Nigerian Agbonkhianmeghe E Orobator‘s Theology Brewed in an African Pot is aimed at ‘non-professional Christians’ in Africa as well as those from outside the continent who are interested in learning how theology is done in Africa. There are many things that Christians of different backgrounds can agree on as central to theology but there are also things that Orobator believes the African can and ought to be able to perceive and express through the prism of his African religious and cultural heritage.
Orobator believe theology can not be separated from the affections and so he prefers to add ‘love and hope’ to Anselm’s definition of theology as ‘faith seeking understanding’. Additionally, he can not conceive of theology happening outside the community of praying, worshiping and praising believers. Thus his definition of theology is ‘faith seeking understanding, love, hope, prayer, praise and worship.’
Each chapter contains a prayer and I share here the words at the end of the first chapter which seemed to me an excellent preparation for any theological endeavour:
You who poured milk into the coconut without opening its shell,
may your word find a way in, even when
stubbornness shuts the door to my heart.
You who planted the banana tree without the help of a seed,
may your blessing germinate in my life, even when
hardness of heart makes the soil infertile.
You who divided the kola-nut without splitting apart its lobes,
may evil thoughts and malicious intentions vanish
from my heart without leaving a trace.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.