In African Theology, Philosophy, and Religions: Celebrating John Samuel Mbiti’s Contribution, contributors explore John Samuel Mbiti’s contributions to African scholarship and demonstrate how he broke through the western glass ceiling of scholarship and made African-informed and African-shaped scholarship a reality. Contributors examine the far-reaching implications of Mbiti’s scholarship, arguing that he shifted the contemporary African Christian landscape and informed global expressions of Christianity. African Theology, Philosophy, and Religions analyzes Mbiti’s scholarship and shows that his theories are malleable and fluid, allowing a new generation of scholars to reinterpret, reconstruct, and further develop his theories. This collection brings together contributors from a wide range of disciplines to study John Samuel Mbiti as the father of contemporary African theology and grapple with questions Africans face in the twenty-first century.
Chammah J. Kaunda is assistant professor at the Global Institute of Theology in the College of Theology and the United Graduate School of Theology at Yonsei University.
Julius Gathogo is senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Kenyatta University and research fellow at the Research Institute for Theology and Religion at the University of South Africa.
Introduction: Stirring the Celebratory Ritual Fire
Chammah J. Kaunda and Julius M. Gathogo
Part One: John Samuel Mbiti and African Theology and Philosophy
Chapter One: African Theology
Humphrey M. Waweru
Chapter Two: African Theology
Chapter Three: African Women Theologies
Chapter Four: African Patriotism
Chapter Five: African Philosophy
Chapter Six: African Concept of Time
Chammah J. Kaunda
Part Two: John Samuel Mbiti and Contemporary Issues in Africa
Chapter Seven: Marriage Negotiations
Elizabeth Motswapong and Kediemetse Machinya
Chapter Eight: Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
Sokfa F. John
Chapter Nine: Sustainable Development
Chapter Ten: Peace and Security
Evelyn N. Mayanja
Chapter Eleven: International Relations and Identity
Andrew David Omona
Chapter Twelve: Migration and Identity
Chapter Thirteen: Climate Change and Insecurities
Part Three: John Samuel Mbiti and African Religions in Twenty-First Century
Chapter Fourteen: The ‘Living-Dead’
Felix K. Esoh
Chapter Fifteen: African Cultural History of Libation
Felix K. Esoh and Chammah J. Kaunda
Chapter Sixteen: Chapter African Religions as ‘World Religions’
Willy L. Mafuta and Chammah J. Kaunda
Chapter Seventeen: African Initiated Churches (AICs)
Chapter Eighteen: Challenges and Prospects for African Religions
A commemoration of the life and works of one of Africa’s greatest thinkers! In refreshing and thought-provoking ways, the essays in this volume written by the younger generation of African theologians and African Religions’ scholars, engage, critique and appraise the scholarship of the late Professor John Mbiti and in that way, open a mulango (a door) to the rich legacy on African theology, religions and philosophy bequeathed to us by one of the greatest African scholars that Africa has ever birthed. A must read for scholar, student and all those committed to the study of African Christianity, African Religions and philosophy.
I highly recommend African Theology, Philosophy, and Religions because the contributors present a compelling collection of studies that build on the pathbreaking scholarship of Professor John Samuel Mbiti and offer critical postcolonial analysis on religions, culture, and theology. These essays draw from research on African religiosity, in which the contributors probe historical domination and contemporary challenges, and make the case that the emphasis on history, sacred texts, and religious institutions as indispensable resources ought to be grounded in critical African cultural analysis. The contributors offer rich, bold, critical probing of the African world. They variously argue that local values remain significant resources to counter violence and despoliation that has become so rampant in a postcolonial and neoliberal age. The contributors demonstrate an optimism that Mbiti and the early African scholars embodied in challenging faith communities and African leaders to build a healthy environment, promote peace, gender equality to encourage and sustain spiritual and social wellbeing.
The wide range of reflections included in this masterful piece substantiate the impact and influence of John Samuel Mbiti’s legacy on the evolution of African Theology, now an indispensable genre in and of Christian faith reflection and practice. As a compendium of any and everything that matters, not only for understanding Mbiti’s lifetime endeavor, but also for appreciating the shape of theology and the church in Africa, the importance of the present work for the African and universal Christian Church cannot be overemphasized.
Kaunda’s assertion serves as an accurate résumé of Mbiti and his legacy: “As an ancestor of the study of religions, theology, culture and philosophy in Africa, Mbiti’s ideas continue to reincarnate in different forms and discussions.