Original Research

Religion, mission and national development: A contextual interpretation of Jeremiah 29:4-7 in the light of the activities of the Basel Mission Society in Ghana (1828-1918) and its missiological implications

Peter White
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 36, No 1 | a1419 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i1.1419 | © 2015 Peter White | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 February 2015 | Published: 09 July 2015

About the author(s)

Peter White, Department of Science of Religion and Missiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


We cannot realistically analyse national development without factoring religion into the analysis. In the same way, we cannot design any economic development plan without acknowledging the influence of religion on its implementation. The fact is that, many economic development policies require a change from old values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of the citizenry to those that are supportive of the new policy. Christianity has become a potent social force in every facet of Ghanaian life, from family life, economic activities, occupation, and health to education. In the light of the essential role of religion in national development, this article discusses the role the Basel Mission Society played in the development of Ghana and its missiological implications. This article argues that the Basel Mission Society did not only present the gospel to the people of Ghana, they also practicalised the gospel by developing their converts spiritually, economically, and educationally. Through these acts of love by the Basel Mission Society, the spreading of the Gospel gathered momentum and advanced.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article contributes to the interdisciplinary discourse on religion and development with specific reference to the role of the Basel Mission Society’s activities in Ghana (1828–1918). It provides missiological implications of their activities in the light of the broader Ecumenical discourses.


Religion and Development, Mission and Development, National development; Basel Mission Society; Mission; Ghana.


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Crossref Citations

1. Decolonising Western missionaries’ mission theology and practice in Ghanaian church history: A Pentecostal approach
Peter White
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi  vol: 51  issue: 1  year: 2017  
doi: 10.4102/ids.v51i1.2233