Accidental Diplomats

American Missionaries and the Cold War

Missionary speaking to Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, in 1973.

July 8, 2024
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

American Protestants went to Africa in the post-WWII era with a spiritual mission, but many ended up playing significant, unforeseen roles in national and regional politics during the Cold War. Informed by extensive archival research and personal interviews, Philip Dow’s new book Accidental Diplomats (2024) explores the surprising sociopolitical impact of missionaries in Africa—particularly in Congo, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The book provides a fresh contribution to scholarly, policy, and popular discussions on the often ignored or misunderstood role of religious figures in international affairs.

This event will feature author Philip Dow, head of school at Black Forest Academy. Berkley Center Senior Fellow Judd Birdsall will moderate the discussion.

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