CHRISTIANITY IN EURAFRICA: A History of the Church in Europe and Africa

Steven Paas
New Academia Publishing, 2017
554 Pages, 178 Illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9981477-2-7 Paperback
See an excerpt from the book.

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About the Author

Steven Paas is a theologian, specialized in Church History, University of Amsterdam (MTh) and Theological University of Apeldoorn (PhD). After a teaching career in The Netherlands he served in Malawi as a Lecturer to future ministers and as a minister of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP). Apart from publications on Western and African Christianity, he published some studies of the phenomenon of Christian Zionism or Israelism and a Lexicon of the Chichewa language.

About the book

Nothing has bound Africa and Europe more together than the history of Christianity. From Paradise onwards, the Church has been the communion of believers. As the Body of Jesus Christ she started in Jerusalem. Through the proclamation of the Gospel the Church soon reached parts of Africa and the Atlantic Coast, from where – after the Middle Ages and particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries – she took deep root in Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, in post-modern times, African Christianity is being challenged to re-plant the Church in secularized Europe.

This textbook for learners and teachers of the History of the Church focuses on the West and the South, on Europe and Africa, the continents whose histories have been increasingly intertwined since Antiquity. Since the 1960s, the classical dependence of the South on the North has changed dramatically. There is a clear shift in the centre of gravity of Christianity from the north to the south Atlantic, making African Christianity increasingly important. The future of European Christianity largely depends on a much-needed shift to mission-mindedness in the African churches.

Christianity in Eurafrica is an impressive book, meticulously researched and well written by a professional scholar. The first chapter includes some valuable historiographical guidelines for writing and understanding the History of the Church. In its first part, the book traces the history of the Church in the Middle East and Europe, explaining the roots of theological diversity to this day. In the second part, the author narrates how the Faith moved south, took root in African soil and grew independently. Many pictures and illustrations serve to further enliven the account. Steven Paas, taught Theology in Malawi for many years. He writes from a deep knowledge of and love for the Lord’s Church, especially in Africa and Europe.

This textbook on the history of Christianity in two continents fits with the curricula of institutions of theological training in Africa and the West. The content is especially aimed at students who prepare for the ministry and for Christian education. The book is, however, also invaluable for all scholars of the History of Christianity.


“With art and mastery, the author is able to tell the two thousand years old story of the progress of the wider Christian community as a whole and of its relationship to the rest of the world from Galillee to Africa through the Atlantic. The eagle view of the approach coupled with the details of christianisation in some regions and countries in Europe and in Africa make this texbook an invaluable resource.”

—Francois Pazisnewende Kaboré, SJ, PhD, Director, Jesuit University Institute, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Links to reviews:

Cora van Dijk in: Boekenmening, April 4, 2018
Tom J. Marinello, in: Journal of Global Christianity, February 2018
Jan van ‘t Spijker, in: Theologia Reformata, March 2017
Jan van ‘t Spijker, in: De Wekker 3-3-17
Jaap van Slageren, in: Brill 2017-46
Frits Gaum, in: Kerkbode 2-9-16 p. 14
C.P.J. (Hans) van der Bas, in: HHK Kerkblad 13-10-2016