InterVarsity Press

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The Blessing of Africa

The Bible and African Christianity

By Keith Augustus Burton

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The Blessing of Africa




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"I found this book fascinating and have learned from it considerably, both on matters I have previously studied and on material that was new to me. On points where my views differ, Burton has challenged and stimulated my thinking."

—Craig S. Keener, professor of New Testament, Palmer Theological Seminary, and coauthor of Black Man's Religion and Defending Black Faith

"Keith Augustus Burton, in his new volume, The Blessing of Africa: The Bible and African Christianity, helps us to see that all roads do not lead to Rome. There is at least one highway that tends southward toward Ethiopia and even to the lands beyond its rivers. As Augustine said, 'God hath foretold that the Church should be in Africa.'

Dr. Burton's familiarity with the sources and his broad historical view make it possible for him to paint a vivid picture of Yahweh's word at work in the 'land of Ham.' In a day when historians, religion teachers, journalists and even filmmakers are rushing to grasp the significance of Africa's sudden turn toward Christianity, Burton makes solid sense of what is happening biblically, theologically and historically. He deserves our thanks. You will agree as you read it."

—Charles E. Bradford, president (retired), Seventh-day Adventist Churches in North America

"This is indeed a landmark publication as it is an invaluable contribution on the specificity of African Christian theology that has blossomed in the last thirty-five years since J. S. Mbiti's seminal article of 1972. I wholeheartedly commend The Blessing of Africa to all, especially Africans and African Americans who want to appreciate the Bible as the basis of African Christianity and its theology in the world today."

—Ukachukwu Chris Manus, professor, Department of Religious Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and author of Christ the African King and Intercultural Hermeneutics of the Bible in Africa

"This is a very interesting book to read, very creatively crafted, well written, and adequately documented. . . . No reader will be disappointed after perusing its lucid pages."

—J. N. K. Mugambi, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, in Review of Biblical Literature

"This book is worth reading. No reader will be disappointed after perusing its lucid pages."

—J. N. K. Mugambi, Review of Biblical Literature, April 2008

"Those curious about Africa's active role in the Bible's text and times will find Burton's extensive geographical tracing of African places illuminating. Theologians interested in the unique historical and cultural forces framing a distinct African theology will find Burton's sketch most satisfying. Church historians will see missions in a new light."

—Carolyn D. Baker, The Pneuma Review, Summer 2008

". . .fascinating. . .a landmark publication."

—Jan Arkills, Lamplighter, August 2008

". . .a wonderful resourece to students of church history and students of the Bible in general."

—Nicholas Oyugi (blogger), July 9, 2008

"It is imperative to commend The Blessing of Africa, which is based on extensive review of the literature by the author who provides the sources for his arguments and analysis. The author has also successfully demonstrated the point that Africa can by no means be ignored in the study of the history of the chosen people in the Bible, and that Africans have not been mere recipients, but also participants in the evolution of the history of Christianity."

—Michael Omolewa, The Journal of African American History

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