The first chapter of this book deals with the history of Christian mission activity in Western Kenya and points out the particularities of the missionaries as well as the mission churches. Within this context, the history of the African Independent Churches (AICs) is placed, which appear as a mergence of various traditions and motivations: the pursuit of independence from the colonial power and the mission churches connected with it, the preservation of traditional African religiousness and the absorption of Pentecostal piety with its heavy emphasis on the gifts of the spirit. In the following chapters the stance of AICs towards involvement in political debates is explored and discussed. This is done on the basis of semi-structured interviews with local leaders as well as bishops and representatives of church networks. Another topic is the contribution of AICs to the inculturation of the Christian faith in the African context – especially in view of the academic African Theology and the Pentecostal Churches. The last part of the book deals with the question of the future of the AICs and their ecumenical relations – this is done in the context of the rapid expansion Neo-Pentecostal groups and movements.
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. XX, 328 pp.
Contents: The question of prophetic and political mission of the African Independent Churches (AICs) as an authentically
African mergence of traditional religion and Pentecostalism – Inculturation in action: African Christianity outside academic
theology – History of AICs as movements of secession from the historical mainstream churches (mission churches) – Semi-structured
interviews about: religion and culture, piety and liturgy, political involvement, gender, ecumenical relations, future prospects.