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Diane Stinton, who teaches theology at Daystar University, Nairobi, has read published theologies, interviewed authors, and led focus groups among lay and clerical Protestants and Catholics in Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana. Together, these sources demonstrate that Christianity in Africa should be considered an increasingly important source of theological wisdom.

Stinton organizes African Christologies under four headings: Jesus as life-giver (especially healer), Jesus as mediator (particularly as ancestor), Jesus as loved one (family and friendship), and Jesus as leader (king/chief and liberator). She shows that some Africans maintain a pietistic or apolitical picture of Jesus (often associated with the East African Revival), while others insist upon enculturation (Christ as a participant in African traditional religions) or liberation (Christ transforming oppression, rescuing from poverty, overcoming HIV/AIDS).

The diversity of African viewpoints that Stinton documents is particularly important, as are the many individual gems concerning the character of Jesus Christ. For example: Afua Kuma, a non-literate rural laywoman from Ghana, told Stinton that "of them all, [Jesus] is the leader, and the chiefs with all their glory follow after him."



Related Elsewhere:

Jesus of Africa: Voices of Contemporary African Christology can be purchased at amazon.com and other book retailers.

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August 2006

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