The Conservative Anglican Church in Africa

The shift in perspective from the curative to the preventive was really one from rejuvenating to conserving society.

Mahmood Mamdani

If Mamdani is correct and the British are credited with constructing pre-colonial “native” tradition in colonial Africa in order to govern the colonized culturally, this may help to explain the anti-traditional, reactionary character of the Anglican Church in some, though hardly in all, parts of post-colonial Africa. That is to say, the “tradition” Africans learned was not only not African. Nor was it Christian in an traditional sense. Just as Anglicanism remade Christianity in the image of capital, so it introduced a capitalist Christianity into Africa; that is to say, a Christianity that owed more to the isolation of abstract value from its material forms of appearance, more to inner, personal experience and mortification of the flesh, e.g., discipline, than to the non-capitalist Christianity that had prevailed for fourteen centuries within the Church. That said, when reactionary Anglicanism confronts its liberal cousin, it is confronting a blood relative insofar as both are fully products of the value form of capital. Which helps to explain why its liberal cousin will not and cannot prevail until it explicitly disavows the capitalism by which liberalism is necessarily animated.

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