Prophet Harris: The "Black Elijah" of West Africa

Front Cover
BRILL, Dec 31, 1993 - Religion - 309 pages
"Prophet Harris, The "Black Elijah" of West Africa" offers the only comprehensive study of the thought of William Wade Harris, the Glebo (Liberia) loyalist whose prophetic mission from 1910-29 moved tens of thousands of West Africans out of traditional religion into the stream of Christianity and modernization, particularly in the Ivory Coast. It reviews that unparalleled breakthrough, thoroughly examines traditional African, Western missionary and colonial influences which helped determine religious innovation and shape his vocation as prophet of Christ's reign of peace and prosperity. Heretofore unused sources, enriched by documents and photos, expose biblical eschatological and messianic dynamics which tied Harris' words, symbols and charisma together in a holistic African Christianity. The source of long-standing contentions between Ivoirian Harrists, Methodists and Catholics is uncovered in the well-intentioned but changing colonial and missionary responses to his impact.
 

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Contents

The prophetic mission
3
The roots of the Prophet Harris
27
Preprophetic adulthood I 18811899
57
Preprophetic adulthood II 18991910
77
The trancevisitation of 1910
105
Biblical eschatology
133
Patterns in Biblical understanding 154 Chapter Seven Patterns in Biblical understanding
174
Symbolic patterns
189
The prophetic word
224
Patterns of thought relating
243
Patterns of thought relating
276
PostScriptum
287
Bibliography
293
Index
303
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

David A. Shank, Ph.D. (1981) in Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen (Scotland) retired (1989) from the Group for Religious and Biblical Studies with its Documentation and Resource Center in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. As participant-observer, researcher, and participant with African-Initiated Churches in West Africa he has published numerous articles and promoted All-Africa Conferences with publications fostering ecclesial partnership and bridge-building. ("Ministry in Partnership with AICs," 1991).