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'The Name of God in Africa' and Related Contemporary Theological, Development and Linguistic Concerns

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Recent discoveries in linguistics here summarised reveal problems in the choice of an African name for God, especially when theological debate is in English, as it results in the ignoring of important differences in how God is understood. Translating the Luo term 'Nyasaye' as 'God' ignores his Luo character as 'bestowing force'. Similarly translating 'God' by 'Nyasaye' falsely assumes a carrying over of native-English theological presuppositions. These differences are shown to be consequential and, if disregarded, serious. The use of African languages rooted in African culture in debate is found to be essential for the future health of Christianity, and socio-economic development in Africa.

Affiliations: 1: Kima International School of Theology, PO Box 75, Maseno, Kenya


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