The Jesuits, the Vatican & the Making of Postcolonial French Africa

James Currey,

2022, 324 Pages


Explores the impact of Jesuit missions on the development of Christianity in postcolonial French Africa, which found itself at the centre of major shifts and struggles within global Christianity and world politics.

At a time when most African countries were moving towards independence, the Vatican was speeding up the Church’s indigenization agenda in an effort to secure its survival in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, at the same time, African nationalism was on the rise and, following the collapse of its colonial empire, France was attempting to reassert its influence in Africa. This book shows how the Vatican, French Jesuits, the rising Cameroonian indigenous clergy and leadership, and the first Cameroonian Jesuits competed for the Catholic evangelization of French Africa during the mid-20th century. In the mission field, they also competed with different Protestant groups, with whom they shared acommon aim: to convert African traditional religionists and different groups of African Muslims to Christ, while containing the spread of anti-religious ideologies such as Communism.

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