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Emad Abdul-Latif

university professor and Imam, was born in 1885 in Abu Gerg village in Minya, Upper Egypt, to a wealthy and prestigious family. His father, Hassan Abdul Razik Pasha, was a prominent politician, and his mother, Khadooja Abdul Salam Al Shureiy, descended from a famous family in Upper Egypt. He studied at Al-Azhar under Sheikh Muhammad Abdou, who deeply influenced his ideologies. After obtaining his Alamyya certificate in 1908, he traveled to France to complete his studies at the Sorbonne University and then the University of Lyon. Upon receiving his doctorate, he settled in Lyon to teach the Arabic language and Islamic Law. World War I put an end to his stay in France. By the end of 1914 he returned to Egypt, where he worked as an employee at Al-Azhar and then a judge in the Islamic courts. Upon his appointment in 1927 as an associate professor at ...

Article

religious teacher and expert in Islamic law in Timbuktu, was born 26 October 1556 in the village of Araouane, a few days north of Timbuktu by camel caravan. His full name was Abu al-Abbas Ahmad Baba ibn Ahmad ibn Ahmad ibn ʿUmar ibn Muhammad Aqit al-Sinhaji, al-Tinbukti. His father was Ahmad (1522–1583), his grandfather al hajj Ahmad (1458–1535), and his great grandfather Umar, the son of Muhammad Aqit, the celebrated patriarch of the Masufa Tuareg clan of Aqit (one of the most powerful families of Timbuktu).

Ahmad Baba was raised in Timbuktu, where he studied the hadith and Islamic law with his father and other Aqit family members. His most influential teacher was the famous scholar and historical figure Mahmud Bagayogo, author of numerous qurʾanic commentaries, whose acts of courage are recorded in al hajj Mahmud Kati’s Tarikh al fattash Prior to the Moroccan invasion ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Gabonese intellectual and catechist (one who instructs potential Christians before their admission to the Church), was born in the Glass neighborhood of Libreville, the capital of Gabon, a territory acquired by France in 1885. Sonie Harrington, her father, was a prominent trader who belonged to the coastal Omyènè-speaking Mpongwe ethnic group, which had occupied the Gabon Estuary region for centuries. Her mother, who also belonged to a Mpongwe clan, died when Anyentyuwe was very young. Since Harrington traveled to central Gabon on a regular basis to represent different European trading firms, he placed his young daughters Ayentyuwe and Azize with the American-run Protestant mission school of Baraka. This school had been founded in the 1840s to educate Mpongwe girls and boys.

Anyentyuwe represented to many American Presbyterian missionaries a rare hope Most female graduates of mission schools entered into romantic and sexual relationships with visiting European and West ...

Article

Willard B. Gatewood

educator and clergyman, was born a slave in the District of Columbia. His mother was Laurena Browning Cook, but his father's identity is unknown. His mother's sister, Alethia Browning Tanner, was clearly a dominant influence in his early life. Although she was a slave, her owner allowed her to hire out her own time, and by operating a profitable vegetable market in Washington, D.C., she acquired the money to purchase her own freedom as well as that of her sister and about twenty-one other relatives and acquaintances, including her nephew. Freed at the age of sixteen, Cook apprenticed himself to a shoemaker in order to earn the money to repay his aunt.

He completed his apprenticeship in 1831 but abandoned shoemaking because of an injured shoulder. He secured a job as a messenger in the office of the United States Land Commissioner where a white employee, John Wilson ...

Article

Allan D. Austin

Muslim teacher who is variously known as Kibbe, Lamen Abd al-Amin, and Paul. Beyond two short notices in the African [Colonization Society's] Repository (1835) and a mention in a list of Liberian colonists, all that is known about Kebe was recorded by Theodore Dwight Jr., African Colonizationist and a founder and secretary of the American Ethnological Society.

Lamine Kebe was born into a prominent family of the influential Kaba, or Kebe, of the Jakhanke clan of the Soninke or Serahule people. These were the founders of ancient Ghana, according to some accounts, and, more conclusively, twelfth-century converts to Islam from an area near the bend of the Niger River in present-day Mali. A short history of his people by Kebe accurately but sketchily describes the migration of a pragmatic, dedicated Qāadirīya brotherhood of teachers of Islam toward Kebe's Futa Jallon (home of Bilali ...

Article

Richard J. Boles

minister, teacher, missionary, and abolitionist, was born free in New York City during the spring of 1793. His parents and the circumstances of his childhood are unknown. Around 1800 Levington relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he spent most of his adolescence and worked in the bookstore of Sheldon Potter. There he became a friend and protégé of Sheldon's brother, Alonzo Potter, who eventually became the Episcopal bishop of Pennsylvania and who helped secure Levington's entry into the Protestant Episcopal ministry. In 1819 Levington moved to Albany, New York, under Potter's mentorship. Potter became a professor at Union College and he unofficially instructed Levington part-time there until he returned to Philadelphia in 1822 In Albany Levington was employed as a teacher in a school for African American children and he attended St Peter s Church It was likely through his teaching position that ...

Article

Anthony A. Lee

Enoch Olinga was born into a family of Christian (Anglican) converts among the Teso people in Uganda. His father was a catechist and missionary for the church, and he was educated in missionary schools. During World War II, he joined the British Army Education Corps and served in the East African King’s Rifles Corps in South Asia: Burma, East Pakistan, Ceylon, and India. When he returned to Uganda in 1946, he was employed by the colonial Department of Public Relations and Welfare as a translator, eventually moving to Kampala. He produced two books in his own language, Ateso.

In 1951, fired from his job because of heavy drinking, Olinga began to study the Baha’i faith, recently introduced into Uganda by Ali and Violette Nakhjavani, a Baha’i couple from Iran. In February 1952 Olinga converted to the Baha i religion Almost immediately he returned to his home village ...

Article

Henry B. Lovejoy

free black of the Lucumí nation, second sergeant of Havana’s Battalion of Loyal Blacks, and leader of the famous Mutual Aid Society of the Lucumí Nation of Santa Bárbara, remembered among modern-day practitioners of Cuban Santería as Ṣàngó tẹ̀ dún, was born around 1773 into a Yoruba-speaking family in the Bight of Benin hinterland.

During the expansion of the kingdom of Oyo, which had been consolidating its control of the internal slave trade to the coast at Porto Novo, Prieto was enslaved when Oyo raised a powerful coalition, including Dahomey, to destroy the port of Badagry in September 1784. The Dahomey army then marched the boy down the beach to Ouidah where he was sold to British slave ship captain Joseph Frayer, who forced Prieto along with 650 others on board the Golden Age This ship was owned and operated by some of Britain s most notorious ...

Article

Jon F. Sensbach

Protestant missionary of mixed African and European parentage, was born in or near the Danish slave-trading fort of Christiansborg (present-day Accra, Ghana) on the Gold Coast. Little is known about his father, a Danish soldier stationed at the fort. His Ga mother was the daughter of Ofori, the king of Anecho, or Little Popo, a Ga kingdom some one hundred miles east on the Bight of Benin. Protten’s early upbringing reflected his bicultural heritage. Even as he grew up speaking Ga and Fante, two important languages widely used in commercial transactions along the coast, he attended a school for mixed-race children at Christiansborg taught by Danish Lutheran minister Elias Svane, learning Danish and receiving instruction in Christianity. Such multilingualism was not uncommon for Gold Coast residents, both African and European. In 1727 Svane left Christiansborg for Denmark taking eleven year old Protten and another mixed race student Frederick Pedersen ...