Identity, Change and the Making of the Mission Agent
When I set out in 2002 for the Akrofi-Christaller Centre, in Ghana, now Institute (ACI), with the view to coordinate the web-based Dictionary of African Christian Biography (DACB) and to begin this study, little did I realize that it was going to be a long haul. Today, I look back with gratitude that the providence that shaped the subject of this book has not been less active in my trail. My residence in Akropong-Akuapem in the first two years and its attendant opportunity to sit in Bible study classes with its unsophisticated African readers turned out to be one of the informal experiences that drew my attention to biography as a method germane to Africa’s intel- lectual discourse. I noticed in one of those Bible study sessions that, for these unsophisticated but intelligent and earnest readers, it is not enough to articulate human reality in abstraction; it must find expression in f lesh and blood to be fully intelligible. This simple but profound discovery gave meaning to my assignment of coordinating the DACB, a project that was designed to recover Africa’s Christian past. It also proved to be of immense value in situating me in the context of my heritage of African intellectual tradition, a discipline which Professors Andrew Walls and Kwame Bediako – late – have been promoting in Akropong. I am indebted to these simple folks for this cultural enlightenment. Further ref lections on my experiences in the course of the research show that I have been borne along by...
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