Rethinking Christian Identity: African Reflections from Pauline Writings

Despite its existence for over a century in Africa and statistics putting the Christian populations at average 80 percent mostly in sub-Saharan African countries, Christianity has not managed to provide an alternative identity to ethnicity as issues of identity continue dogging the continent. Many A...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Perichoresis
Main Author: Togarasei, Lovemore
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: 2016
In:Perichoresis
Year: 2016, Volume: 14, Issue: 1, Pages: 101-114
Further subjects:B Identity ethnocentrism Ubuntu race tribe gender
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:Despite its existence for over a century in Africa and statistics putting the Christian populations at average 80 percent mostly in sub-Saharan African countries, Christianity has not managed to provide an alternative identity to ethnicity as issues of identity continue dogging the continent. Many African societies remain divided and at war on the basis of identities, be they racial, tribal, creedal, gender, class, language or other identities. Surprisingly, this state of affairs is also found even within the precincts of the church. Many churches remain divided along racial, ethnic, tribal, and other identities. One does not need to look far and wide to acknowledge this reality. Does Christianity have an identity? Could the writings of Paul address the issues of Christian identity? Or do the writings address this problem at all? These are the questions at the heart of this paper. Making use of Pauline texts such as Galatians 3:28 and scholarly works such as those of Buell and Hodge (2004:237), I discuss Paul’s understanding of Christian identity and its implications for Christian identity in Africa today.
ISSN:2284-7308
Contains:In: Perichoresis
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1515/perc-2016-0006