, and absorbing book."

—Richard H. Elphick, Emeritus Professor of History, Wesleyan University


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