KATOLICKÁ TEOLOGICKÁ FAKULTA UNIVERZITY KARLOVY
CATOLIC THEOLOGICAL FACULTY OF CHARLES UNIVERSITY
CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA: THE THREE PHASES OF CHRISTIANIZATION AND THE SPECIFICS
OF AFRICAN THEOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY
Abstract: African Christianity stands on a solid tradition of two thousand years. According to
statistics, it is the most widespread religion in contemporary Africa: about half of the continent‘s
entire population professes it – in sub-Saharan Africa it is almost 60% of the population. However,
this statement needs to be supplemented, clarified and the real reality of African Christianity – and
religious life in general – presented. This is the content of this article. The main aim of the article
is to look at the story of African Christianity in the basic outlines, to emphasize its specifics and to
point out three – not two, as it is often abbreviated – phases of the continent‘s Christianization.
Related to this is the clarification and explanation of the African specificity with regard to statistics.
Another goal is to draw attention to selected unique syncretisms of Christianity and the original
African religions – some within the boundaries of orthodoxy, but others outside them. The topic is
elaborated by the method of own field research, which took place in Africa between 2001 and 2019
in a total length of three years, supported by a comparison of relevant literature.
Keywords: African Christianity, Christianization, African theology, Syncretism, Africa
THEOLOGICAL REVIEW, Vol. 92, 2021, No. 3, Number of Article 5, p. 292 – 310.