Book presentation Jeroen Dewulf (UC Berkeley) “Afro-Atlantic Catholics – America’s First Black Christians”



On June 22 at 10.30am BantUGent and ECC welcome Prof. Jeroen Dewulf (UC Berkeley) at our Faculty for a presentation of his latest book “Afro-Atlantic Catholics – America’s First Black Christians”.

The latest publication by prof. dr. Dewulf examines the influence of African Catholics on the historical development of Black Christianity in America during the seventeenth century.

Black Christianity in America has long been studied as a blend of indigenous African and Protestant elements. Jeroen Dewulf redirects the conversation by focusing on the enduring legacy of seventeenth-century Afro-Atlantic Catholics in the broader history of African American Christianity. With homelands in parts of Africa with historically strong Portuguese influence, such as the Cape Verde Islands, São Tomé, and Kongo, these Africans embraced variants of early modern Portuguese Catholicism that they would take with them to the Americas as part of the forced migration that was the transatlantic slave trade. Their impact upon the development of Black religious, social, and political activity in North America would be felt from the southern states as far north as what would become New York.

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