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OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies

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The relevance of the church in oppressive situations: The Praxis of Liberation Theology in Africa

KL Nwadialor, CC Nweke

Abstract


In many respects, the situation in Africa now resembles the situation in Latin America under which liberation theology irrupted. A situation under which both human and non human factors (external and internal) reduces the masses of the people to abject poverty and misery. African theologians have been attempting to grapple with these problems and to relate the gospel to the practical issues, whether social and political, cultural and liturgical which confronts them. This is because the Christian faith is not something extrinsic to the afflictions of the oppressed, but it is rather a motivating force which demands that the oppressed must be liberated in order to make room for the realization of the historical translation of the salvific deed of Jesus and the salvific will of God. However, so far, it appears that African theologians have not given enough thought to linking theology closely to the socio-economic and political situations in Africa as it has been done in Latin America. This situation has therefore called for an adequate and clear theology and the development of liberation praxis born out of the living experience of the African people. We therefore believe that the stage is now set when African theologians will help the people to uncover the liberative dimension of their faith and call for a discipleship in praxis as the beginning of theological reflection.



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