Abraham Nana Opare Kwakye

ESKAS/FCS Fellow, 01.09.2013-31.08.2014

Nana Kwakye is a pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and a scholar of African Christian History. He has interest in African Christian History especially the role of Africans in the planting, nurture and growth of Christianity on the African continent. He has come to Basel as a federal scholar on a project entitled The Basel Missionaries and Akan Chiefs: Consensus & Conflicts and Its Implications for Mission Today.

Nana Opare Kwakye hails from Ghana in West Africa and grew up in the port city of Tema. He studied for his Diploma, bachelor’s degree and doctorate at the University of Ghana, Legon. He has pastored a number of Presbyterian congregations in Accra, capital of Ghana in the past sixteen years. He is also a lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon and the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture, Akropong-Akuapem. The title of his thesis, submitted in 2011, was The West Indian Families and the Development of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana: The Rediscovery of a Missing Heritage.

Fields of Expertise: African Christian History, Gospel and Culture

Teaching Experience: Courses in Early Church History, Pentecostalism in Ghana, Christianity in Africa, West Africa Church History

Research Project: The Engagement of Christian Missions and African Cultural Institutions: Consensus & Conflicts

The discussion of African initiatives in West African Christianity usually focuses on the role of African agents, such as pastors, catechists and teachers in the expansion of the Christian faith. In the Basel Mission’s enterprise among the Akan people of the Gold Coast, one may identify collaborators like traditional rulers who facilitated the activities of the various mission societies.

This project identifies issues of conflict and consensus in the relationships between agents of the 19th Century missionary societies and the African institution of chieftaincy. Special focus will be on the policies and attitudes of the Basel Mission towards African traditional rulers during the period which produced tangential outcomes. It also demonstrates that the present-day attitude of the successor churches towards the institution of chieftaincy is a continuum from the Basel Mission era. Historically, the research would focus on the period between 1835 when the pioneer missionary, Riis moved into the Akan society and 1918 when the missionaries were deported from the Gold Coast. Methodologically, the research is based on archival studies, especially on correspondence lodged in the Basel Mission Archive.

  • ‘The West Indian Families and the Development of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana - The Rediscovery of a Missing Heritage’, PhD Thesis (University of Ghana, Legon, 2011).
  • Martin Knispel and Nana Opare Kwakye, Pioneers of the Faith: Biographical Studies from Ghanaian Church History, (Akropong, Akuapem Presbytery Press, 2006)
  • Cephas N. Omenyo  & Nana O. Kwakye, ‘Authentically African, Authentically Anglican’, in Cephas N. Omenyo & Eric Anum (Ed.),  Being All things to All People: Trajectories of Religion in Africa (Forthcoming, to be published by Rodopi, Amsterdam)
  • The Rediscovery of a Missing Heritage, the West Indian Families and the Development of the Presbyterian Church.  (Ph.D Thesis under revision for Publication by Boekencentrum, Zoetermeer, NL)