The Congo Evangelistic Mission (CEM) was one of the most successful classical Pentecostal missions in Africa. Maxwell examines the roles of CEM missionaries and their African collaborators—the Luba-speaking peoples of southeast Katanga—in producing knowledge about Africa, illustrating the mutually constitutive nature of discourses of identity in colonial Africa and how the Luba shaped missionary research.
David Maxwell is the Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Cambridge and a professorial fellow at Emmanuel College in Cambridge.
“An original and lucid contribution to the study of missionary Christianity in colonial Africa, Religious Entanglements compellingly demonstrates the influence of missionary forms of knowledge on Africanist anthropology, history, art history, and philosophy. Through nuanced, historical, and context-specific research, it also furthers our understanding of the emergence of African ethnicities and African Christianity. With eloquent and precise prose, Maxwell makes a stunning contribution. This is one of the most compelling accounts of mission Christianity and African society in colonial Africa in over two decades.”—David Gordon, Bowdoin College
“An enlightening study of Pentecostal missionary activities in Central Africa from the late 19th to mid-20thcentury. . . Brimming with nuance and acute historical detail, this makes clear that the Luba reception of such missionaries as Burton was an active process of fusion and exchange.”—Publishers Weekly
“Religious Entanglements makes a major contribution to both African studies and the history of missions, thanks to its multiple perspectives, its concern with both contexts and comparisons, its interdisciplinary approach (from anthropology to photography), and its careful distinctions between different group responses to the mission. A most impressive study.”—Peter Burke, Emeritus Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge
“A brilliant, capacious, field-defining book. Maxwell not only rewrites the history of evangelical Christianity in Central Africa; he also rethinks the nature and meaning of colonialism itself, illuminating the complex ‘entanglements’ through which Europeans and Africans co-created their worlds.”—James Campbell, Stanford University