The African Christian and Islam

History

“The African Christian and Islam” is an initiative launched in 2010 by John Azumah, a Ghanaian Presbyterian pastor, then director of the Center of Islamic Studies, London School of Theology.

Objective

The objective of the projet was to examine the various ways in which African Christians have encountered, responded to and engaged with Islam and Muslims over the years with the view of gaining insights and learning lessons for a much more biblically, theologically and missiologically sound ways of engagement in the contemporary African context. The projet is not about Islam in Africa per se neither is it about Christian-Muslim relations as such. It is about critical African Christian reflections on Islam and a biblically and theologically sound engagement with Muslims in Africa. The primary target audience of the projet is theological students and scholars in Africa but also having in mind sharing the African experience with the wider global audience interested in Christian-Muslim issues.

Presentation

  1. Conferences
  2. Publications

The Conferences

The conferences are made of:

  1. Bible reflections
  2. Main Papers
  3. Country studies.

Bible Reflection

Bible Reflection aimed at exploring the basis of “a biblically and theologically sound engagement with Muslims in Africa.”

Main Papers

The content of the main papers includes

  • a description of the nature and manifestation of the particular “face” of Islam, with references to historical and contemporary examples within the African context
  • It should shed light on the specific theological, missiological and existential questions and challenges the particular face of Islam raises for African Christians.
  • It should provide scriptural and theological resources for Christians in their engagement with that particular face of Islam. In other words, the paper should proffer guidance on sound biblical, theological and missiological Christian engagement with that face of Islam.

Country Studies

Country Studies include:

  • A brief historical survey on the arrival and spread of Islam and Christianity in the country, as well as major divisions and denominations within the various traditions – Shia/Sunni/Sufi – Catholic/Mainline Protestant/Charismatic/Pentecostal etc.
  • The demographics – including percentages and major ethnic and/regional compositions of the two faiths;
  • An account of the ways in which Christians have encountered Islam and engaged with Muslims in different regions and the country as a whole.
  • Which of the following “faces” of Islam predominates in the country thereby posing the most challenges to Christians requiring biblical, theological and missiological reflections: Islamic Missions and Polemics, The Ideological face of Islam, e.g. Islamic State and Shariah Law, Muslim Militancy (violence/terrorism), Folk Islam, “Africanized Islam” and Islamic Mysticism, “Progressive”, “Moderate”, “Liberal” or self-critical face of Islam in which some Muslims reject the Shariah and militancy in preference to modern democracy.
  • How do the major Christian denominations or traditions in the country differ in their attitudes towards Islam and engagement with Muslims?

The ACI Conferences

(2012, July 23-26) The ACI Nairobi Conference. Read more

(2010, July 6-10), The ACI Accra Conference. Read more

The ACI Publications

Azumah, J., and Sanneh, L. (eds.). 2013. The African Christian and Islam. Carlisle: Langham Monographs.

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