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  • Professor Andrew Walls (1928-2021), legacy of a baobab

    andrew walls,christianity,world christianity,scotland,africa,missions,postcolonial studies,edinburgh,university of edinburgh,centre for the study of world christianityAt the beginning of the 19th century, more than 90% of Christians lived in Europe and North America. By the end of the 20th century, over 60% lived in Asia, Africa, South America and the Pacific.

    The historian and missiologist Andrew Walls was among the first to highlight and study this shift in the Christian centre of gravity. Professor Andrew Walls (1928-2021) passed away in Aberdeen less than one year ago, on the 12th of August, 2021. This prominent Scottish historian of missions left for us groundbreaking research, re-centering Christianity from West to South. Author of many insightful books, he has taught in universities in Africa (Sierra Leone, Nigeria), Europe and North America, and has also lectured in Asia and the Pacific region.

    Founder of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity located at the University of Edinburgh, Andew Walls was considered by many as a "Baobab", rooted, mighty and generous.

    The news came today that the Andrew Walls Fellowships have been established in honour of jim. It will provide visiting Fellowships for African scholars at the University of Edinburgh, to further research into African Christianity.

  • Knoxic Masculinity? The Scottish exception in female religious leadership

    scotland,female leadership,british isles,protestantism,baptists,baptist churchesFemale religious leadership in Protestant churches is trendy. However, things don't always go smooth.

    The Protestant landscape displays very contrasting trends.

    If we consider the British isles, situations vary enormously.

    Just to take an example, England is way ahead Scotland in terms of Female access to Pastoral leadership.

    How come ? Let's consider the Baptist case. The first English Baptist female minister was ordained in 1918.

    In Scotland, the same happened in..... 2009 !!!!

    The Scottish Kirk (the main Presbyterian body in Scotland) did no much better. The main Presbyterian Church in Scotland ordained its first female minister in..... 1969 (40 years after France. Madeleine Blocher Saillens was ordained as a Baptist minister in Paris as early as in 1929).

    Why  is it like this ? Why SCOTLAND, whose History is so full of Freedom fighters, is so way behind England, France and many countries in terms of female religious leadership ?

    One BIG reason may be rooted in far history.

    Actually, John Knox (1514-1572), a huge towering figure in Scotland's religious history, played a pivotal role in the implementation of Protestant Reformation in Scotland.

    And he was very much AGAINST any kind of female religious leadership, as this article ot the Scotsman reminds us (link).

    Knoxic masculinity ?

  • David Bebbington's landmark visit in France

    david bebbington, evangelicalism, university of stirling, scotland, united kingdom, france, baptist churches, baptistsProfessor David W. Bebbington  (University of Stirling, Scotland, UK) is widely known as one of the World's best experts on Evangelicalism. It was a priviledge to see him visiting France for two brilliant lectures given in Paris (IBN on the 16th of Feb, Rue de Lille Baptist Church on the 17th of Feb). There is more to read in my French-speaking blog (link).

    This album (link) opens a few windows on this landmark visit.

    As a particlarly remarkable historian, but also as a person, David W. Bebbington is a towering and inspirational figure to many scholars devoted to the study of Evangelical History, including myself.

    I've started to interact and meet with David W. Bebbington since 2000 (Wake Forest University, USA). David W. Bebbington's visit to France in 2018 gave me the occasion to go back to some of these older memories (see the first 8 pics of the album). Link

  • Isle of Lewis, the last Calvinistic stronghold in Europe?

    images.jpegLast month, I had the priviledge to be invited by David W. Bebbington to a conference organized by the Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in Britain Project.

    My topic was an exotic one: I spoke on Isle of Lewis (SCOTLAND), the last Calvinistic stronghold in Europe!

    Read more ...