Faith in Schools: Religion, Education, and American Evangelicals in East Africa

By Amy Stambach | Go to book overview

Epilogue

The story does not end here, however. Two events stand at the horizon, and more appear to be promised over the hill. Many East Africans I know favored the policies and politics of President George W. Bush. Many are equally hopeful about the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, whom some, particularly those living in western Kenya, consider to be one of their own—a Luo. East Africans are pleased because America's foreign policy in Africa has shifted in recent years. Between 2001 and 2008, U.S. strategies increasingly used terms and ideas near and dear to many East Africans' hearts: belief and knowledge that deep spiritual forces inhere in all dimensions of social life; belief and knowledge that good and evil are a part of history and of the human condition, everywhere; and belief and knowledge that people are able to, indeed must, work together to forge alliances to offset disease and poverty, war and destruction.

East Africans I know—mainly Christian—are delighted that Americans are discovering religion—and not only ordinary Americans, but American politicians. They are encouraged that the U.S. government openly acknowledges the power of faith to help and heal people. Of course the extent to which such views directly inform U.S. policy or will continue to animate government goes beyond my analysis here; but at the rhetorical level, and institutionally in the legacy of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the presence of faith is everywhere.

One specific past event in which many East Africans delight is President George W. Bush's February to March 2008 trip to the African subcontinent. President Bush used the occasion to make clear his administration's reasons for using compassion and faith to deliver foreign aid: to keep Africa stable and, by association, to keep African government leaders favorable toward the West. Discussing his trip at the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, the president put it this way:

America is on a mission of mercy. We're treating African leaders as equal partners. We expect them to produce measurable results. We expect them to fight corruption, and invest in the health and education of their people, and pursue market-based

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Faith in Schools: Religion, Education, and American Evangelicals in East Africa
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • To Friends Here and There v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • 1: Introduction: Schools of Faith 1
  • Part I - Preparation in the United States 33
  • 2: One Hundred Fifty Years of Mission Work 35
  • 3: Using Anthropology for Christian Witness 65
  • Part II - Evangelism in East Africa 97
  • 4: Teaching English in Tanzania 99
  • 5: Planting Church Schools in Kenya 132
  • 6: School-Community Partnerships in Uganda 154
  • Part III - Implications 179
  • 7: A New Anthropological Ethnography of Religion and Education 181
  • Epilogue 193
  • Reference Matter 197
  • Notes 199
  • References 209
  • Index 225
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