ETH1200EN - Africa: Introductory Survey

Course description

This course sets out to answer the question: Did civilizations exist in Africa prior to direct contacts with Europeans in the late 15th century? The intent is to answer the question in the affirmative by exploring diverse forms of pre-colonial African civilizations defined in terms of complex political organizations and cultural formations comparable to other world civilizations. Since seldom do civilizations emerge in an absolute vacuum, the course emphasizes both the local origins of African political and social systems while considering the extent to which African civilizations borrowed from and integrated external ideas. It also explores evidence of Africa’s contributions to other world civilizations. Through trade and religious activities, Africa participated in the global exchange of ideas and goods. Thus, contrary to popular perceptions still prevailing in some quarters in the “West,” Africa was not isolated from the rest of the world until the era of European exploration, but rather, it was part of the worldwide web of commercial and cultural interactions.

How this course benefits students

Students learn to view global history and culture in the context of Africa. The goal of the course is to give Christ-centered students the historical-cultural enrichment skills and tools that are used by the Holy Spirit in helping understand and clarity their specific calling.

Why this course is important

The study of Africa is central to a broader understanding of world history, European history, as well as contemporary America. The relationship between the United States and Africa predates American Independence. The profits from the trans-Atlantic slave trade helped finance early Western industrialized nations, while the labor of enslaved Africans and their descendants lay the economic foundations of the New World. Africa’s experiences under colonial rule are central to further understanding events which would lead to the two major world wars, religious evangelism, pan Africanism, anti-colonialism, the Cold War and the contemporary African nation state.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Ethnic Studies
Educational level
Associate
Learning type
Instructional
Prerequisites
None
Upcoming terms
Pending
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Professor
Prof. Michael King, Instructor in African Studies
Certificates

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

The course is driven by the command to make disciples of all nations and by the belief that evangelistic interracial/intercultural understanding is the most effective way to carry out that command. Acts and the epistles bear out that fact. This course focuses on those so called to such ministerial outreach.

Missionally driven

Properly defined, Christian education is by nature evangelistic and intended to primarily uplift, inform and unify humanity under God. Those who take this course learn to focus on those things which unite and uplift humanity.

Contextually informed

Students learn to view global history and culture in the context of Africa. The goal of the course is to give Christ-centered students the historical-cultural enrichment skills and tools that are used by the Holy Spirit in helping understand and clarify their specific calling. Essentially, students must insist that “one experience does not fit all.”

Interculturally focused

Similarly, students must strive to be culturally aware, possess intercultural skills, and promote inter- and cross-cultural church fellowship.

Practically minded

The course examines history and culture, but also requires the student to evaluate these and develop tools, methods, and systems for greater spiritual/critical thought and reflection.

Experientially transformed

The student develops tools and systems that he/she can adapt and implement in the context in which they serve.