African Theology

Authored by: Edward P. Antonio

The Routledge Companion to Modern Christian Thought

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782173
eBook ISBN: 9780203387856
Adobe ISBN: 9781136677922


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In this chapter I present three different examples of the achievements of African theology: the theologies of African independent churches, Christology and ecclesiology. What follows is largely descriptive. I do not attempt to provide a critique of the theologies I describe. This is not because African theology is beyond critique or because we ought to embrace its nativistic (in the postcolonial sense of the term) tendencies. It is, rather, because its vocabulary, concepts and practices are new and unfamiliar to many readers. So it is important to focus on explaining and describing what they mean and how they function theologically. (I am currently working on a book on African theology in which I provide extensive criticism of the African theological project.) Moreover, my aim here is not to provide a comprehensive catalog of the discursive types and areas of interest of African theology. I shall, of course, follow the customary approach of dividing African theology into two broad categories of inculturation and liberationist, but I shall express this somewhat differently, as follows: culturalist-inculturationist and political-liberationist. In doing this I have no interest in providing a formal, fixed or exhaustive system of classifying a complex phenomenon like African theology. Africa is not a country but a massive continent.

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