African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 184

Review

Towards a Kenyan political theology: The importance of church history for contemporary public life

Kevin Muriithi Ndereba
  • Kevin Muriithi Ndereba
  • Department of Biblical and Theological Studies, School of Theology, Pan Africa Christian University, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 12 June 2021
  •  Published: 31 July 2021

Abstract

Christianity remains a substantive religion in the African continent. With various expressions such as missionary Christianity, indigenous Christianity, and Charismatic Christianity, it remains a critical force in African societies. Christian scholars in post-colonial Africa have engaged important themes in Christianity including the pertinence of African traditional religions, African identity and in the recent decade, postcolonial hermeneutics, and approaches to reading the Bible. Whereas a majority of Kenyans are Christians, there seems to be little evidence in how Christianity engages the politics of the day. It is argued that African Christians, contrary to the historical development of Christianity as well as the holistic worldview of African traditional cultures, have bi-furcated their religion to a private sphere. This paper explores the rich developments of political theology in church history, with particular reference to key African theologians and scholar-practitioners such as Emmanuel Katongole, Sammy Gitari, Damaris Parsitau and Timothy Njoya. By retrieving the global church’s historical thinking on the matter, this paper explores the implications for African societies, including the church, theological institutions, and public life.

 

Key words: African Christianity, African theology, church and state, political theology, religion and society, world Christianity.