Frontiers of African Christianity: Essays in Honour of Inus Daneel

By Thomas, Norman E. | International Bulletin of Missionary Research, April 2004 | Go to article overview

Frontiers of African Christianity: Essays in Honour of Inus Daneel


Thomas, Norman E., International Bulletin of Missionary Research


Frontiers of African Christianity: Essays in Honour of Inus Daneel. Edited by Greg Cuthbertson, Hennie Pretorius, and Dana Robert. Pretoria: Univ. of South Africa Press, 2003. Pp. xxii, 313. Paperback $18.80.

Part 1 contains eight short essays reflecting on the life and work of Inus Daneel. Both his academic colleagues and his Shona partners of the African Independent Churches (AICs) of Zimbabwe rightly acclaim him as the preeminent AIC field researcher in Africa. They appraise his thirteen books on independency and African religion in Zimbabwe as "the quintessence of all AIC studies today" (p. 118). Especially acclaimed is his creative partnership with both traditional spirit mediums and Christian prophets in the 1990s to replant the trees and restore the land.

Part 2 contains ten essays on AIC studies and African religions by Daneel's academic colleagues and former students. Together they provide a kaleidoscope of current scholarship in southern Africa. Stan Nussbaum argues that as self-founding or self-initiating churches, the AICs critique the old missionary three-self formula-self-government, self-support, and self-propagation. Allan Anderson compares healing in the Zion Christian churches of South Africa and in those of Zimbabwe, the latter researched by Daneel.

Tinyiko Maluleke, Daneel's successor at the University of South Africa, identifies a "general crisis in theology" in postapartheid South Africa, expressed as "uncertainty about the relevance of theology to ordinary people" (p. …

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