Original Research

African theology and African Christology: Difficulty and complexity in contemporary definitions and methodological frameworks

Christopher Magezi, Jacob T. Igba
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 1 | a4590 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i1.4590 | © 2018 | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 April 2017 | Published: 21 February 2018

About the author(s)

Christopher Magezi, School of Basic Sciences, North-West University, South Africa
Jacob T. Igba, School of Basic Sciences, North-West University, South Africa


There is an ongoing challenge in defining African theology because of two important reasons: (1) the quest for a definitive African theology is a fairly recent pursuit and (2) the vastness and diversity of the African continent. Given this, this article presents the complexity of defining African theology and its methodological approaches through a background sketch of the development of African theology. Regardless of many definitions of African theology and its purposes, the article acknowledges African Christian theology as theology that should be derived from the interplay between Scripture, Christian tradition and African cosmology. In deriving theology from the aforementioned aspects, African theology should also seek to develop contextual African theologies with global relevance. In this way, African theology can claim its space in the universal church. Although we are conscious of the values and challenges associated with the task of doing African theology, we argue for its necessity. We further argue that if the centrality of Scripture is maintained in the African theological endeavour, it will cause African theologies to have some shared reference point with other Christian theologies and hence engaging globally, while contributing unique African perspectives to global theological discourse.


African theology; African Christology; ancestral christology; African Theology interpretation


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Crossref Citations

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