This blog explores and examines the intersections of rhetoric, race, and religion.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Worship And Prayer In African American Christianity
Cultural Connections: The African Roots of the African American Church
The impact of Africans on world civilizations is well documented. Africans have created and contributed to many aspects of culture, from commerce to cuisine. Religion has been at the center of these African contributions.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Africans have played an important role in the development of both ancient and contemporary Christianity. In the early centuries of Christianity, Africans, in countries such as Egypt and Ethiopia, shaped and spread the proclamation of the fledgling church. So the story of Africa's involvement with Christianity is as old as the church itself.
Yet the interaction of Africans and Christianity more relevant to this essay is rooted in the 15th, not the first, century. Beginning in the mid-15th century, various European nations expanded their economic wealth and extended their political influence through the trading of African slaves and the conquest of African lands. The colonial conquest spanned the entire African continent -- from the Sahara to South Africa. Christianity -- or a distorted version of it -- provided the religious justification for nations such as Portugal, France, Holland, England and the United States to exploit, brutalize and murder millions of Africans in the slave trade.