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Andrew F. Walls Centre for the Study of Asian and African Christianity

Andrew F Walls Centre
Aims and objectives
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This Centre, located within the Sheppard-Worlock Library, is named after the most distinguished Professor Andrew F. Walls, Professor of History of Missions at Liverpool Hope University. His missionary experiences in Sierra Leone and Nigeria, his teaching experiences at the universities in Aberdeen and Edinburgh and in many other Euro-American, African and Asian institutions of higher learning, and his lectures in mission conferences in numerous countries shape his perception and interpretation of Christianity. He has contributed immensely to the study of World Christianity.

Prof. Wall’s award-winning publications include The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith (1996) and The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History (3rd rpt. 2005). In 2011, the Orbis Books honoured Professor Andrew Walls by publishing the book entitled Understanding World Christianity: The Vision and Work of Andrew F. Walls. Professor Walls has trained many scholars in diverse academic fields; nowadays they occupy important positions in different countries. His ideas and interpretative principles have transformed countless researchers to discover missionary movements afresh.


The Centre benefits in its teaching and research activity from a specialist library, forming a ground-floor wing of The Sheppard-Worlock Library at Liverpool Hope University. It is a self-contained specialist resource intended for those engaged in the study of Christian history, thought and life in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region, and in the overseas Diasporas from those continents. It also serves the general field of mission studies and mission history. The collection includes not only works relating to church and mission activity in Africa and Asia Pacific but many on the historical, cultural and religious context of Christianity there, making it valuable also for a range of studies in history and religions. Religious literature published in Africa and Asia, not often collected by British institutions, forms a major feature of this collection.

Professor Andrew Walls has actively collected most of these materials over five decades. The Centre’s collection is augmented by valuable gifts notably from Dr George Hood, late of the Selly Oak Colleges, of works on China and Southeast Asia, from Professor J W Hofmeyr of the University of Pretoria, of works on South Africa, from Rev. Dr. Daniel O'Connor, the author of The Chaplains of the East India Company, 1601–1858, Mrs. Cecilia Irvine on Christianity in Congo, and Bibles in several languages from the Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Pamphlets and ephemera constitute a feature of the collection. There are many thousands of these from many countries and in many languages, a large number not being known in any other collection. The periodicals, when the remainder of the material at present in Edinburgh and Aberdeen is received, will include four thousand titles, with complete sets and long runs of material not easy to find in other libraries. The Ida Grace McRuer Collection, transferred from Winnipeg Theological Seminary, is without parallel in Britain in its coverage of North American missions, and there is much rare material from Africa and Asia.

The Butler Collection of Non-Western Christian Art contains the art library of the late Dr John F Butler, one of the first serious studies of Christian art in Asia, Africa and Latin America, together with his personal papers and thousands of slides, artistic and architectural. This collection also includes works of art from Africa and Asia.

Professor Hoffie Hofmeyer of South Africa has donated about 400 books on South African history, Christianity, traditional religions, culture and modern life. Likewise, Canon Daniel O’Connor has kindly sent a large number of books on Christian Ecumenism, Church Union Movements in India, the works of a few European mission agencies, world religions (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam), famous personalities (e.g., Gandhi), and the like. Additionally, this Center collects microfilms containing original source materials on various mission agencies, particularly working in Western Africa. It encourages other well-wishers to donate their books on the life, teachings, witness, and other works of Christians. The Center promises to take care of them and make them available to research scholars.

The Centre actively collects religious literature – scholarly and popular, mainstream and marginal, official and informal, periodicals and pamphlets – pertaining to African and Asian Christianity. If you wish to donate literature or know someone whom we can contact, please inform Professors Andrew Walls ( or Daniel Jeyaraj ( We welcome you to see and make use of our collections.

