Richard Gray (1929-2005) was a pioneer in the study of African history. In his last years he worked on a comprehensive study of the papacy and Africa. Originally he assumed that the critical initiatives in the implantation of Christianity in Africa came from within Catholic Europe or its missionaries. He soon discovered, however, that the initiatives came from African Christians: from Ethiopia, from Kongo, from appeals to Rome by African Catholics, and finally by slaves of African origin from the New World who were protesting the appalling discrepancy between Christian principles and the practice of slave traders and owners. With Grays final work left unfinished, Lamin Sanneh has assembled these published essays. The result is an enduring contribution to the study of Africa, mission, and World Christianity.
Richard Gray was professor of African history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, also serving on the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences. His many books included Black Christians and White Missionaries.
Lamin Sanneh is D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity and Professor of History at Yale Divinity School. His books include Translating the Message (Orbis, 1989) and Disciples of All Nations (Oxford University Press, 2008).