Andrew F. Walls Centre for the Study of Asian and African Christianity
Director: Professor Daniel Jeyaraj
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.
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, and from Professor J W Hofmeyr of the University of Pretoria, of works on South Africa.
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 visit our collections.
The Centre is the base for several bibliographical activities. Since 1972, Prof. Andrew Walls has been editing the Bibliography on Mission Studies and publishes it in the International Review of Mission (Geneva). It is believed that this bibliography is the largest electronic database in its field and is used internationally. Currently, this Center is in the process of converting it into appropriate web-usable format. It will be made available to the public.
a) Foster cross-cultural learning in mission studies through mutual encounters between Christians from the global south andnorth.
b) Offer fresh readings of Euro-American mission literature and by listening to the voices from the churches of Africa andAsia
c) Facilitate networking of scholars, students and centres in World Christianity in different parts of the world
d) Train scholars to study various aspects of African and Asian Christianity at MA, MPhil. and PhD levels, and
e) Explore the place of Africa andAsiawithin World Christianity by organizing conferences, lectures, workshops,consultations, publications, Bible Studies, and Study Tours.
f) Develop both national and international collaborative research with like-minded centres and institutions.
g) Enlist Visiting Fellows of the Centre to help promote its activities
h) Collect religious literature – scholarly and popular, mainstream and marginal, official and informal, periodicals andpamphlets – pertaining to African and Asian Christianity.
If you wish to donate literature or know someone whom we can contact for literature, please inform either Professor Andrew Walls or Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj. We welcome you to visit our collections.
Likewise, if you wish to nominate a senior scholar to the Visiting Fellow of the Centre, please get in touch with Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj. For further information, see the section on Membership.
For information and opportunities for study and research please contact Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj or the web sites dealing with Student Recruitment
Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj, Director of the Centre; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Andrew F. Walls, Professor of History of Missions; email: email@example.com
Ms Susan Murray, Head of the Library Services, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Karen Backhouse, Special Collections Cataloguer, email: email@example.com
Professor Kenneth Newport, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Nicholas Rees, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, email: email@example.com
Reverend Dr Peter McGrail, Associate Professor, TPRS, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head, Department of Theology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies (at present: Prof. Newport)
A PGR Student
The 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.
For information on nomination and invitation as Visiting Fellows of the Centre, please contact Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj (email@example.com)
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 students and scholars may 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. Instead registered students entirely carry out research under supervision. Once in a year they come for a week long Summer School to acquire and demonstrate research competencies. Currently, postgraduate research students from Nigeria, Ghana, Singapore, Canada, and the United States are enrolled. For further details on admission requirements and research possibilities, contact Professor Daniel Jeyaraj, the Director of this Center (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Centre organises an international annual conference on various themes. This conference is open for scholars, students, and interested public. It gathers scholars who have been working or plan to work on certain themes and enables them to share their ideas. Thus far, it organized four conferences: the first conference on the Significance of African and Asian Christianity (23–24 May 2008) marked the launching of the already existing Center. Scholars from Africa, Asia, Continental Europe, and United Kingdom shared their experiences and reflections on the needs, resources, and opportunities for studying World Christianity.
The second conference examined the theme Transatlantic Dimensions of African and Asian Christianity (19–21 June 2009). The city of Liverpool offers a good background to look at the transatlantic connections in a fresh manner. The paper presenters used this backdrop to discuss Liverpool’s crucial role not merely in slave trade, but also in Christian missionary movements.
The third conference was on Christian Unity in Mission and Service (11–13 June 2010). The First International Missionary Conference of Edinburgh 1910 is generally viewed as the most important ecumenical turning point for Christians. This view does not reflect on various preceding ecumenical conferences such as the Missionary Conference of Liverpool in 1860. As Christians rightly celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Edinburgh 1910, our conference highlighted a few aspects of the 150 years of ecumenical heritage in Liverpool and how this conference prepared the way for Edinburgh 1910.
2011 marked the 400th anniversary of the famous King James Bible. This year was important for another reason as well: in 1966, Monsignor Alexander Jones, the head of the then Christ College, now an integral part of Liverpool Hope University, edited the English version of the Jerusalem Bible (1966) and the Roman Catholic Church accepted it for liturgical use. Our conference entitled Bible Translations and Human Dignity (10–12 June 2011) examined various impacts of Bible translations on local languages and people groups. The paper presenters investigated how the habit of reading the Bible in their mother tongue transformed people groups and how it is being used in different countries of the world.
The fifth conference, held from 15 to 17 June 2012 in Hope Park Campus explored the theme The Book, books, and beyond books: 300 years of Christian publications in and for Asia and Africa. Since 300 years, when the first modern printing press was introduced in Tranquebar in India, the modes of Christian publications have changed. The current digital revolution has impacted people’s reading habits. Book publishers, librarians, and researchers find new challenges in selling, buying, archiving and using. The paper presenters, representing various countries and academic disciplines, examined these challenges and offered fresh insights.