This centre:

a) Fosters cross-cultural learning in mission studies through mutual encounters between Christians from the global south and north.

b) Offers fresh readings of Euro-American mission literature and by listening to the voices from the churches of Africa and Asia.

c) Trains scholars to study various aspects of African and Asian Christianity at MA, MPhil. and PhD levels. For information and opportunities for study and research in these fields, please contact Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj (

d) Explores the place of Africa and Asia within World Christianity by organizing conferences, lectures, workshops,consultations, summer schools, publications, Bible Studies, and Study Tours.

e) Facilitates networking of scholars, students and centres in World Christianity in different parts of the world.

f) Develops collaborative research on national and international level.

g) Enlists Visiting Fellows of the Centre to help promote its activities.

h) Collects religious literature – scholarly and popular, mainstream and marginal, official and informal, periodicals and pamphlets – pertaining to African and Asian Christianity.


The Centre is located within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and works in close association with the Department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies. Through its cooperation with other Departments and Research Centres of the University, it develops an active interdisciplinary research culture. It is home to a number of postgraduate research students from different parts of the world.

Appropriately qualified researchers and students can register for the MA, MPhil or PhD degrees under the supervision of the Centre either on-site or off-site. It is important to know that these are research degrees. As such, they do not involve either semester course work or comprehensive exams (as in many other European and North American institutions). Instead, all registered students can immediately start their research right from the beginning and carry it under supervision. Those research students, who have opted for off-site supervision, will come to Hope Park Campus, attend the annual Summer School for acquiring and demonstrating appropriate competencies, and participate in the Annual Conference. Currently, postgraduate research students from Nigeria, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, and the United States are enrolled in our off-site supervision program. Since 2008, five research students have successfully defended their theses and obtained their doctoral degrees.

For further details on admission requirements and research possibilities, contact Professor Daniel Jeyaraj, the Director of this Center (

If you wish to donate literature or know someone whom we can contact for literature, please inform Professors Andrew Walls ( or Daniel Jeyaraj ( We welcome you to see and make use of our collections.

Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj, Director of the Centre; email: 
Prof. Andrew F. Walls, Professor of History of Missions; email:
Ms Susan Murray, Head of the Library Services, email:
Ms Karen Backhouse, Special Collections Cataloguer, email: 

Advisory committee

Professor Kenneth Newport, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), email: 
Reverend Dr Peter McGrail, Associate Professor, TPRS, email: 
Head, Department of Theology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies (at present: Prof. Newport)
A PGR Student
The Visiting Fellows

Visiting fellows

The Centre is associated with several scholars and other similar research institutes in a number of ways. Thus it enjoys the support of scholars and students representing various branches of study. On receiving nominations of senior academic scholars who have made significant contribution to the study of World Christianity, the Centre appoints Visiting Fellows, welcomes them to participate in various activities and to enrich its resources.

  • Professor Robert Eric Frykenberg, Professor Emeritus of History & South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Professor Klaus Koschorke, Department of History of Christianity, Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Munich
  • Professor Mark S. Heim, Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology, Andover Newton Theological School, Newton
  • Professor Richard Fox Young, Professor of History of Religions, Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey
  • Dr. William R. Burrows, Managing Editor Emeritus, Orbis Books, Maryknoll and Research Professor of Missiology in the Center for World Christianity at New York Theological Seminary, New York
  • Professor Hoffie Hofmeyer, Professor Emeritus of History of Christianity, South Africa
  • The Reverend Dr. Samson Olasupo A Ayokunle, PhD. President & CEO, Nigerian Baptist Convention, Nigeria
  • The Reverend Professor Deji Isaac Ayegboyin, President, The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Obgomoso

For information on nomination and invitation as Visiting Fellows of the Centre, please contact Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj (


Annual conferences

The Centre organises an international annual conference on various themes. This conference is open for scholars, students, and interested public.

Thirukkural Beyond The Frontiers Of Tamil India: 27th - 29th June 2018.

