Religious encounter and the making of the Yoruba
In this magisterial book, J. D. Y. Peel contends that it is through their encounter with Christian missions in the mid nineteenth century that the Yoruba have come to know themselves as such. Peel's detailed study of that encounter is based upon the rich archives of the Anglican Church Missionary Society, a distinctive feature of which are journals written by the African agents of the mission, who, as the first generation of literate Yoruba, played the key role in the shaping of modern Yoruba consciousness. First contact between the missionaries and Yoruba during the nineteenth century took place in a region of city-states locked into chronic internecine warfare. During that time, the Yoruba negotiated a complex of Christian, Islamic, and traditional religious practices and politics that defined what they called an "age of confusion." By paying special attention to the lived experience of ordinary Yoruba, Peel shows how the process of Christian conversion began to transform Christianity into something more deeply Yoruba. Religious Encounter and the Making of the Yoruba brings together history, religion, and social anthropology. It will be an important book for readers interested in African history, colonialism and culture, religious change, and the globalisation of Christianity.
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