This is the first major volume to chart the historical development and character of the whole Christian Church in Africa. Christianity provided the constitutive identity of historic Ethiopia from long before the fifteenth century, and from the nineteenth it entered decisively into the life and culture of an increasing number of other African peoples. In the course of the twentieth century, African Christians have become a major part of the world Church, and arguably modern African history as a whole is not intelligible without its powerful Christian element. This book links together Ethiopian Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and the numerous "Independent" churches of modern times, and focuses throughout on the role of conversion, the shaping of church life and its relationship to traditional values, and the impact of political power. Professor Hastings also compares the relation of Christian history to the comparable development in Africa of Islam.