The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo (Hardcover)

The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo Cover Image
Email or call for price
Not on our shelves. Out of Print.


Between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries, the west central African kingdom of Kongo practiced Christianity and actively participated in the Atlantic world as an independent, cosmopolitan realm. Drawing on an expansive and largely unpublished set of objects, images, and documents, Cecile Fromont examines the advent of Kongo Christian visual culture and traces its development across four centuries marked by war, the Atlantic slave trade, and, finally, the rise of nineteenth-century European colonialism. By offering an extensive analysis of the religious, political, and artistic innovations through which the Kongo embraced Christianity, Fromont approaches the country's conversion as a dynamic process that unfolded across centuries.

The African kingdom's elite independently and gradually intertwined old and new, local and foreign religious thought, political concepts, and visual forms to mold a novel and constantly evolving Kongo Christian worldview. Fromont sheds light on the cross-cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, and Latin America that shaped the early modern world, and she outlines the religious, artistic, and social background of the countless men and women displaced by the slave trade from central Africa to all corners of the Atlantic world.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781469618715
ISBN-10: 1469618710
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication Date: December 19th, 2014
Pages: 328
Language: English
Series: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American Hist