Christians met in Edinburgh on Saturday to consider the legacy of Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone.

The conference was held by the University of Edinburgh’s School of Divinity as part of a programme of events taking place to mark the bicentenary of Livingstone’s birth on 19 March 1813.

The Right Reverend James Tengatenga, Bishop of Southern Malawi, said there was still a sense of “awe” surrounding David Livingstone in Malawi today.

Livingstone was born in the small Scottish town of Blantyre. He went to Africa as a medical missionary in 1840 and would lead extensive explorations across the interior and central Africa.

Exploring Livingstone’s legacy today, Bishop Tengatenga said Livingstone had been different from others in his day for the respect he showed indigenous cultures and languages, a respect that often gained the trust of local people and chiefs.

Bishop Tengatenga described Livingstone as an “itinerant trailblazer” who did not understand himself as a typical missionary.

“He was just a small part of the greater work being done by others … He understood missions differently. Exploration was not antithetical to it but integral to it.”

The bishop noted that many Christians in Malawi, including himself, trace their faith in some part back to Livingstone.

“The story [of the church] is not complete without giving David Livingstone a place or role in it. I can’t tell the story of my faith without telling the story of David Livingstone,” he said.

• Full story at Christian Today.