Christian Colonialism, Slavery And The African Diaspora

AUTHOR : Confidence Worlanyo Bansah
ISSUE: Volume 6 Issue 2– March 2020 Article 4
PAGES : 123 -134
DOI : 10.32051/erats.2020.034

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Abstract

It is critical to argue that harmful missionary practices had a deleterious effect on the spread of Christianity in Africa. Specifically, I analysed the activities of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) of the Church of England, and argue that most of the early Christian missionaries and clergy dispatched to Africa by European mission societies spent more time participating actively in the slave-trade, among other trade activities, rather than propagation of the Gospel. Using mainly ethnographic data collected with interviews among African and Black people in Britain and archival materials at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, I present strong evidence to show how early European Christian missionary activities enhanced the enslavement and the colonisation of Africa. Consequently, in view of the current globalisation and migration across the various cultural frontiers within Africa and the diaspora, it is possible to conclude that this damaging historical missionary enterprise still impacts the religious, social and community life of African and Black people generally in the diaspora.

Key words: Diaspora, Bible, Christian Missions, Colonisation, Slave Trade.

Author Biodata: Confidence Worlanyo Bansah, PhD is a Lecturer in the Department of Religion and Human Values, University of Cape Coast. Among other academic and nonacademic positions held internationally, he was a Research Associate at the Centre of World Christianity, School of Oriental
and African Studies (SOAS), University of London as well as a lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Roehampton and Christ College London/ Canterbury Christ Church University. Email: cbansah@ucc.edu.gh