Lamin Sanneh, the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity at Yale University, will be speaking at UTC in January 2013 as part of the LeRoy Martin Distinguished Lecturer series. Along with Philip Jenkins, Dr. Sanneh will be talking on a topic pertaining to the theme of global Christianity.
Dr. Sanneh, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is descended from the nyanchos, an ancient African royal house, and was educated on four continents. He went to school with chiefs' sons in the Gambia, West Africa. He subsequently came to the United States on a U.S. government scholarship to read history. After graduating he spent several years studying classical Arabic and Islam, including a stint in the Middle East, and working with the churches in Africa and with international organizations concerned with inter-religious issues. He received his Ph.D. in Islamic history at the University of London.
He was a professor at Harvard University for eight years before moving to Yale University in 1989 as the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity, with a concurrent courtesy appointment as Professor of History at Yale College. He has been actively involved in Yale's Council on African Studies. He is an editor-at-large of the ecumenical weekly, The Christian Century, and serves on the editorial board of several academic journals. He is an Honorary Research Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies In the University of London, and is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He serves on the board of Ethics and Public Policy at Harvard University, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of over a hundred articles on religious and historical subjects, and of several books. For his academic work he was made Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Lion, Senegal's highest national honor.
His Books include:
- Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture, Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1989
- The Jakhanke Muslim Clerics: A Religious & Historical Study of Islam in Senegambia (c.1250-1905), Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, January 1990.
- West African Christianity: The Religious Impact,1983: co-published by Christopher Hurst, George Allen and Unwin (London) & Orbis Books (North America) 304pp.
- Encountering the West: Christianity & the Global Cultural Process: The African Dimension, London: HarperCollins Publishers; Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1993.
- The Crown and the Turban: Muslims and West African Pluralism (295pp). Westview Press. Imprint of HarperCollins. October, 1997.
- Religion and the Variety of Culture: A Study in Origin and Practice, Valley Forge, PA.: Trinity Press International, 1996.
- Het Evangelie is Niet Los Verkrijgbaar, Uitgeverij Kok - Kampen, Netherlands, 1996.
- Piety and Power: Muslims and Christians in West Africa, Orbis Books. October, 1996.
- Faith and Power: Christianity and Islam in 'Secular' Britain (with Lesslie Newbigin & Jenny Taylor), London: SPCK, 1998.
- Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks and the Making of Modern West Africa, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.
- Whose Religion is Christianity?: The Gospel Beyond the West, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003. (Winner: Theologos Award for "Best General Interest Book 2004")
- The Changing Face of Christianity: Africa, the West, and the World (co-edited with Joel A. Carpenter) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.