Biblical Studies, Theology, Religion and Philosophy
An Introduction for African Universities
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: African Books Collective
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This book introduces students to the study of Biblical studies, theology, religion and philosophy from an African perspective. It has been written by scholars with great international reputations and with many years’ experience in teaching and research at reputable international universities. ...
Part One: Biblical Studies
Chapter One: The Bible: A History of Interpretation and Methods
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The Bible is the number one bestseller. It has been a unified, widely used, read and studied text for so long that it is easy to forget that the Bible did not always exist. Also, it did not fall out of heaven in one immaculate piece! The story of the formation of the Bible and, subsequently, of its interpretation, ...
Chapter Two: An Overview of the Old Testament
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The first part of the Bible is known by Christians as the Old Testament (OT). Jews, however, are not comfortable with this description since the New Testament is not very important to them. The appropriate description of the OT for Jews is the Hebrew Bible. ...
Chapter Three: Major Themes in the Old Testament
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Approaches to Old Testament theology are very much varied. For some, it is about the place of the Old Testament for a modern believer1 while for others it concerns the overarching themes of the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible).2 In this chapter we are not interested in the debate on what methodology Old Testament theology should take. ...
Chapter Four: A Survey of the New Testament
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The place of the New Testament (or the Bible in general) in African Christianity cannot be overemphasized. Writing about the place of the Bible in Africa, South African theologian, Gerald O. West says, “— the Bible is meaning and powerful both opened and closed.”1 ...
Chapter Five: Major Themes in the New Testament
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This study is an introduction to the New Testament. It focuses on the major themes found across the twenty-seven New Testament writings. These have been chosen for their theological significance. There are in fact too many major themes in the New Testament to deal with adequately within this chapter alone. ...
Chapter Six: Religion, Race, Gender and Identity
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Racism is a concept based on the assumption that an aggregate of descendants of a common ancestral origin have superior characteristics, coupled with a belief in their right to dominate others who differ decisively from their own distinct identity traits. ...
Chapter Seven: Reading and Understanding the Bible as an African
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One of the most contentious issues in the missionary field over the years has been the relationship between the Bible and African culture. In a number of instances, the Bible has been set against everything and anything African, on the assumption that the African way of life is ungodly and evil ...
Part Two: Theology
Chapter Eight: Introduction to Christian Theology: Its Tasks and Methods
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Theology is as important, challenging and interesting as any other academic subject. If taken seriously, it can be very enriching, exciting and useful. This chapter introduces students to the study of Christian Theology as an academic discipline, and attempts to answer some of the common questions about theology and its use in society. ...
Chapter Nine: African Theology: A Contextual Analysis of Zimbabwe
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This paper seeks to explore the contribution of African scholarship to African theology in Zimbabwe. It starts with a brief history of the church in Zimbabwe, describing the missionary incursion in the country. It then tracks the growth and development of African theology in pre- and post-independence contexts ...
Chapter Ten: Rethinking the Role of Liberation Theology
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The question as to whether or not Liberation theology is relevant today remains a significant problem area for many people. The difficulty is brought about by the end of the wars of freedom and subsequent attainment of political independence by the former colonies. ...
Chapter Eleven: Major Themes in Black Theology
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‘Black Theology refers to an aspect of the rather recent theological genre known as Liberation Theology’.1 It is the kind of Christian Liberation Theology that is historically associated with the oppressed Black people mainly of USA and South Africa.2 ...
Chapter Twelve: What is in a Name?-Forging a Theoretical Framework for African Women’s Theologies
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Feminism has become the shorthand for the proclamation that women’s experiences should become an integral part of what goes into the definition of being a human. It highlights the woman’s world and her worldview as she struggles side by side with the man to realize her full potential as a human being ...
Chapter Thirteen: Theology of African Independent Churches
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This chapter discusses the theology of the African Independent Churches (AICs) in Southern Africa. It focuses on Southern Africa with references to the whole of Africa. The chapter argues that there has been a theological shift in the AICs, defined in three stages: anti-missionary, collaborative/ecumenical, and modern. ...
