When I became the Area Editor for Africa at the Grove Dictionary of Art in the early 1990s, I was surprised to find that the section devoted to “Religion” in the multipart survey article on the art of the continent was scheduled to have subsections on “Indigenous Religions,” “Islam,” and “Modern Developments” but none on “Christianity.” With a deadline looming, my attempts to commission a specialist author to fill the gap failed, so I had to cobble together an entry myself from the existing, scattered literature, devoting one of its seven paragraphs to the Kongo and their locally produced crucifixes and statues of saints (Coote 1996). Looking back on it now, it is difficult to understand how Christian works of art produced in Africa might have been omitted from this major survey, but on reflection it seems...

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