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The Routledge Handbook of African Theology


I Theological methodTHEOLOGY TODAY IN AFRICAPHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY IN AFRICAIntroductionDevelopments and themes in African philosophy and theology: sources and methodologySynthesis and integration of African philosophy and theologyMethod in African philosophy and theology: a comparative perspectiveAfrican philosophy and theology of inculturation: convergence of theory and praxisProblematics in categorizing and historicizing African philosophy and theology“I am because we are, and since we are therefore I am:” Ubuntu philosophy and theologyConclusionsNotesTHEOLOGY OF INCULTURATION: History, meaning, and implications“God does not show favoritism...”Current perspectives on evangelization and cultureContextuality and divine self-revelationScholarly meaning of the conceptPractical and theological dynamics of inculturationInculturation in AfricaConclusionNotesBibliographySOURCES OF AFRICAN THEOEOGYIntroductionOn delineationsThe question of the sourcesThe BibleOn African indigenous religionsConclusionNotesBibliographyII Theological movementsDIALOGUE BETWEEN AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION AND CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: A sure way for the survival of the Church in AfricaIntroductionThe nature and characteristics of African Traditional ReligionThe despicable encounter between Christianity and ATR during the colonial periodThe need for dialogue between African Traditional Religion and Christian theologyThe rational for the need for dialogue between Christianity and ATRDialogue between ATR and Christianity and the emergence of Christian theologyBolaji [down’s contribution to African Christian theologyJohn Mbiti’s contribution to African Christian theologyThe making of African theology: the case of Canon Ronald Wynne in BotswanaConclusionNotesBibliographyAFRICAN FEMINIST THEOLOGYDefinition of the term “feminist/feminism”Definitional issues in womanism and African feminist theologiesFeminist theologies and secular feminist movements in AfricaAfrican feminist theologiesAffinities between North American and African feminist theologiesA brief chronological sketch of the history of African feminist theologyCentral concerns of the CircleMethodological trends in African feminist biblical interpretationsSome significant trends of African feminist theologiesMain problems raised by African feminism and the interface between the Circle and white North American feminist theologiansThe Circle/African feminist theology todayNotesBibliographyTHE FOUR WAVES OF BLACK THEOLOGY IN SOUTH AFRICA AND CONTEXTS OF POLITICAL STRUGGLEIntroductionBlack consciousness of Steve Biko and black theology in South AfricaThe contribution of Allen Boesak to a South African black theologyThe parting of the ways of South African and American black theologyThe reclamation of victimizationA third wave of black theology: racism, human dignity, and black identityA fourth wave of black theology in AfricaKairos theology and the post-apartheid relevance of black theology in South AfricaThe relevance of black theology for the Kairos Palestinian movementThe relevance of black theology for overcoming tribalistic and ethnocentric differences: the case of the Rwanda genocide and Burundi warThe hermeneutics of black theologyA hermeneutic of love and justiceBlack theology—a theology of dignity and identity and not a materialist theologyBlack theology as a source of empowermentConclusionNotesBibliographyAFRICAN THEOLOGY: Political and publicPreliminary remarksSymbiotic theologies (i)—implicit or derivative public/political theologySymbiotic theologies (ii)—constitutive or definitive public/political theologyAntagonistic theologies (iv)—resistant or critical public/political theologyThe dynamic of political or public theologyNotesBibliographyTHE SERMON DEBATE AND POLITICAL THEOLOGY IN KENYAIntroductionChurch and state—preliminary notesFrom mediation to oppositionThe sermons debate“Bringing God’s word to bear on our contemporary world is ... Prophetic Ministry”12—expository sermons, 1987-1988Expanding the debate: the spillover effects of the sermonsEpilogueNotesReferencesFROM RECONSTRUCTION TO REAFFIRMATION: African Christian theology in an era of hot peaceIntroductionThe indispensability of African ChristianityMissionaries as rulers and converts as subjectsThe East African revival as an anti-colonial movementAfrican churchmanship and statesmanship in tandemThe western Christian missionary enterprise and African responsesBiblical hermeneutics and the theology of reconstructionFrom theology of reconstruction to theology of re-affirmationConclusionNotesCHRISTIAN THEOLOGY AND PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICADefining healthChristian theology and the promotion of the goals of public healthChristian faith, individualism, and its limits in public healthA plea for embedded theories for understanding public health crisesThe biblical metaphor of imago Dei versus divisive conceptions of “otherness”A preferential