The Bible in Africa: Transactions, Trajectories, and Trends

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

African countries have been exposed over the centuries to diverse cultural, religious, social, political and economic concepts and practices which have one way or the other affected their beliefs and practices. For instance, the church in Africa cannot overlook the effect of their own missionary history which has affected their interpretation and practice of Christianity and life and thought as well. Also, the effect of other religions like Islam cannot be overlooked in attempting to develop hermeneutical practices in Africa. In his Religion and Politics in Independent Nigeria: A Historical Analysis (1996), Alexius Makozi states that,

Indeed, Islamic religion has exerted a lot of influence on the lives of millions of individuals and people in Nigeria. Just as Christianity had a great influence on the religious, socio-economic and political life of Nigeria, so did Islam. The adoption of patterns of common religions and social life gave Islam a moulding force in the life of individuals and community. The Islamic re-integration of a cultural process whereby forms of animistic belief is acknowledged or tolerated made it easy for Africans to adopt Islam as a religion (Makozi 1996: 21).

Similar arguments could perhaps be made for other religious movements like Buddhism and New Religious Movements in contemporary Africa. Also, present world trends in Christianity, politics, and economics clearly affect the way one interprets and relates to biblical texts. African context(s) are certainly more complex than the early pioneers of the comparative approach anticipated. Such complexity calls for an interpretative model that takes seriously the ancient African traditions together with the various influences and modifications that Africans have gone through over the past decades; in order to read biblical texts more effectively, there is the need look at the text critically with both ancient and contemporary eyes.


Agbeti, J.K. “African Theology: 'What is it?'” Presence 5/3 (1972): 5–8.

Bediako, K. Theology and Identity: The Impact of Culture upon Christian Thought in the Second Century and Modern Africa. Oxford: Regnum, 1992.

Cohen, A.P. The Symbolic Construction of the Community. London: Tavistock, 1985.

Cone, James. My Soul Looks Back. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1991.

Cone, James. “Black Theology and Third World Theologies.” In Eds James Cone and

Gayraud Wilmore, Black Theology: A Documentary History, 1980–1992, Maryknoll: Orbis, 1993: 388–398.

Danquah, J.B. The Akan Concept of God. London: Frank Cass, 1968.


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
Cite this page

Cited page

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



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

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?