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Akan Rites of Passage and their Reception into Christianity

A Theological Synthesis


Robert Charles Snyper

This academic research grapples with the question of the reception of Christianity into a culture and vice versa. It undertakes a systematic theological and anthropological survey of the indigenous rites of transition of the Akans of the Sub-Saharan Africa in relation to the Christian rites of transition or the Christian sacraments. It takes into account the importance of the various cultures from which the Christian sacraments developed and compares these cultures to the Akan culture. The writer concludes that culture cannot be disowned in the evangelization of peoples because culture defines human existence in its totality. Since nobody exists outside of a socio-cultural context, the word of God cannot but find interpretation in a culture if it is to make an impact on peoples. The word of God and cultures are not antithetical, they complement each other. The researcher is of the view that Christian theology cannot but identify itself with cultures in order to eschew exclusivism, inclusivism and absolutism.
Contents: Christian Sacraments in Dialogue with Indigenous Rites of Initiation – Christianity and Culture – Inculturation – The Akans of the Sub-Saharan Africa – Rites of Passage – Actual Status of the Reception of the Rites of Passage into Christianity: A Critical Survey – Future of Rites of Passage vis-a-vis Social Change, Modernization and Christian Reception – Women and the Rites of Passage.