option for the poorA caring and healing ChurchTo the persistent quest for healing, what response from the churches?Conclusion: Is a theology of/on health truly a theology of society?NotesReferencesTHEOLOGY AND RECONSTRUCTION IN AFRICAIntroductionTheological stages in African ChristianityThe genesis of ATORSome methodological considerationsHistorical inquiryInclusivityCultural-anthropological and philosophical inquiryMulti-disciplinarityCritical re-evaluationStorytellingSome fundamental concernsCritiquing theology of reconstructionInadequacy in addressing personal versus social reconstructionFailure to grasp Nehemiah’s political motivationFailure to be explicit on family reconstructionMaking ATOR appear like SATORFailure to appreciate the “Other”ConclusionNotesReferencesDOING THEOLOGY ECUMENICALLY: Some African perspectives on ecumenical theologyIntroductionThe oikoumene: unity as an imperative of the Gospel and the reality of disunityMission and unity: early African ecumenical initiativesEcumenical collaboration in theological educationChurch and theology: African theology as ecumenical and comparative theologyEcumenism in changing religious landscapes: challenges and prospectsAn ecumenical theology: self-consciously contextual and constructiveEcumenical consciousnessEcumenical theology at the service of ecumenical formation and learningEcumenical theology as a practice of listening: African ecumenical ecclesiologyEcumenical theology as a soteriological discourseConclusion: doing theology ecumenicallyNotesTHEOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICAIntroductionConceptual and theoretical frameworks for a theological account of development in AfricaTheology and development in AfricaThe African development approachThe institutional approach: engaging the dual crisis of the postcolonial states and post-missionary churches of AfricaTheological typologies of development for African ChristianityAfrican theology of development as reflection on the praxis of hope and historical reversalAfrican theology of development as a reflection on marginalityAfrican theology of development as path to abundant lifeConclusionNotesAFRICAN THEOLOGY AFTER VATICAN II: Themes and questions on initiatives and missed opportunitiesIntroductionSome founding initiativesSome African theological harbingersDes prêtres noirs s’interrogentDebate on “African Theology”During Vatican IIAfrican theology after Vatican IIPope VI and AfricaBefore visiting UgandaPaul VPs visit to Uganda in 1969The “African Council” projectThe projectReasons why the project failedThe Zairian RiteThe initiatives, themes, and questions from theologiansThe importance of identity and dignityBujo-Ilunga projectAttempts to rehabilitate the African from official documentsInculturation or liberation?Ministries for AfricaThe ministry of womenOther ministriesConclusionNotesIII Regional and emergent theological themesTHE ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH: Theology, doctrines, traditions, and practicesIntroductionOrigin and developmentThe Judaic character of the EOCThe church and the monarchyPost-monarchy developmentsTheology and doctrine of the Ethiopian Orthodox ChurchThe sacraments of the Ethiopian Orthodox ChurchLiturgy, worship, and hymnologyEcclesiastic autonomyAuthority and hierarchy of the Ethiopian Orthodox ChurchThe monastic traditionEducational foundations of the Ethiopian Orthodox ChurchChurch, culture, and societyConcluding remarksNotesEVANGELICAL THEOLOGYIntroductionWhat is evangelical theology?The history of African evangelicalsEvangelical theology in Africa: its themes and innovationsThe Gospel: central theme of evangelical theologyThe Bible as the supreme authority for faith and practiceThe Trinity: a core evangelical beliefChrist and the crossThe second coming of ChristDynamism and spiritual sensitivityEvangelical theology: its contributions and challengesEvangelical theology: its contributionsSpiritual and economic transformation of communitiesAdvocacy for political and religious freedomEvangelical theology: its challengesThe problem of contextThe problem of diversity in evangelicalismThe problem of postmodernismThe problem of poverty and economic exploitationThe problem of church and state relationsThe problem of spiritual and theological depthThe problem of theology and cultureThe problem of globalizationTheological responsibilityConclusionNotesBibliography(HOW) ARE WE DOING ECOTHEOLOGY IN (SOUTH) AFRICA? SOME HERMENEUTICAL REFLECTIONSABUNDANT LIFE-HOLISTIC SOTERIOLOGY AS MOTIVATION FOR SOCIOPOLITICAL ENGAGEMENT: A Pentecostal and missional perspectiveIntroductionSocio-political engagement5—theologizing on existing practicePentecostal soteriology as potentially holisticSalvation as abundant life: insights from African Pentecostalism25The relation between salvation and evil, church, and powerThe challenge from liberation theologyThe right way of fasting—“doing both”Holistic soteriology—back to the SaviorConclusionNotesReferencesWE CREATE THE PATH BY WALKING: Evolving an African narrative theologyTwo concrete examples of African narrative theology“The Parable of