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The Imperative of Self-Reliance for the Churches in Africa

A Study in Christian Social Ethics


Uchechukwu Obodoechina

Poverty and dependence constitute the two sides of the same coin. Both can be seen as a result of the ‘terrors of nature’ or the ‘horrors of history.’ They are obstacles to maturity and personal responsibility; they rob their victims of their sense of inner worth and dignity. And they instill in them the unhealthy feelings of inferiority and inner worthlessness that lead to greater poverty of the mind and powerlessness. This book is a study in Christian social ethics within the context of communio ecclesiology. It deals with the entrenched systems of domination that create and maintain material poverty and systemic dependence on the part of the Churches in Africa. The image of the umbilical cord depicts this form of life-or-death dependence on external structures and resources. Having identified the ‘terrors of nature’ and the ‘horrors of history’ responsible for the African predicaments that result in acute poverty and shameless dependence, this study sees the principles of the social order in their diverse understandings as the criteria capable of effectively blazing the trail of Self-reliance for the Churches in Africa.
Contents: Autonomy – Solidarity – Subsidiarity – Freedom – Individual Initiative – Justice – Common Good – Right and Responsibility – Development – Slavery – Colonialism – Inculturation – Resources – Finances – Communion – Sustainability – Corruption – Evangelisation – Good Governance.