Decolonising African Theology
Challenges from within and Trajectories
Keywords:decolonisation, inculturation, liberation, anthropological poverty, theology
The main purpose of this paper is to show that previous methods of decolonising African theology have failed because they have by and large employed Western models (e.g. the scholastic model) as criteria. I propose that the first step towards decolonising African theology must begin with Africans themselves. First, Africans are called to soul search with the purpose of identifying the reasons why they have been so prone to abuse. Why do they lack self-esteem? It is easy to say that they lack self-esteem because they have been abused by outsiders, and especially Westerners. It is not enough to say that African cultures have been prone to abuse because of their malleability, flexibility, and receptivity which made them vulnerable to outside influence. Second, one of the major weaknesses of the African approach is to try to measure up to European standards using European scales, thus feeding off of the very system which it is trying to fight. The value of African theology is not that it has to be similar to Western theology, but rather that it has a value in itself.
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