Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

The White Fathers in Colonial Africa (1919-1939)

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

The White Fathers in Colonial Africa (1919-1939)

Article excerpt

The White Fathers in Colonial Africa (1919-1939).

By Francis Nolan. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2012. Pp. 472. Paperback KeS 1,100/$13/10 [euro].

In this work Francis Nolan, a member of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, or the White Fathers, narrates the story of the missionary order founded in 1868 by Charles Cardinal Lavigerie. The focus of the book is the period between the

twentieth century's two world wars, but Nolan does a commendable job of providing background on the order's history before this era and then foreshadowing the fate of the order at the end of the colonial period.

The White Fathers in Colonial Africa is at once a historical and a biographical study. The White Fathers attracted a good many men with a desire to lead and to evangelize. There were too many for Nolan to characterize in any comprehensive fashion, so he organizes his account first by geographic region and then through brief biographies of the men chosen to lead the order's evangelical initiatives. Initially, the White Fathers' mission stations were heavily concentrated among Muslim peoples conquered by the French in Mediterranean Africa and along Africa's West Coast. In those areas the White Fathers tried various strategies aimed at growing Christian communities, but without much success. …

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