Early African Christianity–A Thematic Analysis

Aidan Kwame Ahaligah

Issue: Vol.6  No.5 August 2020 Article 1 pp. 264-273
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020084    |   Published online 24th August 2020.
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


This article is devoted to a thematic analysis of early or ancient African Christianity and its influence on ecclesial practices and thinking in contemporary Africa. Drawing on literature in the history of the church in antiquity this paper re-tells the story of how Africa and Africans in the first millennium developed and shaped World Christianity. Specifically, it discusses the contributions made to the early Church by the African Fathers of the faith, Origen and Augustine. The paper contest sentiments and perceptions that Christianity is a “white mans” religion and to reclaim African Christianity’s identity as a global religious culture which has existed since antiquity. Moreover, it argues that a lot is lost, with its attendant misinterpretations, when Christianity in Africa is only viewed as a result of the fruits of the nineteenth-century missionary activities. The paper contributes to the study of African Church history, the contextualisation/inculturation of the gospel, and African theology.

Keywords: Early Church, Church Fathers, Coptic Church, Origen, Augustine, Ancient African Christianity, Abyssinian, Ethiopian Church

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Aidan Kwame Ahaligah is a Teaching Fellow, University of Leeds where he completed his PhD in Religious and Theological Studies with a focus on Pentecostal-Charismatic political interventions in contemporary African Public spheres. Aidan is an ordained pastor of the E.P Church Ghana and domiciled in the UK.

Ahaligah, Aidan K., “Early African Christianity–A Thematic Analysis.” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies 6, no.5 (2020): 264-273 https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020084

© 2020 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).