Setting the Stage
Of all the centuries of church history, the fifteenth century is one of the most pitiable. In popular imagination, it is a bridge between the medieval and the Reformation worlds. And while it may be important for the journey, few stop to admire a bridge.
We need to avoid this perspective if we are to understand the transition between the medieval and Reformation ages. The fifteenth century was an era of destruction and exploration. In Africa, the rapid expansion of Islam brought first pressure and then destruction to the kingdoms of Nubia—an expression of Christianity that stretched back to the expansion of the faith in the Roman Empire from the second half of the fourth century and beyond.