DIGITAL Scotland-Malawi Book launch: ‘Politics, Christianity and Society in Malawi’

28 Nov 2020
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Working with Mzuni Press, the Society of Malawi and the editors, we are keen to extend a warm invitation to join a launch of the excellent new book, printed in Malawi, ‘Politics, Christianity and Society in Malawi’.  This book is a collection of essays by Malawian and Scottish scholars in honour of SMP member Prof John McCracken, who sadly passed away in 2017.

There will be a series of in-person events (complying with Covid restrictions), across Malawi in the coming weeks which we hope many of our partners in Malawi are able to attend.  The SMP is delighted to help facilitate a digital link-up to the book launch in Lilongwe on Saturday 28th November, 9 - 10.30am (UK time) on Zoom and Facebook live, so our members -and others internationally- can take part:

Take part remotely (Zoom and Facebook Live):

Saturday 28th November, 9 - 10.30am


In person events in Malawi

***COVID-19 protocols will be observed.  Masks and social distancing will be required.***


Date: Thursday 19th November, 2020

Time: 3-4pm (Malawi time)

Venue: Senior Common Room, Chancellor College, Zomba


Date: Tuesday 24th November, 2020

Time: Drinks and snacks from 6pm, with the programme 7:00pm - 8:30pm (Malawi time)

Venue: La Caverna, Blantyre (Mandala Cafe in Mandala House)


Date: Saturday 28th November, 2020

Time: Networking from 09.30, programme 11 - 12.30 (Malawi time)

Venue: Woodlands, Lilongwe

[It is likely a Mzuzu launch will follow early in 2021]

Register your attendance on Saturday the 28th here


About the Book:

‘Politics, Christianity and Society in Malawi’ is printed by Mzuni Press and has been available since the spring but the official launch has to be postponed for Covid reasons.  We are delighted it is now taking place and we encourage all those with an in interest, to join in person or remotely.

In Malawi the book is available through bookshops or order direct from mzunipress1(at), it retails at K10,000 in Malawi but will be available at discounted price of K8,000 at the launch events.  The British edition is available from the African Books Collective (orders(at) or from Amazon for £35. 

With the death of Professor John McCracken in 2017, Malawi lost a pre-eminent historian and the Scotland Malawi Partnership one of its most informed, insightful and incisive members. This book celebrates McCracken’s contribution to the study of Malawi’s history and seeks to build on his legacy. Part of his genius was that he identified themes that hold the key to understanding the history of Malawi in its broader perspective. The authors contributing to this volume address these themes, assessing the progress of historiography and setting an agenda for the further advance of historical studies. The book is a valuable resource for students, researchers and all who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Malawi’s past and present.

The SMP had a hand in the evolution of the book since it co-sponsored a major Malawi Studies Conference hosted by Edinburgh University in 2018, which celebrated the contributions of John McCracken and Jack Thompson, both distinguished historians of Malawi and leading SMP members who sadly died within a few months of each other in 2017. Some of the papers presented at the conference have been further developed for inclusion in the book. A Call for Papers allowed further contributions to come from Malawian scholars who were not able to attend the Edinburgh Conference but who were motivated to pay tribute to John McCracken.

Kenneth R. Ross, former SMP Chair and one of the editors of the volume, commented: “We applied full academic rigour to the preparation of this volume but at the same time we were always deeply aware of the emotional dimension as scholars acknowledged their debts, both academic and personal, to someone who was a mentor and inspiration across the six decades of his involvement with Malawi. The result, we feel, is rather a special book that breaks new ground in research while also expressing the distinctive affection and collegiality that Malawi seems to evoke. We hope it will appeal not only to professional historians but also to many others who have Malawi at heart.”

“This rich mosaic of essays breaks new ground in scholarship, providing fresh perspectives on Malawi. I highly recommend it.” Very Rev Professor Silas Ncozana, General Secretary Emeritus, CCAP Synod of Blantyre

“… this impressive work gives direction to guide and inspire future scholarship in Malawi.” Dr Owen J. Kalinga, Professor of History, North Carolina State University, USA


Kenneth R. Ross is Professor of Theology at Zomba Theological College and Associate Minister of Bemvu Parish, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Synod of Blantyre. His most recent book is Mission as God’s Spiral of Renewal (Mzuni Press, 2019). He is Series Editor of the Edinburgh Companions to Global Christianity (Edinburgh University Press).

Wapulumuka O. Mulwafu is Professor of Environmental History and Dean of Postgraduate Studies at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. He is author of Conservation Song: A History of Peasant-State Relations and the Environment in Malawi, 1860-2000 (Cambridge: The White Horse Press, 2011) and co-edited with John McCracken and Kings Phiri, Malawi in Crisis: The 1959/60 Nyasaland State of Emergency and its Legacy (Zomba: Kachere Publications & London: Africa Books Collective, 2012).