Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinarity in African Studies

Theology and the Other Sciences

in Religion and Theology
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In this essay, I discuss the importance of interdisciplinary approach to African theology and argue that in light of the challenges raised by the health care crisis, theologians, as well as other Africanists need to develop an interdisciplinary approach to the questions they raise and the solutions they propose to those questions.

Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinarity in African Studies

Theology and the Other Sciences

in Religion and Theology

Sections

References

2

Thomas Benson“Five Arguments against Interdisciplinary Studies,” in Interdisciplinarity: Essays from the Literature (ed. W.H. Newell; New York: College Entrance Examination Board1998) 103–108.

3

William Newell“The Case for Interdisciplinary Studies: Response to Professor Benson’s Five Arguments,” in Interdisciplinarity: Essays from the Literature (ed. W.H. Newell; New York: College Entrance Examination Board1998) 109–122.

5

James R. Cochrane“The Language that Difference Makes: Translating Religion and Health,” Practical Matters 4 (2011): 5–6. See Paul Ricoeur Reflections on the Just (trans. David Pellauer; Chicago Ill.: University of Chicago Press 2007) 107–120.

6

Paul Tiyambe Zeleza“The Disciplinary, Interdisciplinary and Global Dimensions of African Studies,” International Journal of African Renaissance Studies – Multi- Inter- and Transdisciplinarity 1 no. 2 (2006) 198.

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Zeleza“Disciplinary Interdisciplinary and Global Dimensions” 198.

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10

Christopher FyfeAfrican Studies since 1945 (London: Longman1976).

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Elias K. Bongmba“The Study of African Religions: A Sketch of the Past and Prospects for the Future,” in The Study of Africa Vol. 1: Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Encounters (ed. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza; Dakar: CODESRIA 2006) 338–374.

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Richard ElphickThe Equality of Believers: Protestant Missionaries and the Racial Politics of South Africa (Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press2012) 18–20.

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31

Placide TempelsBantu Philosophy (Paris: Présence africaine1969).

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Edward E. Evans-Pritchard“Zande Theology,” in Sudan Notes & RecordsVolume XIX Part 1 (1936): 1–48. See also idem Social Anthropology and Other Essays (New York N.Y.: The Free Press 1964) 288–329.

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Evans-Pritchard“Zande Theology” 1–2. See Mgr. C.R. Lagae Les Azande ou Niam-Niam: l’organisation Zande croyances religieuses et magiques coutumes familiales (Bibliothèque-Congo 18; Bruxelles: Vromant 1926); Captain J.E.T. Philipps M.C. “Observations on Some Aspects of Religion Among the Azande (Niam-Niam) of Equatorial Africa” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 56 (1926): 171–187.

36

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37

Evans-Pritchard“Zande Theology” 10.

38

Michael Singleton“Theology, ‘Zande Theology’ and Secular Theology” in Zande Themes: Essays Presented to Sit Edward Evans-Pritchard (eds. André Singer and Brian V. Street; Totowa N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield 1972) 131.

39

SingletonZande Themes131–132. Other scholars shared Evans-Pritchard’s conviction that Zande thought was unsystematic a view that was shared widely. Godfrey Lienhardt expressed similar concerns about the Shilluk people of South Sudan see R. Godfrey Lienhardt “Modes of Thought” in The Institutions of Primitive Society: A Series of Broadcast Talks (E.E. Evans-Pritchard et al.; Oxford: Basil Blackwell 1954) 101–102; Malinowski said a similar thing when he said: “language in its primitive forms ought to be regarded and studied against the background of human activities and as a mode of human behavior in practical matters … language originally among primitive non-civilised peoples was never used as a mere mirror of reflected thought … it is a mode of action and not an instrument of reflection” B. Malinowski cited in Singleton Zande Themes 138.

40

E.E. Evans-PritchardNuer Religion (Oxford: Clarendon Press1956).

42

See Evans-PritchardNuer Religion317 206.

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Evans-PritchardNuer Religion317 206.

44

Evans-PritchardNuer Religion120–121.

45

Evans-PritchardNuer Religion311.

46

Evans-PritchardNuer Religion314–315.

47

Raymond Firth“Problem and Assumption in an Anthropological Study of Religion,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 89 no. 2 (Jul–Dec. 1959): 129.

49

Firth“Problem and Assumption” 130.

50

Firth“Problem and Assumption” 130.

51

Firth“Problem and Assumption” 130–131.

