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Towards an African Theology

The Igbo Context in Nigeria


Peter Chidi Okuma

Towards an African Theology. The Igbo Con text in Nigeria is a study about the challenge facing contemporary African theology today. It aims at transposing the theoretical doctrines of faith into practical guidelines. The author outlines the history, culture and life setting of the Igbo in Nigeria and develops a theological hermeneutics that would give an answer to African Christians’ present faith and situation. He discusses Igbo theology in praxis and as a discipline and considers what contribution Igbo theology could make to the church, humanity and world order.


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Introduction 15


15 Introduction There is ‘a theology’ and there are ‘theologies.’ The resurrection of Christ is the former. The hermeneutics of this theology is the con- sequence of theologies. Paradoxically, most of these theologies are directed toward giving meaning and integrating the faith into the con- crete life-situation of the people. Historically, this fact is verifiable in the case of Europe in many situations, as for instance, after the French revolution of 14 July 1789 and its declaration of the Rights of Man or within the period of the ‘cold war.’1 This quest had been heightened thanks to Vatican II and the Medellín Conference of Latin American Bishops. The synod of African bishops of 1994 was at least in principle tow- ing this line of making theology integral to the life-situation of the people. How far this has been achieved is verifiable from the happen- stance in the daily, concrete life-situation of the people, in the local churches and the entire continent at large. The faith does not seem to have given concrete answer to some “existential situations” in the lives of the people. There are still tensions between the so-called sacred and the profane, the faith and ‘the world,’ the gospel and the culture of the people. But the Vatican II plunged into the depths of these things and in- cluded them in its renewal, by way of the in depth-reaching theological method it deployed: “that of an understanding of both realities from a point of departure in...

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