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African culture, African intellectuals and the white academy in South Africa - some implications for Christian theology in Africa

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Attitudes towards African culture are central to the crisis of African intellectuals. This crisis is manifest in the issues of African identity, black self-love, black poverty, the stranglehold of the Western academy and white racism. For the debilitating aspects of the crisis to be converted to our advantage, African intellectuals must reconnect to African culture. However, such a reconnection must include not only an analysis and problematisation ofwhatAfrican culture is, but also the question of how best to connect to it. The call for African intellectuals to reconnect to African culture is not a call for the resuscitation of romantic views on African culture. Nor is it a call for a rehash of the often strident views of Western missionaries, philosophers and colonialists on African culture. It is also not a call for the self-hating castigation of African culture by Africans themselves. It is rather a call to a mature reappropriation of past and present manifestations of African culture within, because of and in spite of oppressive and racist conditions. This kind of appropriation will help African intellectuals emerge from the crisis. Such a reappropriation has significant implications for the teaching and the shape of Christian theology of Africa. Basic to these implications is the necessity to return to black and African theologies of liberation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Missiology University of South Africa PO Box 392 Pretoria 0001 Republic of South Africa

10.1163/157430196X00022
/content/journals/10.1163/157430196x00022
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1996-01-01
2016-12-09

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