Proselytization and Communal Self-Determination in Africa

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Proselytization and Communal Self-Determination in Africa Edited by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1999. Pp. v, 317. $25.

This is the third title published in the series Religion and Human Rights, a joint venture of the Law and Religion Program of Emory University (Atlanta) School of Law and Orbis Books. The previous two titles focused on eastern Europe and Latin America. Taken together, the three studies provide evidence that "the relationship between religion and human rights is both problematic and unavoidable in all parts of the world" (p. vii, Series Preface).

The issues of proselytization and communal self-determination in Africa are examined in eleven chapters, preceded by an introduction by the editor, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, professor of law and fellow of the Law and Religion Program at Emory University. The contents of the chapters range from theoretical considerations to political, legal, and religious aspects of proselytization. Case studies deal with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudan, Mali, Nigeria and Ghana, Kenya, and Algeria. Authors include J. Paul Martin, Harry Winter, Farid Esack, Lamin Sanneh, Francis M. Deng, Benjamin F. Soares, Rosalind I. J. Hackett, Hannah W. Kinoti, and Chabha Bouslimani. They are to be commended for choosing to contribute to "a more nuanced and enhanced understanding of the complexity of proselytization in the present African context" (p. …


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