This book seeks to explore the relationship between Isaiah Shembe, founder of the amaNazaretha Church, ancestors and Christ in the context of the rapid growth of African Initiated Churches (AICs) during the latter part of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century. It is clearly Christological in focus as the central question posed by the study is "whether Jesus Christ is still central in the lives of the amaNazaretha adherents" (:xi). This phrase immediately displays a negative attitude in its use of "adherents" rather than members. The author's basic research question is whether or not the Shembe movement's view of Christ is "compatible with Christological norms articulated in the western tradition of Christianity" (:xvi).
This book is an excellent resource for any person considering mission work, or for training those who may be preparing for involvement in mission. It is written by two exceptionally experienced missionaries with years of practical experience, as well as academic teaching. Both the authors share something of their past backgrounds and home churches, which gives insights into how they developed their particular philosophy of missions.
The 31 English and German essays contained in this Festschrift in honour of Irving Hexham, the British-Canadian scholar of religion, give an indication of the wide range of interests and expertise Hexham demonstrated in his career. He truly "crossed the borders" of disciplines. The title calls him "an inderdisciplinary historian", and that he may be, but he is not every man's historian. He - and his friends and colleagues who contributed to this book - studied religious phenomena, movements, happenings and people over a wide spectrum and in various ways. In the editors' introductory biographical essay, Irving Hexham is introduced as a stimulating and friendly person. His intellectual abilities make him a treasured companion and partner in any dialogue.