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2.3b Summary, Ann O’Hear, review of Christy Burke, Morality and Mission: Francis Libermann and Slavery (1840-1850) (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1998), in The African Book Publishing Record, vol. 25, no. 1 (1999): 21.

     This short work discusses Francis Libermann, a French priest who was important in encouraging Catholic missionary work in Africa. He was strongly influenced by his opposition to slavery. Liberman was remarkably liberal, warning “against a racist or ethnocentric approach to missionary work” and believing that churches in Africa and the West Indies should “neither be dependent on the European churches nor carbon copies of them.”  He was committed to the care of poor people. He called the French Revolution “an act of God’s justice” and argued that Communism was against capitalism, rather than religion. Christy Burke provides a list of Liberman’s writings, but does not, unfortunately, provide the sources of the background information he uses.

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