PhD Theses in world Christianity – New books

Among the donations added to the library this month was the original PhD thesis of Emumena Samson Akama (1981) A religious history of the Isoko people of the Bendel State of Nigeria. (2 volumes), gift of Right Revd Simon Barrington-Ward. A full abstract for this thesis can be found on the British Library’s EthOS – etheses online service. The following is an overview of chapters 4 through 8:

Chapter 4 and 5 deal with the romantic history of the advent and growth of Christianity in Isokoland. These chapters also examine the character of the nascent Isoko Church and the often unsung contributions of the various categories of indigenous people along with those of the European missionaries in the Christianization of Isokoland. The methods and policies adopted and the nagging problems encountered by the various agencies in this regard have been discussed. This leads to Chapter 6 which looks at the emergence of the different indigenous independent Christian movements and para-mission churches and their contribution to the planting and expansion of Isoko Christianity. Chapter 7 discusses the probable reasons or criteria of value that motivated the bulk of the Isoko to convert from their indigenous religion to Christianity. This chapter also gives a critique of the general Christian attitude to Isoko religion and customs; the consequences of this attitude and the impact of the overall missionary activities in the development of Isoko Christianity, the indigenous religion and culture. This discussion leads to the examination, in Chapter 8, of a principal outcome of the mission founded Church attitude to the Isoko world… and some concluding deductions … in Chapter 9, highlighting some possible developments in Isoko Christianity — an extract from the British Library’s abstract on EthOS.

Our collection of PhD theses is a small but significant collection on the subject of world Christianity and the history of mission. It includes M.M. Louise Pirouet’s 1968 original thesis ‘The expansion of the Church of Uganda (N.A.C.) from Buganda into northern and western Uganda between 1891 and 1914, with special reference to the work of African teachers and evangelists’, and our former director, Jesse Zink’s 2015 award-winning PhD thesis on ‘Christianity and catastrophe: Sudan’s civil wars and religious change among the Dinka’.

Louise Pirouet (1928-2012) was a pioneering Africanist, founder of the African Studies Centre in Cambridge, and member of the Henry Martyn Library committee in the 1990s. We have a sizeable quantity of material relating to her in our archives. If you wish to consult these, or any other part of the archive, do email our archivist.

Or would you like to see our Thesis collection? You will find them beside our Reference collection, reference only.

Ruth MacLean



USPG: John Sadiq, Bill Benyshe Burnett, Drexel Wellington Gomez, Stephen Kim. (1967) What do we want from you? Views from India – South Africa – Barbados – Korea. Observation Posts series, no. 3 USPG, St Augustine College collection

David Huntley (2015) The golden Chersonese : why I became a missionary. First impressions of a young OMF member Self-published, Gift of Revd Dr David and Ruth Huntley

Nicholas Tarling (1999) The Cambridge history of Southeast Asia : volume 1, parts 1 and 2 : from early times to c. 1500 ; from c. 1500 to c. 1800 Cambridge University Press, Gift of Professor John Iliffe

Yang-En Cheng (2005,10) English title: “Indigenizing Christianity in Taiwan”. (In Chinese; pages 301-368 in English) PCT Press, Author’s gift

Emumena Samson Akama (1981) A religious history of the Isoko people of the Bendel State of Nigeria. (2 volumes). PhD Thesis. Original thesis, Gift of Right Revd Simon Barrington-Ward

CMS, USPG, USPG Church of Ireland, The Methodist Church (Great Britain) (2012) The Christ we share : a world church resource for local mission (Folder with activity sheets, images, CD). Fourth edition CMS, USPG, The Methodist Church, Gift of Jesse Zink

Zachary J.S. Lloyd (2016) An Anglican Communion in London : African Christianity and the Church of England in a global city MPhil Thesis, Gift of Zachary J.S. Lloyd