Original Research - Special Collection: Africa Platform for NT Scholars

Ethnicity and conflict resolution in Luke 10:29–37 from an African perspective

Godlove S. Ntem
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 3 | a7894 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i3.7894 | © 2022 Godlove S. Ntem | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 June 2022 | Published: 29 September 2022

About the author(s)

Godlove S. Ntem, Department of Biblical Studies, Faculty of Theology, Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Kumba, Cameroon; and, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


This article seeks to examine the debilitating issue of ethnicity and conflict which is so prevalent in Africa with particular focus on Cameroon. Many situations of ethnicity and conflict have disrupted the unity of many communities in Africa. As Jesus equally lived in an agonistic society of stratification and class differences wherein the question of neighbourliness was a matter of endless discussion, Luke 10:29–37 is approached from an African perspective to verify what ethnicity and conflict meant to Jesus’ listeners in their 1st-century Mediterranean context and what it meant to Africans in their own context. The article contends that the continued resurgence of disputes over religious differences, a sense of belonging and cultural prejudice, inter alia are some of the consequential factors that breed ethnic conflicts in Cameroon. This article argues that to overcome these impediments, capacity prevention and conflict resolution should be strengthened through dialogue, mediation and arbitration with particular attention on the African values of love and compassion. Jesus’ method of conflict resolution was to show love and compassion, even to the enemy; thus He commissioned all to do the same, ‘Go and do likewise’ (Lk 10:37). The article concludes that if dialogue is considered and implemented, sustainable ethnic conflict resolution will be enhanced in Africa and the Cameroonian society.

Contribution: This article highlights the relationship between ethnicity and conflict in Africa. Reading Luke 10:29–37 through the lenses of the African values of love and compassion, the article proposes that ethnic conflict can be overcome through dialogue, mediation and arbitration. The article thus contributes to the possible resolution of ethnic conflict in Africa and especially in Cameroonian society.


Ethnicity; Conflict resolution; Good Samaritan; Luke 10:29-37 and African Perspective


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