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The Hermeneutics of an African-Igbo Theology

Peter Chidi Okuma

One of the great problems among most theologians and theologies today is to restrict and to think of theology only in terms of mere intellectual enquiry without any fundamentum in rei in the lives of peoples. The book is aimed at overcoming this gap. It establishes this reality through the story of all stories, i.e. the Resurrection of Christ, as the foundation of and the hermeneutics for doing theology in concrete qua tale, especially as it affects the African-Igbo.
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Reading this book is, for a European theologian like me, an enriching experience. It not only challenges my thinking from the perspective of African values and especially the Igbo tradition, it also reinforces an insight which I share with contemporary innovative theologians such as Stanley Hauerwas: theology, like every attempt to understand reality and to articulate its symbolic reference to transcendence, starts with a new way of looking at the world. It reminds me of the words of Barbara Ward quoted in the report of the UN Commission on World Governance (“Our Common Neighbourhood”): “The most important change that people can make is to change their way of looking at the world. We can change studies, jobs, neighbourhoods, even countries and continents and still remain much as we always were. But change our fundamental angle of vision and everything changes -our priorities, our values, our judgments, our pursuits. Again and again, in the history of religion, this total upheaval in the imagination has marked the beginning of a new life… a turning of the heart, a ‘metanoia’ by which men see with new eyes and understand with new minds and turn their energies to new ways of living”1.

With this book Peter Okuma introduces the reader into an hermeneutical theology, which takes distance from the rational presuppositions that have been dominating academic theology in the northern hemisphere for centuries, especially since modernity with its rationality connected with individualistic bourgeois interests and the instrumentalization of life...

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