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Polygyny in Pre-christian Bafut and New Moral Theological Perspectives

A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Doctorate in Moral Theology

Engelbert N. Kofon

Polygyny, commonly called polygamy, has been one of the main obstacles to evangelisation in Africa. After Vatican II many theologians began to question the traditional church policy towards polygamists and their wives who, after receiving the faith, asked for baptism. The two main solutions proposed were the baptism and the life catechumenate solutions. The present work studies polygyny in pre-christian Bafut and traces the history of the problem of polygynous converts from 1201. It suggests that the real obstacle to their baptism is polysex, not poly-marriage. In the concluding chapter, a solution is offered to polysex, according to which the polygamist, after baptism, becomes a special kind of monogamist.