We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Facing a Pandemic

The African Church and the Crisis of Aids

Elias K. Bongmba

Publication Year: 2007

Facing a Pandemic traces the history and spread of the HIV/AIDS virus in Africa and its impact on African society and public policy before considering new priorities needed to combat the pandemic. The central argument is that the theological motif of the image of God invites a prophetic critique of the social environment in which HIV/AIDS thrives and calls for a praxis of love and compassion.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Title Page / Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.2 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (28.7 KB)
pp. viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (34.1 KB)
pp. ix-xi

The Christian churches in Africa, alongside other faith traditions, have a pandemic in their midst. It is not going away soon. In the pages that follow, I offer theological reflections on the pandemic based on the claim that humanity has the imago dei, and suggest ways the church must scale...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (47.2 KB)
pp. 1-8

The HIV/AIDS pandemic that has struck the global community has brought fear, shame, stigmatization, discrimination, isolation, economic hardships, illness, pain, despair, and death. In this book, I will use the theological motif imago dei to rethink the obligations and responsibilities of Christian churches in Africa in a day of HIV/AIDS. I use...

read more

1. Background to HIV/AIDS in Africa

pdf iconDownload PDF (118.2 KB)
pp. 9-39

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) first came to public notice in 1981. In 1983 researchers identified the following modes of transmission: sexual intercourse (various forms); exposure to blood products; parent to child transmission, especially during childbirth; and intravenous...

read more

2. The Imago Dei and its Implications for HIV/AIDS

pdf iconDownload PDF (115.7 KB)
pp. 41-69

In this chapter, I propose the imago dei as a basis for grounding and for scaling up the church’s practical obligations in dealing with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. I argue that the imago dei calls for an ethic of love and compassion.1 The HIV/AIDS pandemic calls for a critical and humble reading of the Bible. The passage from the Hebrew Bible quoted above...

read more

3. HIV/AIDS and the Human Virtues

pdf iconDownload PDF (98.7 KB)
pp. 71-94

In this chapter, I explore virtues of hope, fidelity, care, justice, and prudence in light of HIV/AIDS because the pandemic threatens eudaimonia.1 Virtue theory has enjoyed a revival in ethical discourse during the last two decades, since Alasdair MacIntyre, a leading proponent of virtue theory, decried the loss of virtue in the modern world.2 In Whose Justice? Which Rationality? MacIntyre, discussed four moral traditions: the Aristotelian...

read more

4. The Imago Dei Invites a Bold Community Praxis

pdf iconDownload PDF (133.7 KB)
pp. 95-130

In this chapter, I argue that the idea of the imago dei invites members of the Christian community to engage in a bold praxis, at the local level and at the national and international levels. I will talk about the local level first and then address the role of national (denominational and ecumenical) organizations. I will conclude by discussing the role of Bible...

read more

5. The Church, Globalization, and HIV/AIDS

pdf iconDownload PDF (139.3 KB)
pp. 131-169

The remarks by Nelson Mandela invite the international community to respond to HIV/AIDS in the age of globalization.3 In this chapter, I explore the concept of globalization and its relationship to HIV/AIDS and argue that the Christian community worldwide needs to respond to global changes and advocate for a “truly comprehensive response,” as...

read more

Conclusion: The Challenge of Individual Responsibility and Global Obligation

pdf iconDownload PDF (68.8 KB)
pp. 171-183

HIV/AIDS has now affected individuals and families around the world, but it has caused more devastation in Africa than elsewhere. It is a private and public tragedy. I have argued that the Christian community in Africa has an obligation toward people living with HIV/AIDS because humanity is created in the image of God. Members of the Christian...


pdf iconDownload PDF (162.6 KB)
pp. 185-221


pdf iconDownload PDF (109.1 KB)
pp. 223-244


pdf iconDownload PDF (1.5 MB)
pp. 245-251

E-ISBN-13: 9781602580275
E-ISBN-10: 1602580278
Print-ISBN-13: 9781932792829
Print-ISBN-10: 1932792821

Page Count: 350
Publication Year: 2007

Edition: 1st