The Bible in Africa: Transactions, Trajectories, and Trends

By Gerald O. West; Musa W. Dube | Go to book overview
Save to active project

THE VERNACULARIZATION OF SCRIPTURE AND
AFRICAN BELIEFS: THE STORY OF THE GERASENE
DEMONIAC AMONG THE EWE OF WEST AFRICA
Solomon K. Avotri

The purpose of this essay is to explore what has been happening along the frontier between the gospel and African beliefs among the Ewe of West Africa, arising from Western missionary evangelism in the region. First, we must delimit the scope of what we have described as “frontier.” The scope of our study primarily includes the activities relating to the Vernacularization of Scripture and its impact on African beliefs in Eweland. This is in an attempt to discover ways in which Vernacularization of Scripture has helped to incarnate biblical portrayals of reality into an African (Ewe) culture, and the extent to which these perceptions have impacted African perceptions of reality. For further resources we shall draw on insights of scholars from other parts of Africa.

The field of African beliefs is a vast one. My first problem is one of selection. I have selected the theme of the “demonic” and its lifedestroying powers, an issue which seems to be an area of focus in Mark's gospel and among many Africans. Therefore I will examine the confrontation between Jesus and the demonic powers in Mark's gospel in general, and in the story of the Gerasene demoniac (Mark 5:1–20) in particular. I will then reflect on the relevance of this analysis to a particular group of African readers, the Ewe, in the context of their life-world and culture, by reflecting on their cultural and personal attitudes toward demonic powers.

The Ewe live in southeastern Ghana, known as the Volta Region of Ghana and the southern parts of Benin (formerly Dahomey), and Togo, numbering between four and seven million (Agbodeka 1971: 6). They speak various dialects of Ewe, a language of the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo family. Although the Ewe territory in Ghana extends inland only up to the town of Hohoe, Ewe speakers can be found in all parts of Ghana as traders, fishermen, teachers, civil servants, and so on (Asimpi 1996: 25). The unity of the Ewe is based on language and common traditions of origin, the original homeland

-311-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Bible in Africa: Transactions, Trajectories, and Trends
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 828

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?