Dr. Henry Thomas, who will present two programs for Classics in Religion Oct 21 and Oct 28, has recommended the following articles as background.
1619 and the Arrival of African Christianity, by David D. Daniels, traces the origins of Christianity among enslaved peoples in Virginia Colony. Many were not converted after arrival on plantations, but were brought to America from the Kongo as Christians. Daniels writes: “In comparison to the Kongo of 1619, early colonial Virginia was an undeveloped Christian society.”
Africa’s Lost Kingdoms, by Howard W. French, appeared in the NY Review of Books on June 27, 2019. In this review of five new books on the topic, French makes the case that Africa has never “been as cut off from world events as it has been routinely portrayed” and the books “admirably complicate our understanding of Africa’s past and present.”
Ancestral Worship and the Church in Africa by Gift Mtukwa, addresses the concern that the continued ancestral cult jeopardizes the position of Christianity among Africans who “pledge allegiance to both the ancestors and Christ.” The article explores the Christian perspective on the subject of ancestor worship. (Above link is to the PDF.)