The Integrative Vision of a Pioneer Africanist: Edwin W Smith (1876 -1957)

Young, Walter J. (1997) The Integrative Vision of a Pioneer Africanist: Edwin W Smith (1876 -1957). Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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ORGANISATION and CONTENTS. This thesis is the first comprehensive biography of Edwin W. Smith. It follows his early life in the Primitive Methodist Church and its Mission in Central Africa. His missionary work, including linguistic studies and missiology, in Zambia is described and evaluated as are his subsequent major contributions to anthropology, religion in Africa, missiology, Bible translation, theology and church history. Dante's influence is noted. Smith is shown to have used fulfilment theology by 1906. His increasing commitment to contextualising his theology and growing opposition to cultural imperialism is followed. He is shown to have pioneered African Christian Theology in 1936. His developing attitude to race relations is monitored, revealing an increasing emphasis on integration which, though having other sources, was crystallised by Aggrey whose biography he wrote. Smith's versatility is demonstrated and his influence on African Studies, especially in religion, is assessed. SCOPE. The thesis concentrates on Edwin Smith's contribution to African Studies. His other travels and interests are mentioned where relevant. METHOD. Diaries, letters and other unpublished manuscripts have been located and studied as well as Edwin Smith's published books, articles and reviews. These are discussed in chronological order in relation to the changing intellectual and religious environment. Smith's contribution is assessed in his various areas of expertise. CONCLUSIONS. It is concluded that Edwin Smith made outstandin8 contributions to African Stu1lies, especially in religion and anthropology. His studies are shown to be integrated in that he used his extensive knowledge of African studies as the context for particular areas of study. It is suggested that he was influenced by African holistic thinking. Anthropology and Christianity also played a part and translation provided the mechanism for moving among many disciplines in this integrated approach. As a result he was one of the great pioneer Africanists.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: A print copy of this thesis is available for reference use only. M.Phil submitted through Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education and awarded by the University of Bristol. Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education later became the University of Gloucestershire.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Edwin W. Smith (1876-1957) biography; Mission in Central Africa; African Christian Theology
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Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creatives
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 15:35
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57

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