53

Edith Turner“Theology and the Anthropological Study of Spirit Events in an Iñupiat Village,” in Explorations in Anthropology and Theology (eds. Frank A. Salamone and Walter Randolph Adams; Lanham, Md.: University Press of America1997) 70.

54

Turner“Theology and the Anthropological Study” 68–69.

55

Turner“Theology and the Anthropological Study” 71.

56

Turner“Theology and the Anthropological Study” 68–69.

57

Turner“Theology and the Anthropological Study” 74.

59

Victor Turner“Symbolic Studies,” Annual Review of Anthropology4 (1995): 146.

60

Cathernine A. Odora Hoppers“Center for African Renaissance Studies, the Academy, the State and Civil Society: Methodlogical Implications of Transdisciplinarity and the African Perspective,” International Journal of African Renaissance Studies1 no. 1 (2006): 7–32.

65

David Tracy“Comparative Theology,” in The Encyclopedia of Religionvol. 14 (ed. Mircea Eliade; New York N.Y.: Macmillan 1987) 446–455.

66

Richard BernsteinBeyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science Hermeneutics and Praxis (Philadelphia, Penn.: University of Pennsylvania Press1983) 230.

70

RepkoInterdisciplinary Research1–48; John A. Grim “Indigenous Lifeways and Knowing the World” in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (eds. Philip Clayton and Zachory Simpson; Oxford; New York N.Y.: Oxford University Press 2006) 1–34.

71

Grim“Indigenous Lifeways and Knowing the World” 1–34.

73

Steven Feierman and John M. Janzen“African Religions,” in Science and Religion Around the World (eds. John Hedley Brooke and Ronald L. Numbers; New York N.Y.: Oxford University Press 2011) 245.

74

David WesterlundAfrican Indigenous Religions and Disease Causation. From Spiritual Beings to Living Humans (Studies on Religion in Africa 28; Leiden; Boston, Mass.: Brill2006) 209–215. Also see David Westerlund “Religion Illness and Healing” in Wiley-Blackwell Companion to African Religions (ed. E.K. Bongmba; Chichester: John Wiley & Sons 2012) 443–456.

75

Elochukwu UzukwuGod Spirit and Human Wholeness: Appropriating Faith and Culture in West African Style (Eugene, Ore.: Wipf and Stock2012) 10–12.

76

Chinua AchebeArrow of God (London: Heinemann1964) 45–46.

77

Feierman and Janzen“African Religions” 231.

78

Feierman and Janzen“African Religions” 231.

79

Feierman and Janzen“African Religions” 235.

80

Feierman and Janzen“African Religions” 235–236.

81

Steven Feireman and John M. Janzen“African Religions” 237–238.

82

Collins Airhibenbuwa“Framing an African-Centered Discourse on Global Health; Centralising Identity and Culture in Theorising Health Behaviour,” in The Study of Africa Vol. 1: Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Encounters (ed. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza; Dakar: CODESRIA 2006) 375–392.

85

Olivier“In Search of Common Ground” 8. See also G. Herdt and S. Lindenbaum eds. The Time of AIDS: Social Analysis Theory and Method (London: Sage Publications 1992).

86

Cochrane Schmid and Cutts eds.When Religion and Health Alignxxiv. See publications on religion and health especially Harold G. Koenig Dana E. King Verna Benner Carson eds. Handbook of Religion and Health (2nd ed.; New York N.Y.: Oxford University Press 2012) especially its chapter on “A History of Religion Medicine and Health Care” 15–34.

87

Olivier“In Search of Common Ground” 2; Cochrane “The Language that Difference Makes” 5–6.

88

Cochrane“The Language that Difference Makes” 10. See UNAIDS “Partnership with Faith-Based Organisations: UNAIDS Strategic framework” (Geneva: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 2009). I thank Olivier for this reference. See also WHOCIFANGO mapping” in Olivier “Search of Common Ground” 2.

91

Frank Dimmock and Tali Cassidy“Maintaining and Strengthening African Religious Health Assets: Challenges facing Christian Health Associations in the Next Decade,” in When Religion and Health Align: Mobilising Religious Health Assets for Transformation (eds. James R. Cochrane Barbara Schmid and Teresa Cutts; Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications 2011).

92

Olivier“In Search of Common Ground” 177.

93

Olivier“In Search of Common Ground” 183.

94

RepkoInterdisciplinary Research332.

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