Two major strands of theology have developed in Africa--inculturation and liberation--each in response to different needs. Emmanuel Martey's African Theology provides a clear, scholarly examination of these two basic approaches, solidly based on Martey's understanding of contemporary theology and his firsthand knowledge of Africa.Martey first examines the historical background of each of these theological developments, especially relating to cultural and political movements enveloping the continent in the 1970s. In sub-Saharan Africa, struggles for independence from colonizers have resulted in inculturation theology. The defining aspect of this theology is that it pushes its roots firmly in African culture and traditions. In South Africa, on the other hand, Black Africans struggling against the oppressive systems of apartheid have turned to liberation theology.Martey shows how the real hope for African theology lies in the dialectical encounter between these two approaches and in their potential for convergence. "The two foci (of liberation and inculturation)," Martey says, "are not contradictory, but complement each other." African Theology concludes by challenging African theologians to weld together the praxis of inculturation with that of liberation, in order to achieve an integrative vision for the continent.
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Martey is a lecturer in theology at Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, Ghana.
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