ThIrukkural, composed by Thiruvalluvar, some 2,000 years ago, in classical Tamil, has acquired over the ages the status of scriptural authority as a canon informing the behaviour of Tamils in their day-to-day interpersonal relations all over the world. Every Tamil can recite from memory at least few Kural-couplets appropriate to his/her situation. The Tamils do not dispute the pride of place Thiruvalluvar occupies in their heart and esteem. Despite his humble origins, Thiruvalluvar reigns supreme as the foremost poet and philosopher of the Tamils.

Thiruvalluvar's epigrammatic sayings relate a person's social, political and domestic life and duties. In this regard, it ranks equal to Confucius' Analects or Seneca's Epistulae Morales. ThIruvalluvar drew his insights on human behaviour from the prevailing contexts of his society. Today it represents the collective consciousness of the Tamil at that time and, to a great extent, to our present day. Hence, it still occupies among the didactic literature of the Tamils the most eminent place. It is rightfully hailed as a universal book of wisdom par excellence. It continues to offer ethical precepts for the development of character of all Tamils. Therefore, it transcends claims by a particular religious group (e.g., Jains, Buddhists, Saivites, Vaishnavites, Christians and the like) and promotes peaceful co-existence.

Objectives of the Conference

With a view to studying the Thirukkural from an unbiased international perspective and to promoting rigorous academic research on this sacred opus majeur, we have decided to organize this Second International Conference on Thirukkural with the participation of scholars from all over the world. The first international conference held in Nagarkovil in 2017, and the present international conference to be held in Liverpool in 2018 will form a prelude to the global conference which we are planning to organize in Paris in 2020 with the collaboration of the UNESCO.

This conference is jointly organised by Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai, India.

Download the Thirukkural Conference Brochure 2018 

Book on to the conference

Christianity and the Public Sphere in Africa and Asia: 1st -3rd July 2018

Christians are part and parcel of their societies, and many care for the welfare of fellow members of those societies. Christianity, thus, engages with people in their living contexts. Their homes, places of worship, educational institutions, health care centres, and other public organisations offer social space for private and public discussions of diverse matters of interest. Therefore, Christians often critically reflect on and speak about current events, concerns, public policies, and other topics pertaining to their well-being.

The conference will be a space for informed discussions of issues pertaining to African and Asian Christians and their public roles: How did or does Christianity function as salt and light in African or Asian societies? What does it mean to be responsible Christians in Africa or Asia? How did or can Christians in Africa and Asia claim the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their public spaces? How does the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ judge old loyalties and rearrange them in Africa and Asia? What are the characteristics of African or Asian Christians in their respective societies? What are the examples of African or African theologies that engage with the public sphere of their peoples? How do African or Asian Christians in diaspora situations either on their own continents or in, for example, European and American settings address the issues that matter to them and their children?

Book on to the conference.

Postgraduate Summer School: 3rd - 7th of July 2018

This week-long summer school is meant for postgraduate research students who examine any aspect of World Christianity and its related subjects. All postgraduate students under off-site supervision participate in this Summer School from Tuesday to Saturday (3 July to 7 July 2018). During this time, they learn specific research skills; they present certain aspects of their research and receive feedback from experts and peers. Usually, the Andrew Walls Centre hosts a number of guest students who are dealing with different aspects of African and Asian Christianity and these too often participate in the summer school. Interested postgraduate researchers can contact Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj ( or Dr Harvey Kwiyani ( for further details.”

Professor Daniel Jeyaraj BD, MA, Dr. theol., Dr. Habil, Dr. phil. DD (hc)


Tel: +44 (0)151 291 3761


Professor Andrew F Walls, MA, OBE, DLitt, DD FSAScot

Professor of the History of Mission



Ms Susan Murray, MA, BSc, MCILIP, ILTM

Head of the Library Services, The Sheppard-Worlock Library

Tel: +44 (0)151 291 2002


During Work Days

Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

During term time with special arrangements

Monday - Thursday 5pm – 7.15pm

Sunday 2pm – 4.15pm


Andrew F Walls Centre for the Study of African and Asian Christianity
The Sheppard-Worlock Library
Liverpool Hope University
Hope Park
L16 9JD