Cover: African Catholic: Decolonization and the Transformation of the Church, from Harvard University PressCover: African Catholic in HARDCOVER

African Catholic

Decolonization and the Transformation of the Church

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Product Details


$46.50 • £37.95 • €42.00

ISBN 9780674987661

Publication Date: 03/04/2019


384 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

15 photos, 2 maps, 2 tables


Foster’s brilliant analysis is well informed and enlightened and always fair… A superb work.—John Buckley, Independent Catholic News

A truly original exploration of African Christianity, and of Catholics’ engagement with Africa, during the late colonial age and early era of independence. Foster reveals the fissures emerging among Catholics—French and African—during decolonization, and offers a groundbreaking intervention on Catholic negritude, including a fascinating discussion of Alioune Diop as one of its unsung architects. African Catholic will attract readers interested in Africa, Europe, and the francophone world as well as in religious studies. I strongly recommend it.—Eric Jennings, University of Toronto

Foster is one of a small but growing number of historians of French colonialism to give religion its due, and she stands almost alone in her focus on the diversity and complexity of African religious life. In her excellent new book, she zeroes in on the evolution of Catholicism in francophone West Africa and among African students, clerics, and intellectuals in France. Her work brims with fresh perspectives and new insights, including her arresting findings on the extent to which African independence influenced Vatican II. The French need for African priests today stands as one of many delicious ironies in this immensely compelling book.—Edward Berenson, New York University

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