Inside the Whirlwind
The Book of Job through African Eyes
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
"Inside the Whirlwind is a wonderful exploration of what a genuine encounter with African Christianity really looks like. This is contextual theology at its best."
--Timothy Tennent, President, Professor of World Christianity, Asbury Theological Seminary &
"Jason Carter's Inside the Whirlwind: The Book of Job through African Eyes is a major intervention in contemporary scholarship on the reading, reception, and uses of the Christian Scriptures in an African context. Through skillfully focusing on the reading practices of Christian communities in the Central African nation of Equatorial Guinea, Carter shows how the Book of Job is creatively mobilized by these readers to address a range of pressing local concerns, including the HIV-AIDS pandemic. He persuasively shows how readers find new grammars of affliction and suffering in the biblical text, using its narratives to offer redemptive interpretations of misfortune. Carter's book will be enthusiastically received by readers within Biblical Studies, Theology, and African Studies."
--Joel Cabrita, Lecturer in World Christianities, University of Cambridge
"In this volume Rev. Dr. Jason Carter provides insights into African religiosity in Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa, focusing particularly on historic missionary Christianity and new Pentecostal and Charismatic expressions. The Book of Job in the Bible is often used as rationalization of the contradiction Africans experience between extreme affluence and extreme destitution. This volume adds penetrating theological insights to the accumulating scholarship on African Christianity in this Third Millennium."
--Jesse N.K. Mugambi, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Nairobi
"Too much writing on African theology is at home in the university lecture hall but remote from the lives of ordinary Christians in their villages and townships. Jason Carter's study of popular interpretations of the book of Job among the Fang of Equatorial Guinea is a decided exception. Based on careful participant observation and a deep knowledge of Fang cosmology, Carter's book raises profound and unsettling questions for all rose-tinted interpretations of modern African Christianity. He calls on theology in Africa--and by implication in the North as well--to consider afresh whether it is in danger of losing its central focus on the sovereignty of God."
--Brian Stanley, Professor of World Christianity, Director for the Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh
"For many of us living in the affluent West, the book of Job focuses on exceptional suffering, in the context of a mystical cosmic battle, in a world far from our experience. We read it theoretically or when we encounter unexpected loss or suffering, but few of us would look at the book through the eyes of normative living in the context of ongoing spiritual warfare. But for our brothers and sisters in many African contexts, Job's hardships appear as daily realities in the midst of a spiritual clash between God and the Devil. In Inside the Whirlwind, Jason Carter introduces us to people living in these daily realities and shows us how they read the book of Job as a foundation for hope. Inside the Whirlwind opens our eyes to understand suffering, spiritual warfare, and the book of Job as we never have before."
--Paul Borthwick, Development Associates International; Author of Western Christians in Global Mission: What's the Role of the North American Church?
"Through this carefully researched and well written book, a great lacuna is being filled in the study of African Christianity. Much has been heard from Christians in Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone Africa, but rarely do we hear from the lone country that makes up Hispanic Africa - Equatorial Guinea. Reading Job in the context of the sufferings of the ordinary Christians of Equatorial Guinea, Carter provides significant theological insights and pastoral resources for addressing the problem of suffering in an African context."
--David T. Ngong, Assistant Professor of Religion and Theology, Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Author of Theology as Construction of Piety: An African Perspective
"Inside the Whirlwind addresses an issue of enormous significance to contemporary Christianity, namely how the rapidly growing churches of the global South interpret scripture. Jason Carter here focuses on the Book of Job, a work of enormous relevance to societies deeply acquainted with suffering. He has written a thoughtful, rewarding, and provocative book, from which Northern-world Christians can learn much."
--Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History, Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University
"Carter's Inside the Whirlwind is a tour de force. It is a rich ethnographic and critical contextual reading of Job in Equatorial Guinea when the message of Job resonates fully as Africans and faith communities battle HIV/AIDS. Job's story comforts and challenges stigmatization. This is an extremely valuable resource for contextual studies."
--Elias Kifon Bongmba, Harry and Hazel Chavanne Chair in Christian Theology, Professor of Religion, Rice University