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Faith, Power and Family: Christianity and Social Change in French Cameroon

Faith, Power and Family: Christianity and Social Change in French Cameroon

by Charlotte Walker-Said


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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.

Charlotte Walker-Said is Assistant Professor, Department of Africana Studies, John Jay College, City University of New York (CUNY).

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847011824
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 07/20/2018
Series: Religion in Transforming Africa Series , #3
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Marriage at the Nexus of Faith, Power and Family
PART I: French Rule, Social Politics and New Religious Communities, 1914-1925
Christian Transmission and Colonial Imposition
African Catechists and Charismatic Activities
Evaluating Marriage and Forming a Virtuous Household
Faith, Family and the Endurance of the Lineage
PART II: Labour, Economic Transformation and Family Life, 1925-1939
African Church Institutions in Action
African Agents of the Church and State: Male Violence and Productivity
Ethical Masculinity: The Church and the Patriarchal Order
The Significance of African Christian Communities Beyond Cameroon

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