Christian Theology and African Traditions
By Matthew Michael
Due for release: 31/10/2013
Christian theology is not the naivestudy of the Bible alone, but of the interactions and engagement of the Bible with human traditions. Now that the highest concentrations of Christians in the world are no longer found in the West, Christian theology is an increasingly non-Western enterprise. Reflecting this new reality, Michael’s work is the study of the Bible in close dialogue with African traditions.
Arguing that Christian theology remains relevant to a given people only if, by its nature, it engages the human context of its reflection, Michael discovers that much Christian theology becomes “incompetent” or “ill-equipped” to carry out such a contemporary function within the African context. This, he argues, is because in the history of its transmission it has been fashioned and shaped to address the needs and aspirations of the Western church and the imposing heritage of the enlightenment period. The African context must “reprocess” or reconstruct “Christian theology” in order to engage African questions which often are ignored by “standard” works on Christian theology.
From these highlighted concerns, the book discusses “standard” topics in “Christian theology” such as bibliology, anthropology, Christology, pneumatology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology in light of African similar or dissimilar forms.
Matthew Michael provides unique insights into the problems that these classical and systematic categories pose to African Christianity, and offers a theological blueprint for non-Africans interested in knowing the nature and shape of Christian theology in non-Western settings. Consequently, Christian Theology and African Traditions goes beyond the mere criticism of Western misrepresentation of African traditions to seeing how the Christian theology in its systematic character engages the African traditions. With this methodological template, the work describes in the space of twelve chapters the different classical teachings of the Christian faith on God, scriptures, spirits and demons, the nature of the human person, the persons of Christ, salvation, the Holy Spirit, the church, and the future life in dialogue with some specific traditions of the African people.
About the Author: Matthew Michael is the Academic Dean of ECWA Theological Seminary, Kagoro, Nigeria. Dr. Michael has taught and presented papers on Christian theology in non-Western settings, issues in Old Testament, and African spirituality and world-views in universities and seminaries across Africa.
About the Publisher: The Lutterworth Press has been trading since the eighteenth century and is one of the longest established and best-known independent publishers in the United Kingdom. It has been associated with James Clarke & Co. since 1984.
The Church as Salt and Light: Path to an African Ecclesiology of Abundant Life, by Stan Chu Ilo, Joseph Ogbonnaya and Alex Ojacor (editors), ISBN: 9780227680087
Contextual Theology: The Drama of Our Times, by Paul Duane Matheny, ISBN: 9780227680124
The Planting of Christianity in Africa: Four Volume Set, by Charles Pelham Groves, ISBN: 9780227172872
Early Christianity in North Africa, by François Decret, ISBN: 9780227173565