CHRISTIAN MISSIONS IN AFRICA AND THEIR ROLE IN THE TRANSFORMATION OF AFRICAN SOCIETIES
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The third phase of the missionary movement in Africa, which started from the end of the eighteenth and continued throughout the nineteenth century, in twentieth-century Africa led to the dramatic expansion of Christianity called 'the fourth great age of Christian expansion'. In their attempt to spread the Christian faith, win converts and transform African societies, Christian missions of all denominations opened schools and disseminated education. Scientifically very important was their pioneer work in African languages. By producing grammars, dictionaries, textbooks and translations of religious texts missionaries laid the foundations for literature in African languages. Christian missionary enterprise was no doubt of prime importance in the Westernization of Africa. Africans were, however, not passive recipients of new influences and culture patterns. The adoption of Christianity and the process of cultural exchange were shaped by African choices, needs and efforts to Africanize Africa's Christian experience by securing the roots of Christianity in the African context.
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