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Palgrave Macmillan

Christian Missionary Engagement in Central Nigeria, 1857–1891

The Church Missionary Society's All-African Mission on the Upper Niger

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  • © 2019


  • Investigates an overlooked Christianization effort led by a group of all-African missionaries, focusing on the significance of the African staff
  • Examines Christian-Muslim encounters in Africa before the European partition of Africa
  • Highlights exchanges between missionaries and local people inflected by traditional and religious practices, finding evidence for local consternation, rejection, reinterpretation, approval, and adaptation of missionary ideas

Part of the book series: African Histories and Modernities (AHAM)

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About this book

In the decades before colonial partition in Africa, the Church Missionary Society embarked on the first serious effort to evangelize in an independent Muslim state. Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther led an all-African field staff to convert the people of the Upper Niger and Confluence area, whose communities were threatened or already conquered by an expanding jihadist Nupe state. In this book, Femi J. Kolapo examines the significance of the mission as an African—rather than European—undertaking, assessing its impact on missionary practice, local engagement, and Christian conversion prospects. By offering a fuller history of this overlooked mission in the history of Christianity in Nigeria, this book reaffirms indigenous agency and rethinks the mission as an experiment ahead of its time.  

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Table of contents (7 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada

    Femi J. Kolapo

About the author

Femi J. Kolapo is a professor of African History at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of The Journals of Church Missionary Society Agent, James Thomas, in Mid-Nineteenth Century Nigeria.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Christian Missionary Engagement in Central Nigeria, 1857–1891

  • Book Subtitle: The Church Missionary Society's All-African Mission on the Upper Niger

  • Authors: Femi J. Kolapo

  • Series Title: African Histories and Modernities

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-31425-5Published: 09 December 2019

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-31428-6Published: 28 December 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-31426-2Published: 28 November 2019

  • Series ISSN: 2634-5773

  • Series E-ISSN: 2634-5781

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVII, 301

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: African History, Cultural History, Imperialism and Colonialism, Christianity

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