Original Research - Special Collection: Engaging Development

The prospect of humanising development discourse in Africa through Christian anthropology

Joseph Ogbonnaya
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3423 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3423 | © 2016 Joseph Ogbonnaya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 April 2016 | Published: 24 November 2016

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Joseph Ogbonnaya, Theology Department, Marquette University Milwaukee, WI, United States

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The invention of development as public discourse began with US President Truman’s 1949 speech that trumped up an illusion of global material prosperity based on a total restructuring of the ‘developing’ world on the model of development and material achievement of the West. Truman argued that this painful process was the only recipe for world prosperity. After decades of serious engagement on development discourse and multiple implementations of successive theories, the situation of the developing countries has not improved as rapidly as expected. At the same time, the developed countries are experiencing various forms of financial crises. This article acknowledges the professionalisation of development discourse, and proposes humanising development discourse in Africa in the light of Christian anthropology. This vision of integral development promotes the common good on the basis of God’s love and respect for the uniqueness of the human person.


development; Africa; Point Four Program; Ubuntu; Christian Anthropology


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