Mennonites and Post-Colonial African Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Mennonites and Post-Colonial African Studies

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 1, 2021
ISBN 9780367474324
March 1, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines the evolution of post-colonial African Studies through the eyes of Africanists from the Anabaptist (Mennonite and Church of the Brethren) community.


The book chronicles the lives of twenty-two academics and practitioners whose work spans from the immediate post-colonial period in the 1960s up to the present day, a period in which decolonization and development has dominated scholarly and practitioner debate.  Reflecting the values and perspectives they shared with the Mennonite Central Committee and other church sponsored organizations, the authors consider their own personal journeys and professional careers, the power of the prevailing scholarly paradigms they encountered, and the realities of post-colonial Africa. Coming initially from Anabaptist service programs, the authors ultimately made wider contributions to comparative religion, church leadership, literature, music, political science, history, anthropology, economics and banking, health and healing, public health, extension education, and community development.


The personal histories and reflections of the authors provide an important glimpse into the intellectual and cultural perspectives that shaped the work of Africanist scholars and practitioners in the post-colonial period. The book reminds us that the work of every Africanist is shaped by their own life stories

Table of Contents

Foreword Aliko Songolo  Introduction John M. Janzen, Harold F. Miller, and John C. Yoder   Part One: Pioneers  Chapter 1: Donald Jacobs: Missionary, Anthropologist, Church Leader, John C. Yoder  Chapter 2: Melvin Loewen: Missionary, Educator, Banker to the World, John C. Yoder  Chapter 3: David W. Shenk: Missionary, Professor, "Saved One," Friend of\Muslims John C. Yoder  Part Two: Professors   Chapter 4: The Road to Ghardaïa: Investigating a Community Deep in the Sahara Leads to the Study of Global History, Donald Holsinger  Chapter 5: The Anthropology of Health and Healing in Africa,  John M. Janzen  Chapter 6: Encountering, and Demythologizing Africa, Curtis Keim  Chapter 7: A Career in the Folklore and Literature of Africa, Karen R. Keim   Chapter 8: From Chipembi, Zambia to Michigan State University: Reflections of a Mennonite Africanist Educator, John Metzler  Chapter 9: The Economics of Development, E. Wayne Nafziger and John C. Yoder  Chapter 10: Mary K. Oyer and David A. Shank: Recognizing and Embracing African Aesthetic and Spiritual Canons, James R. Krabill  Chapter 11: Love, Poetry, and History in the Horn of Africa, Saȉd Sheikh Samatar, Lydia Glick Samatar, Jonathan Lurie, Peter Golden, and David Laitin  Chapter 12: Historical and Political Perspectives on African Culture, John C. Yoder  Chapter 13: How Africa and the Mennonite Central Committee Touched My Life, Lauren Yoder   Part Three: Practitioners  Chapter 14: Establishing Private-Public Partnerships to Improve Health Services in Africa, Franklin Baer  Chapter 15: We Live to Serve Others with a Holistic Touch, Musuto Mutaragara Chirangi  Chapter 16: Combating Malaria and Sleeping Sickness by Building Entomological Research Capacity in Africa, David L. Denlinger  Chapter 17: Africa: A Transformative Place, D. Merrill Ewert  Chapter 18: Learning from Africa: An Educator/Administrator’s Post-Colonial Pilgrimage, Ronald J. R. Mathies  Chapter 19: Three Anthills, and the Pot will Catch the Fire: Fremont and Sara Regier’s Lifelong Calling to Service in Africa, Sara Regier  Chapter 20: Working as an Applied Anthropologist in Public Health, P. Stanley Yoder  Part Four: Observations from Outside  Chapter 21: Mennonites, Jews, and the Historical Roots of an Africanist Ethos, Steven Feierman  Chapter 22: Perspectives on Afro-pessimism, Afro-optimism, and African Culture, Paul Gifford  Chapter 23: Reckoning with Colonialism and Mennonite Service: Reflections on Race, Class, Gender, and Power in Africa, Emily Welty 




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John M. Janzen is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kansas., USA

Harold F. Miller served as a fraternal ecumenical service worker in Tanzania, Sudan, and Kenya and is now retired in Virginia, USA

John C. Yoder is a Professor Emeritus of History and Political Science at Whitworth University, USA