A New Age of Saint Augustine? Antoine-Adolphe Dupuch, François Bourgade, and the Christians of North Africa (1838-1858)
Antoine-Louis-Adolphe Dupuch (1800-1856) served as the first bishop of Algiers in the newly conquered French colony. His contemporary François Bourgade (1806-1866), who served as a priest in both Algiers and Tunis, was a French missionary and philosopher. Both men were convinced that physical evidence of the late antique Christian past might lay a powerful historical foundation for religiosity in French North Africa. Arriving in the 1830s, Dupuch and Bourgade labored under significantly
... t circumstances in North Africa than those of their successors Charles-Martial-Allemand Lavigerie (1825-1892), the archbishop of Carthage and Algiers, and the White Father Alfred-Louis Delattre (d. 1932). In the midst of military conflict, these men were seeking to convert local Muslims as well as mediating between Muslim authorities and French military authorities. They also embarked on a quest for Christian remains, actions that transpired in the midst of brutal colonial repression of the Indigenous population. These ancient monuments and artifacts became the mainstay of a colonialist narrative of the rebirth of Christianity in the lands made famous nearly one and a half millennia earlier by Saint Augustine of Hippo.