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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.38  supl.1 Pretoria  2012


"Rethinking African theology: Exploring the God who liberates" by Jean-Marc Ela



Philemon Beghela

Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa




Jean-Marc Ela of the Republic of Cameroon has marked the contemporary world by his writings whose echo went beyond its domestic readership. Ela, who popularly became known as the "spokesperson of Africa's diminishing status in the world", was not hesitant to write about those issues considered controversial and "no go" areas by many African societies. The author builds up his theological discourse from a question raised during a debate by a young woman who asked what "worshipping" God means for people in situations of poverty, drought, famine, injustice and oppression. The challenge of reinterpreting the message of Christ in a language appropriate for indigenous people remains a critical need. The time is now for theologians and Christian thinkers alike in Africa to propagate the Christian message of total faith from an African perspective. The radicalism of the Gospel and its lack of relevance to Africa emerge as some of the major problems facing Christianity today. The debate on the relevance of the Gospel for Africa continues to become central and inevitable. In an attempt to engage readers in this debate, the following question is asked: "What should the essential message of the Church be in the articulation of the Gospel and its relevance for the people of Africa?" In an effort to provide possible answers to the above question, I explored Ela's thoughts in one of his works entitled, Repenser la théologie africaine: le Dieu qui libère (2001).



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Works consulted

Hochschild, Adam 1999. King Leopold's ghost: a story of greed, terror and heroism in Colonial Africa. London: Pan Books.         [ Links ]

Katongele, E 2010. The sacrifice of Africa: a political theology for Africa. London: Eedmans Ekklesia.         [ Links ]

Maura, Browne 1996. The African Synod documents, reflections, perspectives. Maryknoll: Africa Faith & Justice Network.         [ Links ]

Mutombo-Mukendi, Félix 2011. La théologie Politique Africaine: Exégèse et Histoire. Paris:L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

Jean-Marc Ela 's publications include the following:        [ Links ]

1971. La plume et la pioche. Yaoundé: Editions Clé         [ Links ].

1980. Cri de l'homme Africain: questions aux chrétiens et aux églises d'Afrique. Paris: L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

1982. Voici le temps des héritiers: Eglises d'Afrique et voies nouvelles. Paris: Karthala.         [ Links ]

1982. The granary is empty, in Curt Cadorette, Liberation theology: an introductory reader. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, pp 64-75.         [ Links ]

1982. L'Afrique des villages. Paris: Karthala.         [ Links ]

1983. La ville en Afrique noire. Paris: Karthala.         [ Links ]

1983. De l'assistance à la libération. Les tâches actuelles de l'Eglise en milieu africain. Paris: Centre Lebret.         [ Links ]

1985. Ma foi d'Africain. Paris: Karthala.         [ Links ]

1989. Cheick Anta Diop ou l'honneur de penser. Paris: L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

1990. Quand lEtatpénètre en brousse... Les ripostes paysannes à la crise. Paris: Karthala.         [ Links ]

1992. De la conversion à la réforme dans les églises africaines. Yaoundé: Editions Clé         [ Links ].

1994. Afrique: l'irruption des pauvres. Société contre ingérence, pouvoir et argent. Paris: L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

1994. Christianity and liberation in Africa, in Paths of African theology. Maryknoll, NY:Orbis Books, pp 136-153.         [ Links ].

1994. The memory of the African people and the cross of Christ, in The scandal of the crucified world: perspectives on the cross and suffering. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, pp 17-35.         [ Links ]

1994. Restituer l'histoire aux sociétés africaines. Promouvoir les sciences sociales en Afrique Noire. Paris: L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

1996. Church - Sacrament of liberation, in The African Synod: documents, reflections, perspectives. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, pp 131-139.         [ Links ]

1998. Innovations sociales et renaissance de l'Afrique noire. Les défis du "monde d'en bas". Montréal/Paris: Harmattan/L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

2001. Guide pédagogique de formation à la recherche pour le développement en Afrique. Paris: Harmattan.         [ Links ]

2003. Repenser la théologie africaine: le Dieu qui libère. Paris: Karthala        [ Links ]

2006. Fécondité et migrations africaines: les nouveaux enjeux. Paris: L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

2007. L'Afrique à l'ère du savoir, science, société et pouvoir. Paris: L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

2007. La recherche africaine face au défi de l'excellence scientifique livre III. Paris: L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

2007. Les cultures africaines dans le champ de la rationalité scientifique livre II. Paris: L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]

2007. Recherche scientifique et crise de la rationalité livre1. Paris: L'Harmattan.         [ Links ]



1 Jean-Marc ELA. 2001. Repenser la théologie africaine: le Dieu qui libère. Paris: Karthala.

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