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An African Gospel of Survival in an Age of Ecological Destruction

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This paper uses the example of African Christians known as Masowe Apostles to answer Ernst Conradie’s questions about the construction of culturally appropriate soteriological concepts for saving the earth. It is argued that Masowe Apostles develop a soteriological concept that is comprehensible among Shona speaking people, and hundreds of other groups African people living with problems of global warming in sub-Sahara Africa. With God conceptualized as the giver of life in whom to place hope for saving the earth, Masowe Apostles lay for us foundational ideas for a distinctly African soteriology in an age of ecological destruction. Masowe Apostles highlight their need for salvation by worshipping God in a language that draws attention to nature, and by making it a point to pray out-doors, in the wilderness, close of barren soil, and sometimes unoccupied forests, mountains and rivers. This paper begins with a summary of the background to environmental degradation in Africa. It ends with a discussion on how to go beyond instilling and reinforcing ecotheological attitudes that Masowe Apostles show through what they express on a ritual plane to making the concept of the salvation of earth a way of promoting earthkeeping.

Affiliations: 1: Western Kentucky University, Email: bella.mukonyora@wku.edu

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