Authenticating “Vennism”: Men of Local Prominence and Anglicanism in the Early Twentieth Century in Ukwuaniland, Delta State, 1900-194

Jones U. Odili


Most historians enter into indigenous Christian historiography by focusing more on the activities of “foreign missionaries” in mission fields; the natives are often portrayed as being dormant and passive, waiting without will to be Christianized. Resting on McGavran’s (1980) indigenous principle theory, this study gives credence and authenticity to the relevance of considering indigenous human resources in addressing religious, economic and political issues in indigenous milieus. Using the historical approach to the study of Religious phenomenon, this study reveals that to assume the passiveness of natives in their encounter with a foreign religion is to adopt, consciously or unconsciously, the passivity of the Black race, the favourite opinion of the paternalist. To enhance the growth of Anglicanism in that land, there should be a change in the theology of the mission, methods and strategies of evangelism while indigenous lay leaders should be encouraged to pursue pastoral training.

Keywords: Vennism, Anglicanism, Native Agency, Evangelisation and  Conversion.

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