Our next conference, to be held from 21 to 23 June 2013 in Hope Park Campus, will explore the theme Pietism – Methodism – World Christianity. Christian Pietism contributed to the emergence of modern mission movements in Denmark, Germany, India, Britain, Switzerland, and other countries. The Royal Danish-Halle Mission (1705) that worked in the Danish Colonies of Tranquebar (1706–1845) and Serampore (1755–1845) exemplified the impact of Christian Pietism. August Hermann Francke (1663–1713), whose 300th birth anniversary falls in 2013, supported it greatly. During his life time, its impact was felt from India to North America. Likewise, the Moravians and the Methodists pioneered other types of overseas mission movements. Their successors formed the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (1813), sent out missionaries to various people groups, and expanded their version of Christian faith and institutional polity. Our conference seeks to examine how the Pietists and the Methodists either facilitated or participated in the spread of their Christian faith and institutions in cross-cultural contexts at home and overseas. The organizers welcome paper proposals. For further information either see Call for Papers or contact Professor Daniel Jeyaraj (email@example.com, Tel. +44 (0)151 291 3761).
Annual Public Lectures
Occasionally, the Centre hosts public lectures in honour of Professor Andrew F Walls. They are open to all faculty members, staff, and students. Members of the general public are welcome. On 18th March 2009 the Revd Dr Christopher Wright, the International Director of the Langham Partnership International and the chairperson for Lausanne Theology Working Group, spoke on the theme “Prophet to the nations: Jeremiah’s missiological reflections.” On 17th March 2010, Professor Joel Carpenter, the Director of the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity in Calvin College explored the “New Christian Universities and the Future of Christian Scholarship.” On 10 June 2011 Professor Lamin Sanneh, Yale University Divinity School, presented a much applauded paper on Bible Translation and Human Dignity. At 7 pm on 15 June 2012 Prof. Klaus Koschorke, Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Munich, will give the next public lecture on Global Communication, the missionary Press and networks between indigenous-christian elites in Asia and Africa around 1900.
Research Seminars and Colloquia
These seminars and colloquia provide opportunities for our postgraduate research students at the Department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies to reflect on themes related to World Christianity. During these sessions research students present their papers and receive feedback and enhance their research competencies. For a calendar of these seminars and colloquia kindly contact Prof. Daniel Jeyaraj (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Service to local community
The Center seeks to find relevant ways of disseminating the research knowledge of World Christianity to local communities.
6th Oct – 17th Nov 2009: The Center in collaboration with the Liverpool District of the Methodist Church and the Andrew Walls Centre, organized with the help of Dr. Elizabeth Harris, organized a four-part lecture series entitled “The City in One World: Learning from the World Church about Discipleship Today.” These lectures were held at Princes Park Methodist Church, Beaconsfield St, Liverpool L8 2UU. A growing circle of interested audience participated in these lectures.
15th Oct – 3rd Dec 2009: The Center in collaboration with the Anglican Cathedral sponsored two public lectures on African and Asian Christian Challenges.
21 Nov 2010: Retreat for the Readers of the Diocese of Liverpool on the theme Sermon on the Mount in context: Canon Arthur Cooper, who coordinates this annual event, requested me to conduct an all-day retreat for the readers on this theme. About 90 Readers from the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool participated in this retreat conducted in one of our lecture theaters in Hope Park.
26 Nov 2010: Public Panel Exhibition of the Francke Foundations in Germany in our Gateway Building starting with a seminar on Pietism: Halle, Great Britain, and the World. After a month, this exhibition was displaced in the Anglican Cathedral (Dec 2010) and in the All Saints Church Stoneycroft (Jan 2011).
The John Newton Panel Exhibition, put together by Marylynn Rouse of the John Newton Project, will start at 4.40 pm on 15 June 2011 in our EDEN-Building. The exhibition will be there for a month. Admission is free.
In response to a need expressed by a community of local scholars the Centre conducts Hope Bible Studies and seek bring out the meaning and relevance of the biblical text from World Christianity perspectives. Thus far we have studied the Gospel of Matthews and the Minor Prophets. Next sessions will start in October 2012; we will explore the theme: “Walking with our ancestors: World Christian Experiences and Thoughts.” Generally, we meet at 7 pm on alternate Fridays in All Saints’ Church, Stoneycroft, Old Swan, Broadgreen Road, Liverpool L13 4BW. These studies are open to any interested person. There is no admission fee.
The Centre is interested and willing to co-operate with faith communities that wish to engage with questions pertaining to World Christianity.
Professor Daniel Jeyaraj BD, MA, Dr. theol., Dr. habil, Dr. phil. DD (hc)
Tel: +44 (0)151 291 3761
Fax: +44 (0)151 291 3160
Professor Andrew F Walls, MA, OBE, DLitt, DD FSAScot
Professor of the History ofMission
Ms Susan Murray, MA, BSc, MCILIP, ILTM
Head of the Library Services
The Sheppard-Worlock Library
Tel: +44 (0)151 291 2002
Fax: +44 (0)151 291 2037
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