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Bediako of Africa: A Late 20th Century Outstanding Theologian and Teacher

In: Mission Studies
Author:
J. Kwabena Asamoah-GyaduTrinity Theological Seminary, Legon, Ghana

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Abstract

Kwame Bediako of the Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture based in Akropong-Akwapim in Ghana, was a stalwart in the field of African Christianity and Theology. He was called home to glory in June 2008 at the age of 63 years. Converted from atheism whilst studying for a doctorate degree in French and African literature at the University of Bordeaux in France, Bediako embraced a conservative evangelical faith. He went on to do a second PhD in Theology under the tutelage of Andrew F. Walls in Aberdeen. Bediako returned to Ghana in 1984 to found the then Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Center for Mission Research and Applied Theology. Through that initiative, now a fully accredited tertiary theological educational institute, Bediako pioneered a new way of doing theology through his emphasis on mother-tongue hermeneutics, oral or grassroots theology, and the study of primal religions as the sub-structure of Christian expression in the majority Two Thirds World. These ideas are outlined in his major publications, Theology and Identity, Christianity in Africa, Jesus of Africa, and the many forceful and insightful articles scattered in local and international journals in religion and theology. For many years to come, although living in glory, Bediako's evangelical intellectual heritage will continue as a leading reference point for all those seeking to understand Africa's place in the history of world Christianity.

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