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<title> Abstract </title>In this article the author argues that the greatest challenge facing Christians In Africa has to do with the cultivation of new social imaginations that can both resist and provide alternatives to the ever-increasing phenomenon of violence. For this to happen, Christian social ethics in Africa must rethink the relation between theology and politics, and thus assume new methodologies and directions. This argument is only spelt out more explicitly In the fourth and last section of the essay. The reason for this is that the reality of violence in Africa does not occur in isolation nor does it arise spontaneously out of some incomprehensible contradictions within 'African culture.' Violence, at least the sort of violence experienced in Africa, is the result of political formation, which is connected to stories that sustain nation-state politics in Africa. That is why it is important to attend to the story of Africa's politics, and the underlying stories and imaginations that sustain it. Once attention has been drawn to the story of nation-state politics in Africa, and the imagination and patterns of violence it forms, it becomes evident that Christian social ethics cannot proceed as usual - by offering recommendations to help nation-state politics. Rather, it will have to reposition itself as a form of politics that is based on distinct stories, and that is capable of forming alternative imaginations and patterns of social existence

Affiliations: 1: Research Professor of Theology and World Christianity Duke Divinity School P. O. Box 90968, Durham, North Carolina 27708 United States of America, Email:


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