Decolonising African Theology

Challenges from within and Trajectories

Authors

  • Gerard Majella Nnamunga Tangaza University College

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.20561

Keywords:

decolonisation, inculturation, liberation, anthropological poverty, theology

Abstract

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.

Author Biography

Gerard Majella Nnamunga, Tangaza University College

Lecturer, Head of Department, Systematic Theology, Tangaza University College

References

Hillman, Eugene. 1993. Toward An African Christianity: Inculturation Applied. New York: Paulist.

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Mveng, Engelbert. 1994. “Impoverishment and Liberation: A Theological Approach for Africa and the Third World.” In Paths of African Theology. Edited by Rosino Gibellini, 154–165. New York: Orbis

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, 1981. Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. London: James Currey.

Shorter, Aylward. 1975. African Christian Theology: Adaptation or Inculturation? London: Geoffrey Chapman.

Uzukwu, E. Elochukwu. 1996. A Listening Church: Autonomy and Communion in African Churches. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis.

Waliggo John Mary. 1986. “Making the Church that is Truly African.” In Inculturation: Its Meaning and Urgency, edited by A. Roest Collius, John M. Waliggo, T. Nkéramihigo, and J. Mutiso-Mbinda, 16-28. Kampala: St. Paul.

Published

2021-07-22

How to Cite

Nnamunga, G. M. . (2021). Decolonising African Theology: Challenges from within and Trajectories. Interreligious Studies and Intercultural Theology, 5(1-2), 121–128. https://doi.org/10.1558/isit.20561

Issue

Section

Round Table