Seeking an African Community Approach to Theological Research

Authors

  • John-Okoria Ibhakewanlan Hekima University College

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.19569

Keywords:

African theology, community-based research, historiography, methodology, postcolonialism

Abstract

This response to Ernst Wolff’s “South African Universities and the Question of Decolonisation” is under five headings. Regarding the field of academic philosophy, this author insists on a unique African theology. On the role of Western legacy, this piece broadens Wolff’s approach in terms of how Western philosophy can commend itself. Thirdly, on the legacy of Africa’s colonial heritage, it denounces colonialism but argues against a simple Afro-centrism. On the issue of “relevance,” the tenability of Wolff’s view is questioned in the search for an African research methodology. The final point about who may legitimately speak is acknowledged as thorny. In conclusion, this response argues that Africa’s history is human history and recalls the need to distinguish between the “roots” and “routes” of African discourse. While the debate rages, this author proposes that the academy adopt an African Community-Based research (ACBR) methodology based on the guiding principle of Knowledge Diffusion.

References

Anyanwu, K. C. 1989. The Problem of Method in African Philosophy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.

Battiste, M. 2008. “The Struggle and Renaissance of Indigenous Knowledge in Eurocentric Education.” In Indigenous Knowledge and Education: Sites of Struggle, Strength, and Survivance, edited by M. Villegas, M., S. R. Neugebauer, and K. R. Venegas, 85–91. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Review.

Chivaura, V. G. 2006. “African Indigenous Worldviews and Ancient Wisdom: A Conceptual Framework for Development in Southern Africa.” In Indigenous Peoples’ Wisdom and Power: Affirming our Knowledge through Narratives, edited by J.E. Kunnie, E. and N.I. Goduka, 213–224. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Connell, R. 2007. Southern Knowledge. Cambridge: Polity.

Hegel, G. W. F. 1975. Lectures on the Philosophy of World History. Translated by H.C. Nisbet and D. Forbes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139167567

Higgs, P. 2010. “Towards an Indigenous African Epistemology of Community in Education Research.” Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences 2(2): 2414–2421. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.347

Ibhakewanlan, John-Okoria. 2014. “A constructivist search for knowledge d truth.” International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 2(1): 59–73.

Ibhakewanlan, John-Okoria and Simon McGrath. 2015. “Towards an African Community-Based Research (ACBR) Methodology.” Sage. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244015613106

Mbiti, J. 1969. African Religions and Philosophy. London: Heinemann.

Orobator, A. E. 2018. Religion and Faith in Africa: Confessions of an Animist. New York: Orbis.

Ryser, L., S. Markey, and G. Halseth. 2013. “Developing the Next Generation of Community-based rRsearchers: Tips for Undergraduate Students.” Journal of Geography in Higher Education 37(1): 11–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2012.696596

Smith, L. T. 2012. Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed.

Trevor-Roper, H. R. 1969. The Past and the Present. History and Sociology. London: London School of Economics and Political Science. https://doi.org/10.1093/past/42.1.3

Wiredu, K. 1998. “Toward Decolonizing African Philosophy and Religion.” African Studies Quarterly 1(4): 17–46.

Published

2021-07-22

How to Cite

Ibhakewanlan, J.-O. . (2021). Seeking an African Community Approach to Theological Research. Interreligious Studies and Intercultural Theology, 5(1-2), 164–171. https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.19569

Issue

Section

Round Table