April 8, 2009

Yusufu Turaki on Western and African Worldviews

Yusufu TurakiSince no one submitted a question for Ask Anything Wednesday, I thought it would be a good opportunity to point out an important article analyzing Western and African worldviews. "Sharing the Burden of Defending the Gospel" was written by Yusufu Turaki, a Nigerian theologian at Jos Theological Seminary. Turaki's paper is essential reading to understand African Christianity today, especially as it so often mixes with traditional beliefs and practices or leads to cultic groups. Here is the introduction to whet your appetite:
"This paper is divided into two major parts: (1) the first examines modern Western worldviews, philosophies and religions; and (2) the second part analyzes traditional African worldviews and religious beliefs, syncretism, and religious cults.

"In the first part of the paper, I will consider the socio-political context and the environment which gave rise to both the modern philosophies and religions that are opposed to Christianity. In the second section of the paper, in which I analyze traditional African worldviews and religious beliefs and practices, a major focus will be on the ways in which African Christians often lapse into syncretism and religious cults in the expressions of their Christianity."