Kenisha by K. J. Lundström and Ezra Gebremedhin is a welcome addition to the religious history of Ethiopia and Eritrea. It builds on Gustav Arén s magisterial account of the origins and development of evangelical Protestantism in the same countries, re-covering some of the same ground and carrying the story through to include an account of the fate of the mission and the church, which was, in large part, the outcome of its activities, in the heyday of Italian colonialism in Eritrea from the mid-1920s to 1935. It speaks, harmoniously, with two voices. Lundström had laid out much of the material, but left the manuscript unfinished at the time of his death. Qés Ezra has edited and re-organized that material, while leaving Lundström s actual words as he received them, and added an account of his own role in the project and an introduction and concluding section to most of the chapters. The book is extensively illustrated with historic photo-graphs and much enlivened by Qés Ezra s personal insights. The recent history of Eritrea has been dominated by warfare and politics, which obscure the institutional and personal histories, which have gone into its making. On page 323, Qés Ezra quotes Professor AsmeromLegesse, who, writing of the Evangelical church presence in Asmara, notes that ... the impact of these institutions on Eritrea is immeasurable. Kenisha is an indispensable account of the source of this impact. Professor Emeritus Donald Crummey, Urbana, Illinois This book deals with the background and development of the Evangelical Church of Eritrea between 1866 and 1935, a story marked by moving examples of a spiritual search for peace with God and the discovery of the Gospel of Grace. Furthermore, it describes and comments upon aspects of Eritrea s religious, cultural, social and political history for the same period. We highly recommend this story of the evangelistic efforts of the Swedish Evangelical Mission and The Evangelical Church of Eritrea to all who are interested in the history of not only Eritrea but also the Horn of Africa. Qeshi Asfaha Mehari, former President of the ELCE is the present Head of The Department of Studies of the ELCE.
Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, Protestantism, Lutheran,