Paul G. Grant

  • Fellowship year:2015-2016
  • University: University of Wisconsin- Madision
  • Dissertation Topic/Category: Africa
  • Dissertation Title: Unimagining the Christian Nation: Ghanaian Christians and their Germans, 1835-1935
  • This dissertation explores Ghanaian efforts, over three generations, at imposing reciprocal relationships upon German Christian missionaries inclined to imperial ambition. This dynamic had no equivalent anywhere else in Africa. It unfolded in several languages and countries, but is at heart a simple story of people trying to live with one another. The all-important element to this dynamic was its African initiative: the Ghanaians had reinterpreted their new religion to fit African priorities in belonging; the notion of a Christian nation was nonsense to them, while multi-racial church fellowship was understood as wealth in people. By offering an Afrocentric read on German intellectual history, this study makes substantial interventions in both European and African history. If the process of transnational Christianity was creating a new kind of African in Ghana, it was also creating a new kind of German.