I am really pumped about the most recent research Nathan has done. He chased down the history of Cat. 1, SA 1:
Analyze and respond to the statement, “The existence of God and of a future life is everywhere recognized in Africa.” David Livingstone
In my experience, this is the question everyone loves to hate. It just doesn’t seem to make sense. We love Livingstone and we love our brothers and sisters in Africa, so what’s the big deal? Is “the existence of God and of future life” only recongized in Africa? Most students just don’t get the point this quote is trying to make.
Nathan to the rescue again. Click here to read his article.
Here’s a brief overview:
-In Livingstone’s time, it was assumed that peoples who had never been touched by Western culture would not have a concept of God nor of an after life.
-Livingstone, intrepid explorer and missionary to the continent of Africa, demonstrated that this was, in fact, not the case.
-Hence he declared, “The existence of God and of a future life is everywhere recognized in Africa.”
-This was a definitive verdict that exploded the consensus of the day.
David Livingstone’s travel accounts open for us a window on how Africans (his subject) and Europeans (his readers) of the mid-1800s viewed the world. Let me emphasize: he was one of only a handful of sources by which Brits and Americans could learn about people in Africa.
According to lists here and here, he was one of the first to report from Zambia and other parts of the interior. When Livingstone said most of the tribal people he had met already knew about God and an afterlife, this contradicted the ambivalent reports of his father-in-law Robert Moffat, and confirmed Romans 1 as factual. It was big news in 1857.