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The Church in Africa, 1450-1950$
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Adrian Hastings

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263999

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198263996.001.0001

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Africa in 1500 and Its Christian Past

Africa in 1500 and Its Christian Past

Chapter:
(p.46) 2 Africa in 1500 and Its Christian Past
Source:
The Church in Africa, 1450-1950
Author(s):

Adrian Hastings

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198263996.003.0002

The first part of this chapter discusses the characteristics of African society in the early 1500s, at the time when the Portuguese and Ottoman Turks were invading. Societies were typically stateless, but were slowly being integrated into kingdoms. The religion of these states was no more homogeneous than their politics, although there was an underlying pattern of belief in a single creator, God, and a vast range of spirits more important to daily life. The second part of the chapter discusses African Islam, and the third the Christian past of North Africa, and the survival of Christianity in Egypt after the Arab conquest. The last part of the chapter points to the contrasting lack of survival of Christianity in Nubia.

Keywords:   Africa, Christianity, Egypt, history, Islam, North Africa, Nubia, religion, society

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