Centre of World Christianity Seminar Series: Talk by Dr Jim Harries


Wed Oct 18 2023 at 12:00 pm to 01:00 pm


SOAS University of London | London, EN

Researching Africa in Light of the ‘Religions’ of Anti-racism and Christianity
About this Event

The SOAS Centre of World Christianity promotes the study of the historic and modern contexts of Christianity in Africa and Asia. The specific aims of the Centre are:

a) to network research projects and study initiatives by scholars at SOAS across the disciplines,

b) to collaborate with specialists from other institutions, both within the U.K. and internationally

c) to inform policy-makers and the wider public about the plurality of Christianity in Africa, and Asia and its place in society and culture

We begin the centre's seminar series for the academic year 2023-2024 with a topical talk by Dr Jim Harries.


Considering contemporary anti-racism in the West as a kind of 'religion', Jim’s presentation will show how belief in this religion of anti-racism is being taken advantage of to undergird and perpetuate Western domination. A pretence at global homogeneity is used to conceal what the Gospel has brought to Europe, and could bring to others. The White European uses anti-racism to validate his position as the new god, i.e., the global norm to be aspired to, communicated through English, as if English is neutral. Putting aside a supposed need for generosity, that has become control, some Westerners need to get to African grassroots. They are to inform the West using English, while African scholars of the West tell their fellows about Europe using African tongues. This is to uplift the work of the Gospel, and the freedom brought by faith in Christ.

Speaker biography

Jim Harries (PhD University of Birmingham, UK), raised in England, has been resident in East Africa since 1988. From early days, Jim was struck by profound incongruencies: What his UK background had told him to expect in Africa did not tally with what he found on the ground. These incongruencies seemed to undermine indigenous sense-making. Simultaneously to engaging in caring for orphans, Bible teaching and prayer ministry using the Swahili and Luo languages at grass roots on an ongoing basis, Jim has challenged the academic status quo in prolific writing (https://jimharries.academia.edu/research ). A surprising and apparently earthshaking conclusion Jim has had to draw; anti-racism in the West is a millstone around Africa’s neck. Jim explores this in depth in How Western Anti-Racism Harms Africa and how we can do Better (2021). He unpacks related themes in Vulnerable Mission: Listening to God and Man in Africa (2023). Jim chairs the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission (https://www.vulnerablemission.org/). He is a key member of the research team (https://www.vulnerablemission.org/research-team ). Jim is adjunct-faculty at William Carey International University in the USA.


Where is it happening?

SOAS University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, London, United Kingdom

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


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Centre of World Christianity, SOAS University of London

Host or Publisher Centre of World Christianity, SOAS University of London

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