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The Inculturation of Christianity in Africa

Antecedents and Guidelines from the New Testament and the Early Church


Joseph Osei-Bonsu

This book demonstrates that the encounter between Christianity and various African cultures gives rise to a number of problems for Africans who become Christians. It draws attention to certain traditional African beliefs and practices that seem to be incompatible with Christianity and create problems for Africans who embrace Christianity. Against this background it argues for the need to inculturate Christianity. It contends that in this exercise African Christianity can learn from the attempts at inculturation found in the New Testament times and in the early church. It offers examples of how the early church sought to make use of non-Christian categories of thought and elements in its articulation of the Christian message and in worship. It suggests a few areas of Ghanaian and African life where inculturation could and should take place. These include funeral rites, widowhood rites, child-naming rites, the rites of marriage, libation and christology. It concludes by offering some guidelines for use in the process of the inculturation of Christianity in Africa today.
Contents: The African Christian and Culture – Inculturation in the New Testament – Inculturation in the Early Church – Inculturation of Christianity in Africa Today – Guidelines on Inculturation.