The continuity of indigenous rituals in African ecclesiology: A Kenyan experience from a historical perspective

Julius Gathogo


The article sets out to unveil the problem: Is there any effective continuity of indigenous rituals in African ecclesiology? In other words, has the faith of the church in African Christianity given room to some African rituals that are visible in the contemporary theo-doctrinal discourses? The article is theoretically informed by Samuel Kibicho’s (1932–2011) supposition on ‘radical continuity’ in African religion into and through the Christian message. For him thus, this ‘radical continuity’ should be the starting point for African theology and African Christianity for that matter. In his view, African ecclesiology requires a ‘radical reinterpretation’ of the Christian concept of revelation, salvation, evangelization, Christ and religious rituals. While Kibicho approached African indigenous rituals from a theo-philosophical perspective, this article approaches the subject from an oral historical perspective. In its methodology, the article relies heavily on oral sources, interviews, and participant observation.


Indigenous rituals; African religion; ecclesiology; Samuel Kibicho; Kenya

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN 2413-9467 (online); ISSN 2413-9459 (print)

© 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch.

No registration, article submission or processing fees apply.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 


Powered by OJS.