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Faithful NarrativesHistorians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity$
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Andrea Sterk and Nina Caputo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451829

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451829.001.0001

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Bible, Translation, and Culture

Bible, Translation, and Culture

From the KJV to the Christian Resurgence in Africa

(p.185) Chapter 11 Bible, Translation, and Culture
Faithful Narratives

Lamin Sanneh

Cornell University Press

This chapter demonstrates how religious developments in Africa had forced a reconsideration of the received wisdom about secularization. Turning to the identity-forming role of the Bible, it shows how vernacular translation of the sacred text shaped the nations of modern Africa, challenging widely accepted postcolonial assumptions about the colonial project. Despite prevailing ideas about missions as essentially a narrative of European interests and values, by the nineteenth century African pioneers had turned the Christian narrative into one that was reflective of their own history and hopes. The African narrative was about new possibilities for the religion as a historical intercultural movement invested in the rising aspirations of a new generation of Africans. The chapter describes how Christianity was inscribed into indigenous forms to become a stimulus for awakening and renewal in Africa.

Keywords:   modern Africa, secularization, religious developments, Christianity, Bible, African narrative, African pioneers

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