Contesting Conversions in African Christian Theology: Engaging the Political Theology of Emmanuel Katongole

In: Mission Studies

Abstract

This article argues that Emmanuel Katongole’s theology focuses on contesting conversions in African Christianity. To him, conversions that have so far taken place in much of African Christianity, especially those informed by the theology of inculturation, have not adequately emphasized the formation of critical Christian social imagination that would challenge the violent politics of the postcolonial nation-state in Africa. The article engages Katongole’s theology by showing how his understanding of conversion aligns him with a form of African Christianity which he criticizes – the neo-Pentecostal and Charismatic variety of African Christianity. It critiques Katongole’s proposal by suggesting that the social and political transformation he seeks may be enhanced by forms of conversion rooted in the theology of inculturation which he minimizes.

  • AchebeChinua (1994). Things Fall Apart50th Anniversary Edition. New York: Anchor Books.

  • AndersonAllan H. (2001). African Reformation: African Initiated Christianity in the 20th Century. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.

  • AndersonAllan H. (2006). “Exorcism and Conversion to African Pentecostalism.” Exchange 35.1 pp. 116133.

  • AppiahKwame Anthony (2018). The Lies That Bind: Rethinking identity – Creed Country Color Class Culture. New York and London: Liveright Publishing Corporation.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Asamoah-GyaduJ. Kwabena (2004). “Mission to ‘Set the Captive Free’: Healing, Deliverance, and Generational Curses in Ghanaian Pentecostalism.” International Review of Mission 93 (370/371) pp. 389406.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BompaniBarbara and Caroline Valois ed. (2018). Christian Citizens and the Moral Regeneration of the African State. London and New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BuddeMichael L. (2016). “Introduction.” In Michael L. Budde ed. Beyond the Borders of Baptism: Catholicity Allegiances and Lived IdentitiesStudies in World Catholicism. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books pp. 112.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ComaroffJean and John (1991). Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity Colonialism and Consciousness in South Africavol. 1. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ComaroffJean and John (1997). Of Revelation and Revolution: The Dialectics of Modernity on a South African Frontiervol. 2. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ElizondoVirgilio P. (2000). The Future is Mestizo: Where Life and Cultures Meet. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

  • EngelkeMatthew (2004). “Discontinuity and the Discourse of Conversion.” Journal of Religion in Africa 34 (1–2) 82109.

  • FancelloSandra (2008). “Sorcellerie et deliverance dans les pentecôtisme africains.” Cahiers d’Études Africaines 48 (189/190) pp. 161183.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FisherHumphrey J. (1971). “Conversion Reconsidered: Some Historical Aspects of Religious Conversion in Black Africa.” Africa: Journal of the International Africa Institute 43 (1) pp. 2740.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FromontCécile (2014). The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Congo. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GiffordPaul (1998). African Christianity: Its Public Role. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

  • HauerwasStanley and Samuel Wells eds. (2006). The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics. Oxford: Blackwell.

  • HealyNicholas M. (2014). Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans 2014.

  • HochschildAdam (1998). King Leopold’s Ghost. New York, NY: Mariners Book.

  • HortonRobin (1971). “African Conversion.” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 41 (2) pp. 85108.

  • HortonRobin (1975). “On the Rationality of Conversion, Part 1.” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 45 (3) pp. 219235.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KatongoleEmmanuel (2000). Beyond Universal Reason: The Relation Between Religion and Ethics in the Work of Stanley Hauerwas. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KatongoleEmmanuel (2005). A Future for Africa: Critical Essays in Christian Social Imagination. Scranton: The University of Scranton Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KatongoleEmmanuel (2006). “Greeting: Beyond Racial Reconciliation.” In Hauerwas and Wells eds. The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics. Oxford: Blackwell pp. 6681.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KatongoleEmmanuel (2014). “The Sacrifice of Africa: Ecclesial Radiances of ‘A Different World Right Here’: A Response to Anne Arabome, Elias Bongmba and John Kies.” Modern Theology 30 (2) pp. 421430.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KatongoleEmmanuel (2016). “The Gospel as Politics in Africa.” Theological Studies77(3) pp. 704720.

  • KatongoleEmmanuel (2011). The Sacrifice of Africa: A Political Theology for Africa. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

  • KatongoleEmmanuel (2017a). Born From Lament: The Theology and Politics of Hope in Africa. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

  • KatongoleEmmanuel (2017b). The Journey of Reconciliation: Groaning for a New Creation in Africa. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

  • KaundaChammah J. (2018). The Nation that Fears God Prospers: A Critique of Zambian Pentecostal Theopolitical Imagination. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KingsloverBarbara (1998). The Poisonwood Bible. New York, NY: Perennial.

  • LabandJohn (2014). “The Slave Soldiers of Africa.” Journal of Military History 81 pp. 938.

  • MagesaLaurenti (2017). “Inculturation Theology in Africa.” In David Tonghou Ngong ed. A New History of African Christian Thought: From Cape to Cairo. New York and London: Routledge pp. 109121.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MamdaniMahmood (2001). When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism Nativism and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MbembeAchilles (2017). Critique of Black Reason. Translated by Laurent Dubois. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

  • MeyerBirgit (1998). “‘Make a Complete Break with the Past’: Memory and Post-colonial Modernity in Ghanaian Pentecostalist Discourse.” Journal of Religion in Africa XXXVII (3) pp. 316349.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MilbankJohn (1990 1993). Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. Oxford: Blackwell.

  • ObadareEbenezer (2018). Pentecostal Republic: Religion and the Struggle for State Power in Nigeria. London: Zed Books.

  • OrabyMona (2018). “Crossing and Conversion: Introduction.” The Immanent Frame. https://tif.ssrc.org/2018/04/23/crossing-and-conversion-introduction/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SchreiterRobert J. (1991). Faces of Jesus in Africa. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

  • UzukwuElochukwu Eugene (2012). God Spirit and Human Wholeness: Appropriating Faith and Culture in West African Style. Eugene, OR: Pickwick.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • van der VeerPeter (2018). “Crossings and Conversion: Conclusion.” The Immanent Frame. https://tif.ssrc.org/2018/07/11/crossing-and-conversion-conclusion/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WallsAndrew F. (1996). The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, and T&T Clark, Edinburgh.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WireduKwasi. “Introduction: Decolonizing African Philosophy and Religion.” In Decolonizing Africa Religions: A Short History of African Religions in Western Scholarship by Okot P’Bitek. New York: Diasporic Africa Press pp. xixxxvii.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 71 71 24
Full Text Views 11 11 7
PDF Downloads 8 8 5