b. 1938 in Sunderland, GB. My father and paternal grandfather were both Baptist pastors.
Secondary education at Newton Abbot Grammar School in south-western England. Student of history in Christ’s College Cambridge from 1959, BA 1962, teacher’s certificate 1963. President of the Robert Hall Society (the Baptist Students’ Society in Cambridge) 1962.
1963-72 member of staff of the University of Ghana.
1963-65, Assistant Resident Tutor, Institute of Public Education (Extramural Dept) in charge of starting the External Degree Centre for part-time students in downtown Accra.
1965-72, Lecturer in the History Department, with responsibilities in teaching modern European and American history.
1972 until retirement age in 2003 member of staff of the Basel Mission at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, with the rank of academic consultant (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter). My primary and lasting responsibility was for the archive, but this included adult education work in making plausible new views of the Basel Mission to its supporters and opponents.
1989-2003 I also had, concurrently, responsibility for teaching African History in the History Department of the University of Ghana. (In each Winter Term I used this for a series of intensive hands-on seminars with materials in the Basel Mission archive under the title “African History in European materials, taking the example of the Basel Mission archive”). This responsibility for African History included working as co- supervisor for the Basel doctoral theses in history by Veit Arlt, Peter Haenger and Rev. Ulrike Sill, all concerned with Basel Mission involvement in important themes in the political and social of 19th century Ghana.
From the later 1980s to 2003 I was also co-leader of an pioneer project to achieve a radical improvement of access and conservation in the archive’s collection of historical photographs, using modern technical possibilities, including digitalisation. This was financed by money from a number of local and international foundations, including the Getty Grant Programm. The results are available online in , part of the array of visual material from mission archives on the server of the University of Southern California, under the heading of the International Mission Photography Archive . They have been taken up into the new web-site in Basel, .
Since 2003 I have continued to work as a private scholar on the history of the Basel Mission in the context of the social and intellectual history of Ghana and Cameroon, and have added to this geographically by also looking at its work in the states of Karnataka and Kerala in South India. This has included not least looking at the contribution the Basel Mission’s visual sources may prove to make to historical argument. I was also co-supervisor of the University of Ghana doctoral thesis in history, written by Rev. Nana Kwakye, concerned with a re-assessment of the so-called “West Indians” in the 19th century development of what is now the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.
Some formal points
Citizen of the United Kingdom and the European Community.
Married in 1963 to Jennifer Jenkins-Chorley
Since **** formally a member of the Evangelical-Reformed Church in Canton Basel-Stadt
Since **** also concurrently citizen of Canton Basel-Stadt in the Swiss Confederation.
**** awarded the annual Cantonal Academic Prize of Basel-Stadt (the Wissenschaftspreis).
**** awarded an honorary doctorate by the Theological Faculty of the University of Basel
Currently external research associate of the Karnataka Theological Research Institute, (KATHRI) Balmatta, Mangalore.