Toward a New Christianity: African Christianity and its Worldwide Significance
A Video Documentary on African Christianity
Award-winning documentary producer James Ault is working to bring his latest project into view: a major treatment of contemporary African Christianity. Ault frames this “new Christianity,” recorded in a variety of African settings and among African immigrants, as a growing and powerful social and religious force in the world today. As the demographic weight of Christian adherence has shifted to the global South, Africa has emerged as the “new Christian heartland” of the twenty-first century, according to church historian Andrew Walls. African Christianity no longer can be viewed as distant, derivative, or the exotic stuff of missionary slide shows. It is the faith of hundreds of millions worldwide and is shaping the beliefs and religious issues of the global church, as the current conflict in the Anglican Communion clearly shows. We need to know more about how the Christian faith makes its home in the world’s farflung cultures and now is returning to reshape belief and expression in the global north as well. Ault takes us to Zimbabwe, Ghana, and to African congregations in Europe and North America to help us understand the changing face of Christianity.
Ault’s work was begun with major grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Now it will come to fruition in broadcast and DVD instructional formats, thanks to grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW), and the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity. The CICW will develop an archive for Ault’s major collection of video recordings depicting Christian worship, including this project’s Africa footage. The Nagel Institute support will be focused on promoting this documentary for use in educational settings.
Samples of James Ault's work on African Christianity can be viewed here.