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Samuel Johnson of Yorubaland, 1846-1901

Identity, Change and the Making of the Mission Agent

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Wolfgang-Ulrich Fischer

This study aims to understand how the nineteenth-century African agent of mission appropriated change without losing cultural integrity. Drawing essentially from the contexts that produced the man, from Sierra Leone to the Yoruba country, the study shows Samuel Johnson as embodying the opportunities and ambivalence that progressively accompanied Yoruba contact with Britain in the people’s war-weary century of change. Largely influenced by German missionaries in the British mission environment of Yorubaland, Johnson had confidence in the bright prospect the missionary message held for his people. This propelled him into a struggle to relieve the distressed country from its woes and to preserve the fading memory of its people. In an age of renewed cultural ferment called globalization, could Johnson offer a lesson in how to appropriate change? This is the concern of this volume.

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Abẹokuta 50, 58–9, 61–2, 70–3, 154, 216, 264–5 housebreaking 68, 71, 186 Abiọdun, Alafin, see Alafin, Abiodun Abolitionists 302 Accra 199, 205, 231, 302 Achebe, Chinua 104 Adegun 268 Africa 2–3, 5, 7, 12–14, 16–17, 43–4, 314–15 colonize 302 mediaeval 21 post-colonial 300–1 West 1, 4, 36, 120, 229–30, 294, 318 African agents 6, 8, 13–14, 184, 194, 230, 311 Church 329 church history 2, 7, 181, 321 Civilization Society (ACS) 184 conversion 130 convert-evangelists 299 cultures 298, 319 evangelists 299–300, 310 history 6 identity 310 languages 295 mission agents 309 missions 6 nationalism 11 nationalists 309 Native Agency Committee 34 peoples 137, 308 primal worldview 13 slave trade 27, 183 societies 4, 20, 225 traditional religion 3, 119–20, 317, 319 African Improvement Society (AIS) 184 Africans, liberated 29–30, 42–3 Agbakin 23, 111 Agbebi, Mojola 6 Agberi 131–2 Agọ Ọja 143, 212 Agriculture 14, 34, 44, 51 Aijẹnku 248 Ajayi, Jacob F. A. 4, 15–16, 66, 229–30, 291, 301 Akiẹlle 51, 54, 86, 97, 100, 151, 170, 178 Akinjogbin 24–6, 212, 244, 257 Akintola, Ladoke 322 Akyem Abuakwa 120, 310 Alaafin 209, 262 Aladura 313 emergence of 313 movement 142, 321 Alafin 23–6, 203–4, 222–3 Abiọdun 128, 210, 226, 234, 244, 256–7, 305 Adelu 163 Adeyẹmi 153, 185–96, 215–19, 241–2 Aganju 244 Aole 245, 256 Atiba 63,...

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