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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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CHAPTER SIX. The Prospect of Igbo Theology 115


115 CHAPTER SIX The Prospect of Igbo Theology Theology in the Service of God’s People To articulate about God requires perspicacity. And this judgment takes place in the heat of human life and human commitment. God is not, therefore, presented as someone coming from outside and un- expectedly disrupting or irrupting into human life. God is, rather, an encounter, which can only be understood within the hermeneutical play of receptivity and creativity. The stress on creativity in the encounter with the transcendent is very important, if one wants to understand Christianity. Creativity is not to be avoided, it is to be sought. It is God’s own movement towards human beings; it expresses God’s own com- mitment to human beings and love for them. It is also the human attempt to answer God’s commitment and the human attempt to “name” God. The one important metaphor to understand God, therefore, is human life in its dynamism of encounter, in its unfolding in and building of history. If we are going to discover God, it is in the concreteness of human life, even if sometimes we have to be reminded that, inevitably we have to put on ‘spectacles’ (our contexts) to look at that human life.1 This is au courant with the words of Kierkegaard that “In order to experience and understand what it means to be a Christian, it is always necessary to recognize a definite historical situation.” In this case inte- gration of the historico-cultural background and values of Igbo into...

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