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CEAC Blog Archive: africa

Abyssinian Christianity Book Cover

Ethiopian Christianity

by Joel Elowsky

When the Center for Early African Christianity formed during the last decade, it was decided that a consultation should be held on the continent of Africa. The question was where such a meeting should be held. It was decided that the logical place was to be Addis Ababa in Ethiopia because Ethiopia had not only one of the earliest Christian communities in sub-Saharan Africa, but also one of the most enduring. Abyssinian Christianity by Abba Abraham Buruk Woldegaber and Mario Alexis Portella (Pismo Beach, CA: BP Editing, 2012) chronicles, explores and analyzes much of that history of both Ethiopia and

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Gonzalez Augustine Book Cover

Latin American View of Augustine - a Review

by Alberto Garcia

Introducción a la teología mestiza de San Agustín. Justo L. González. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013. Pp. 161.
We are already accustomed to expect scholarly and ground breaking contributions in the areas of Church history and U.S. Latino/Hispanic theology when reading Justo González’s volume of work. This volume, by way of an introduction, will not disappoint us. It offers to church historians and theologians alike a new way in approaching our Western theological tradition for our edification and pastoral work. González accomplishes this goal by interpreting Augustine, who is considered the theologian par excellence in the development of Western theology, through

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Cyril of Alexandria

Were the Church Fathers Really Africans?

by Joel Elowsky

One of the objections we most often hear, especially from our compatriots in the West—but also from many Africans—is that these early African fathers we are studying are not African. They are Greek, they are Roman, but not African—as if these terms were mutually exclusive. While I lay no claim to being a scholar of comparative cultural studies or any of the other disciplines mentioned above—I’m primarily a theologian and exegete—it nonetheless seems to me that this would be akin to saying that someone like St. Patrick who lived in Ireland was not Irish because he wrote and thought in

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African Saints

New Discussions on Africa and the Holy Spirit

by Joel Elowsky

African Christianity has always had an affinity with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. African Church Fathers such as Tertullian and Origen worked out a theology of the Holy Spirit when few others were thinking in those terms. Augustine's understanding of the Spirit as vinculum caritatis (bond of love) in the Trinity influenced generations of theologians who came after.

We recently came across a journal article by A. van de Beek, a professor emeritus at Stollenbosch Unversity in South Africa. The article is entitled:"The Spirit of the Body of Christ: The Holy Spirit's Indwelling in the Church." In this article van

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History of Ethiopia - Socrates Scholasticus

by Joel Elowsky

Socrates Scholasticus, Historia Ecclesiastica, 1.19.
In what Manner the Nations in the Interior of India were Christianized in the Times of Constantine.
WE must now mention in what manner Christianity was spread in this emperor’s reign: for it was in his time that the nations both of the Indians in the interior, and of the Iberians first embraced the Christian faith. But I shall briefly explain why I have used the appended expression in the interior. When the apostles went forth by lot among the nations, Thomas received the apostleship of the Parthians; Matthew was allotted Ethiopia; and

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The Justice of God Prevails

by Joel Elowsky

But the devil had to be overcome not by the power of God but by his justice. For what is more powerful than the omnipotent? What creature’s power can be compared with the power of the creator? Through the fault of his own turning away the devil became a lover of power and a deserter and opponent of justice; and people imitate him more fully the more they ignore or even detest justice and set their hearts on power, consumed either by delight in its acquisition or by desire for its possession. So in rescuing humankind from the power of

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Finding Augustine

by Joel Elowsky with Michael Glerup

Finding Augustine: Online Resource

Finding Augustine, is an accessible bibliographical collection concerning Augustine of Hippo and his legacy. This is the product of an international collaboration between institutions of higher learning in Europe and America. References include titles in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The project is co-sponsored by Villanova University and the Catholic University of Leuven.

We recommend you check it out. It is a good starting place for research on Augustine.

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The Roots of Nubian Christianity

The Roots of Nubian Christianity Run Deep and Early

by Joel Elowsky

Salim Faraji. The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2012.

Salim Faraji begins his exploration of the roots of Nubian Christianity with a quote from Vol. 1 of Michael Botwinick’s, Africa in Antiquity:
“How can we fail to be moved by the dramatic course of this [Nubian] civilization? It is ironic that it is barely a pinprick on contemporary consciousness. We speak, after all, not of a civilization that had a brief moment. Nubia flourishes more than five hundred years before the building of the great pyramids of Egypt and continues

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Pope Victor

Next Pope an African?

by Joel Elowsky

The recent announcement that Pope Benedict, a friend to our recently completed Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture project, has turned speculation towards who might succeed Benedict. Many are wondering if the cardinals gathered in conclave in the Sistine chapel might select someone from Asia, Latin America, or, perhaps, Africa. One headline even reads "Africa: Pontifex Africanus: Could the Next Pope be African?" (By Luke Lythgoe, 11 February 2013, All

For those who have studied early African Christianity, we know this, of course, would not be the first time an African was named pope. We read in the Liber Pontificalis of

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Resources for African students and scholars

by Joel Elowsky

The Society of Biblical Literature, through the ICI project, offers free online PDF files to scholars and students who would not otherwise have access to these resources. Most scholars and students in sub-Saharan Africa qualify for this program. The link below is a list of the publications available. If interested please email for more info.

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