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Webster, James Bertin (1963) The African Churches of Yorubaland 1888-1922. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis is divided into four parts of equal size plus a concluding epilogue. Part I discusses the events in the Niger Mission prior to 1894. Prominence is given to these events because for West African Christians they signified a dramatic break with the policy pursued in the earlier nineteenth century. The settlement of 1894 in the Anglican mission laid down general mission policy for the following sixty years. Africans who refused to accept the new policy were the founding fathers of the African Church movement. Part II presents the general causes of discontent in the Yoruba mission the comity agreements, policy towards polygamy and autocratic structures of mission government. It also records the events and specific causes of schisms which created the major African churches. Part III is devoted to an observation of where and by what means the African churches expanded from Lagos where they originated. They opposed the "society method" of the missions relying upon what they termed "apostolic modes of expansion". Part IV opens with an analysis of the major factors in African church government. It outlines the prerogatives and limits of their power as prescribed by public opinion. Then follow, illustrations drawn from two major denominations. Part IV further attempts to show how the trend to decentralization of authority was met and arrested by expanded organization within the church and by inter-denominational cooperation and organic unions. A brief epilogue points out that inter-denominational union is today the pressing problem of the African churches especially in relation to church union schemes now being formualted by the missions. The epilogue suggests alternatives for the African churches should the missions exclude them from church union negotiations.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:20

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