the Two Brothers”“Peacebuilding in Tegeti Parish, Kenya”Searching for a genuine, authentic African method of theologyAfrican narrative theology of inculturationAfrican Christian Conversation TheologyNotesBibliographyPOSTCOLONIAL THEOLOGY IN AFRICA: Looking back and looking forwardThe deep roots of African theologyThe importance of African religionsThe importance of pre-colonial theology in AfricaPostcolonial Christian theology in Africa: indigenous, protesting, reluctant, and tragicThe pre-colonial roots of Christian theology in AfricaPostcolonial theology in Africa in the 21st centuryThe main tenets of postcolonial Christianity in AfricaConclusionNotesRecommended readingTHE THEOLOGY OF THE AFRICAN INITIATED CHURCHESIntroductionA brief history of African Initiated ChurchesSources of African Instituted Church TheologyThe Holy SpiritAfrican cultureHolistic approach to the situation affecting the personEmphasis on the present realityPerception of the ultimate cause of illnessThe BibleExperienceConclusionNotesFAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS IN AFRICA AND THE OPTION FOR THE POOR: Rapid diagnostic and insights from the theology of Father Joseph WresinskiIntroductionDo FBOs reach the poor in Africa?How could FBOs better reach the poor(est)?What role may faith and spirituality play?ConclusionNoteReferencesAFRICAN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY AND SEXUALITY: Some considerationsIntroductionAfrican theology or African Christian theology?Overview of sexuality or sexualities (with focus on early Christian ideas and pre-colonial African ideas)Considering the basis of a theology of sexuality in creation (Gen. l:l-2:4a)Situating sexuality in African Christian theologyConclusionNoteReferencesTHEOLOGY AND PEACEMAKING IN AFRICAConceptualizing violence and peaceViolence in AfricaClassic and Biblical framework of peace theologyEcclesiological dimensions of peace theologyThe possibility and nature of peace theology in AfricaNotesReferencesIV Biblical and doctrinal theologyBIBLE AND THEOLOGY IN AFRICAIntroductionThe Bible in Christian theologyBible and theology in AfricaExamples of the use of the Bible in some African churchesChallenges with “the Bible as the only source of African theology” approachProblems with the sola Scriptura claim (especially in Africa)The Bible and other sources of Christian theologyConclusion and way forward: the Bible and theology in AfricaNotesBibliographyCHRISTOLOGY IN AFRICAIntroductionDefinitionVarious perspectives on JesusRoman Catholic ChurchEfforts to Africanize Christology in the Roman Catholic ChurchEvangelical churchLiberal ChristianityChristology in AfricaA Christological lacunaKwame BediakoCharles NyamitiAnne Nasimiyu-WasikeLaurenti MagesaAfrican Christology in church traditionsAfrican Independent ChurchesEast African Revival MovementThe Pentecostal movementAfrican Christology and the situation in AfricaNotesBibliographyRUMORS OF SALVATION: Perspectives of salvation in African Christian thoughtTaxonomies of salvationSpiritual and traditional views of salvationModern and empirical views of salvationWhither, African soteriology?NotesReferencesPATRISTIC ECCLESIOLOGY IN AFRICAClement of Alexandria (ad 150-215)Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullian (ad 155-240)Origen (ad 185-254)The African PopesAgrippinus and re-baptismCyprian (ad 248-258)Augustine (ad 354-430)Athanasius (ad 296-373)Bishop of Carthage (ad 391-430)ConclusionNotesBibliographyBIBLICAL AND DOGMATIC THEOLOGY ON PERSONHOOD: Application to Africa’s milieuPhilosophical foundations of personhoodBiblical and doctrinal perspectives on personhoodKey derivationsAfrican conceptions of personhoodThe metaphysical conception of personhoodProcessual nature of personhoodPersonhood and community rootednessPersonhood and eschatological issuesThe quest for an Africanized theology of personhoodConclusionNotesReferencesLITURGICAL THEOLOGY-AFRICAN PERSPECTIVEIntroductionDoctrine and the need for obligatory liturgical texts—3rd Council of Carthage (397 ce)Liturgical memorial as ancestral memorial, the perspective of memory, and tradition in African ChristianityCelestial Church of Christ: approach to ancestral memorial in the ordination riteAncestral memorial in Central and Eastern African Catholic Liturgy after Vatican IIBantu/Kongo ancestors in the Eucharistic banquetAncestral memorial in AMECEA Eucharistic Prayers“Blood of martyrs,” throbbing heart of the “flesh of the church,” the seed of liturgical theologyBlood of Ugandan martyrs seed of national and Christian revolutionThe power of the ethical, of intention, in repositioning martyrdom as Christian protest for the renewal of the KongoAfterwordNotesReferencesESCHATOLOGY IN AFRICA Anticipation and critical engagementIntroductionMbiti on biblical eschatology in AfricaEschatology in the teachings of the African Inland MissionThe resurrection as corporate eschatologyReception of Mbiti’s thesisEschatology in the critique and recapture of African ChristianityEschatology calls for a transformative praxisConclusionNotes
 
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