Institution Granting Degree
Fuller Theological Seminary
The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the theoretical foundations of African and western worldviews and their relationship to Christian theologizing. The dissertation seeks to contend two propositions: (1) Christian theology results from the disciplined reflection on God's biblical revelation by the believing hermeneutical community, and (2) a disciplined hermeneutic reflection on God's Word can best be done within the context of a people's worldview.
The study adopts both a diachronic and a microcosmic approach to Christian theologizing in contemporary Africa, i.e. a non-generalizing Christian theologizing method that confines itself to a specific people, their culture and worldview. Thus, the Akamba of southeastern Kenya provide the case study through which the study is done.
Therefore, to do Christian theology within the context of Akamba worldview, we undertook an investigative examination of the western, traditional and contemporary Akamba models of reality or knowledge systems (Chapters II, III and IV). However, since Christian theology among Akamba cannot be done in a vacuum, we have undertaken an examination of not only the western missionary backgrounds (Chapter V) from where the missionary to Ukambani was born and raised, but also have offered a critique on contemporary Akamba Christian theology (Chapter VI). The primary objective in doing this springs from the understanding that in order for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be embraced by the Akamba as God's good news, it must be clothed with Akamba worldview conceptual garments through the dynamic process of biblical contextualization.
Besides the tools of theologizing (Chapter VII) and the case study in theological reflection given to Chapter VIII, the dissertation concludes by proposing seven different theological reflection principles that the author considers should characterize both the trained theologian and the hermeneutic community. They are seven general lessons for theological contextualization which our study has led us to see. We have presented these principles as necessary attitudes for those involved in Akamba Christian theological reflection, but the non-Akamba reader should examine how the different attitudes (principles) can be applied to his particular context.