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Mixed Messages: Using the Bible and Qur’ān in Swahili Tracts (September 2022)

John A. Chesworth

Mixed Messages: Using the Bible and Qur'ān in Swahili Tracts (September (…)

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Chesworth (John A.), Mixed Messages: Using the Bible and Qur’ān in Swahili Tracts, Leiden, Brill, ("Studies of Religion in Africa ; 51"), ISBN 978-90-04-51966-4


John A. Chesworth, PhD (2008) in Religious Studies, University of Birmingham, is Research Officer for Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History 1500-1900 (CMR) at the University of Birmingham. He has published on Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa, and co-edited CMR vols 6-14, 16-20 (Brill, 2014-22).


The present volume sets Swahili religious tracts available in Kenya and Tanzania in their context. The book starts with an overview of tracts in Swahili from the 19th century to the present day, an examination of Swahili as a religious language, and an introduction to Swahili versions of the Bible and Qurʾān. Chesworth then introduces the range of tracts currently available, examining eight in detail. In particular he considers how they present scripture in order to promote their own faith, Islam or Christianity, whilst denigrating the ‘other’. Finally, the volume discusses the impact from modern media on these tracts.


Table of contents
List of Tables, Figures and Maps

 1 Start of Interest in Tracts
 2 Interaction and Outreach of the Two Faiths
 3 Data Collection
 4 Background of Islam and Christianity in Kenya and Tanzania
 5 Demography
 6 Kenya
 7 Tanzania
 8 Islam
 9 Christianity
 10 Relations between Christians and Muslims
 11 ‘Crusades’ and Mihadhara
 12 Christian Outreach
 13 Muslim Outreach
 14 Mjadala (Discussion)
 15 Tracts
 16 Historical Background to Tracts
 17 Collection of Tracts
 18 Criteria for Selection of Tracts
 19 Categories of Selected Tracts
 20 Outline of Book

Part 1: Tracts and Translation in East Africa

2Early Christian Tracts in East Africa
 1 The First Christian Tracts in East Africa
 2 Support from SPCK and RTS for Work in East Africa
 4 RTS and Msafiri
 6 W.E. Taylor and Raha Isiyo Karaha

3Christian Tracts in East Africa during the Twentieth Century
 1 Tracts from Lutheran Missionary Societies in Deutsch Ostafrika
 2 Christian Outreach at the End of the Colonial Period
 3 Planning for the Future
 4 Christian Outreach Post-Independence

4Muslim Tracts in East Africa during the Twentieth Century
 1 Muslim Outreach at the Time of Independence
 2 New Methods of Muslim Outreach

5Swahili as a Religious Language
 1 Introduction
 2 Standardising Swahili
 3 Christian Missionaries’ Translational Labours

Part 2: Muslim and Christian Tracts

6Tracts in Current Circulation in East Africa
 1 Criteria for Selection of the Tracts to Be Examined
 2 Purpose of Composition
 3 Language of Composition
 4 The Use of Scripture
 5 Analysis of Selected Tracts
 6 The Original Language of Composition
 7 Title and Subject Matter
 8 Authors of Tracts
 9 Use of Scripture

7Using Scripture to Refute the Other’s Faith
 1 Uislamu Katika Biblia
 2 Isa (Yesu Kristo) Ndani ya Kurani na Biblia

8Jesus in the Qurʾān Al-Māʾida (5):112–20
 1 Maisha ya Nabii Isa (Alahais Salam)
 2 Hapana! Dini ya Kristo Haijabatalishwa

9Testimonies of Converts
 1 Kwa Nini Niliacha Ukristo na Nikawa Muislamu
 2 Kutafuta Uhakika

10Teaching Those of Your Own Faith
 1 Uislamu ni Njia Sahihi ya Maisha
 2 Je Roho Mtakatifu ndiye yule Msaidizi?

11Concluding Remarks
Appendix 1: Passages from Different Versions of the Bible and Qurʾān
Appendix 2: Copy of Sisi ni Wasomaji wa kudumu … (We Are Constant Readers), with English Translation

View online : Brill