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The Mission of Apolo Kivebulaya

Religious Encounter & Social Change in the Great Lakes c.1865-1935

Emma Wild-Wood

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Religion/Theologie


Apolo Kivebulaya was a practitioner of indigenous religion and a Muslim before he became in 1895 a Christian missionary from Buganda to Toro and Ituri. He is still admired as a churchman and missionary in the Anglican churches of Uganda, Congo, Tanzania and Kenya, and is a significant civic figure in school curricula in Uganda. This book provides insight into religious encounter in the Great Lakes region of Africa, in which individuals like Kivebulaya remade themselves through conversion to Christianity and re-ordered social relations through preaching a transnational religion which brought technological advantage. In re-examining Apolo's life the author reveals the historic social processes and the cultural motivations which provoked religious and socio-political change in colonial east Africa. She explores the processes of his religious adherence, his travels and church planting, his commitment to Bible translation and its role in developing national sensibilities, and his engagement with missionaries, the Ganda political elite, and the peoples of the Ituri forest, as well as British and Belgian colonial polities. Kivebulaya utilized Christian repertoires of memory-making - the Bible, hymns, prayers and fellowship - in creating communities of disciples, and was instrumental in creating new forms of Christian identity in the region, fashioned by levels of acceptance and resistance. By focusing on the role of indigenous agents as harbingers of change, the author offers a new perspective on the history of the northern Great Lakes region of Africa. Emma Wild-Wood is Senior Lecturer of African Christianity and African Indigenous Religions and Co-director of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh. Her books include Migration and Christian Identity in Congo (Brill, 2008) and editing, with Joel Cabrita and David Maxwell, Relocating World Christianity: Interdisciplinary Studies in Universal and Local Expressions of the Christian Faith (Brill, 2017). Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan: Twaweza Communications

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