Faith, Power and Family
Christianity and Social Change in French Cameroon
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: James Currey
Number of Pages: 336
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
Finalist for the 2019 Albert J. Raboteau Prize for Best Book in Africana Religions An innovative study of Christianity and society in Cameroon that illuminates the history of faith and cultural transformation among societies living under French rule 1914 to 1939. Between the two World Wars, the radical innovations of African Catholic and Protestant evangelists repurposed Christianity to challenge local and foreign governments operating in the French-administered League of Nations Mandate of Cameroon. Walker-Said explores how African believers transformed foreign missionary societies into profoundly local religious institutions with indigenous ecclesiastical hierarchies and devotional social and charitable networks,devising novel authority structures to control resources and govern cultural and social life. She analyses how African Christian religious leaders transformed social and labour relations, contesting forced labour and authoritarian decentralized governance as threats to family stability and community integrity. Inspired by Catholic and Protestant doctrines on conjugal complementarity and social equilibrium, as well as by local spiritual and charismatic movements, African Christians re-evaluated and renovated family and community authority structures to address the devastating changes colonialism wrought in the private sphere. The history of these reform-minded believers reveals howfamily intimacies and kinship ties constituted the force of community resistance to oppression and also demonstrates the relevance of faith in the midst of a tumultuous series of forces arising out of the colonial situation peculiar to Cameroon.
This book sheds light on the springs of the profound and irreversible upheavals brought about by Christianization at the heart of family life among the peoples of southern Cameroon. * CAHIERS D'ETUDES AFRICAINES * This is a carefully researched study that offers readers a wide range of theoretical and empirical insights into the intersection of social change, African agency and ecclesiastical history. * JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY * Faith, Power, and Family makes a splendid contribution to the historiography on French Cameroon, African Christianity, relations between church and state, masculinity, and marriage in colonial Africa. * IJAHS * Faith, Power, and Family is a very valuable contribution to the rich literature examining the intersections of gender, religion, and state policy in colonial Africa. [...]Faith, Power and Family is a valuable and convincing work. * H-AFRICA * Faith, Power and Family is a genuinely significant contribution to the historiography of French Cameroon and adds to the research on Christianity, family, masculinity and intimacy, power and the state, as well as colonialism. * Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute * The book is tightly organized [...] -- Reading Religion