Part Three: Religious Studies
Chapter Fourteen: Introduction to Religious Studies
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Religious Studies as an academic discipline is a systematic effort by scholars and researchers to investigate religion and religious phenomena, applying other methods used in the study of such disciplines as humanities and social sciences as well as those exclusively used in theology.1 ...
Chapter Fifteen: Phenomenology of Religion
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Despite the availability of different approaches,1 phenomenology of religion has been quite popular in the academic study of religion. This is particularly true of the study of religion in Africa. Many departments of religious studies in Africa offer phenomenology of religion as a course, especially to students who are in their first year at university. ...
Chapter Sixteen: African Traditional Religions in Contemporary Africa: Challenges and Prospects
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The teaching of African Traditional Religion is now firmly established in a number of universities, theological colleges, Secondary Schools and, in some instances, as is the case in Botswana, Primary Schools as well. Let me hasten to say that in this chapter I have chosen to use the term African Traditional Religion (ATR) in the singular ...
Chapter Seventeen: Christianity in Africa in the 20th Century
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The chapter investigates Christianity in the 20th century when Africa became central to global Christianity. Various themes will be examined in a variety of regional contexts. The chapter will, among other things, explore African indigenous/ initiated/independent churches that have indigenized Christianity ...
Chapter Eighteen: Africa’s Muslims: Expressing Their Religious Identity
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Africa is a vibrant religious continent that is in Mbiti’s1 words ‘notoriously religious’. For many generations, the African Continent has been and remains the home of diverse linguistic communities, rich cultures and a variety of minor and major religions. ...
Chapter Nineteen: Hinduism and Buddhism: An Introduction
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Over one billion people throughout the world follow the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism.2 This is significant for scholars of religion because a large percentage of the world’s population considers the views of these two Asian religions as true; ...
Part Four: Philosophy
Chapter Twenty: A General Introduction to Philosophy: Its Tasks and Methods
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This work is largely a result of experience, spanning close to a decade, of teach ing an introductory course on philosophy at an African University. The primary aim of the chapter is to introduce the discipline to students who have never studied it formally, and who have been made by history to despise African cultures.1 ...
Chapter Twenty One: Logic, Critical Thinking, and Science
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Critical thinking embodies the process and product of thinking correctly both within a formal academic enterprise and within the informal situations of eve ryday life. Such correct thinking is usually the product of effective identification, consideration and evaluation of information, ...
Chapter Twenty Two: Introduction to Epistemology
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Philosophy has four main branches, namely, logic, epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. The first three branches are usually described as being speculative, and it is precisely due to their abstractness that novices in philosophy find them hard to understand. This chapter is confined to epistemology. ...
Chapter Twenty Three: African Philosophy
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African Philosophy has had a curious history and, as a discipline, has under gone many changes over a period of three quarters of a century. It didn’t start out as “Philosophy” proper, because to ascribe philosophy and philosophic capacity to the progeny of enslaved, colonized, oppressed and BLACK peoples ...
Chapter Twenty Four: Moral Theories
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Moral Philosophy or Ethics is one of the main branches of Philosophy, the others being Metaphysics, Epistemology and Logic. It is part of axiology, which is the study of values. Being a branch of philosophy, moral philosophy partly depends on or utilises some of the arguments from the other areas of philosophy. ...
Chapter Twenty Five: Applied Ethics
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In this Chapter, we shall first define philosophy and show how ethics generally relates to philosophy. Thereafter, we shall then give a specific working definition of applied ethics. This is because a good grasp of what philosophy is will enable the reader to easily understand ethics generally and applied ethics in particular. ...
Chapter Twenty Six: Philosophical Metaphysics in Africa
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In broad terms, metaphysics as a branch of philosophy is preoccupied with several perplexing and seemingly perennial questions concerning the structure of reality. More specific definitions of philosophical metaphysics depend on individual approach to the discipline of philosophy itself. ...
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James N. Amanze:Associate Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Botswana with specialization in systematic theology with reference to the Bible and African Culture. ...
Index of Personal Names
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Index of Subjects
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Page Count: 614
Publication Year: 2012