I'm looking forward to giving this paper at the Evangelical Missiological Society regional meetings in Raleigh, NC and Toronto over the next couple of weeks. My abstract follows:
North Africa possesses a rich Christian history, including the stories of martyrs such as Perpetua and Felicitas (d. 202) and theologians like Tertullian (ca. 160-ca. 220), Cyprian (195-258), and Augustine (354-430). While many North Africans today may know these names, they do not know their faith stories. Is it possible to share the Christian message with a people through their own history? What if a high-quality feature film was developed that captured that story? This is the vision of a group of Middle Eastern and North African Christians who created “Augustine: Son of Her Tears,” which has recently been released and is currently premiering at film festivals and special showings around the Arab world (see trailer).
In this paper, I discuss how the film is connecting with audiences, particularly North African secular Muslims. Following a brief background on the making of the film, a brief synopsis of it, and the initial distribution of the film, I discuss why Augustine’s story is meaningful to secular North Africans and what missiological lessons might be learned.