Sustainable eco-theology for African churches

Imagining a home-grown hermeneutics of sustainability




Hermeneutics of Sustainability, Eco-Theology, African Worldviews, Ecological hermeneutics, African Christianity/churches, African Traditions/values


The article reflects on how African Christianity can attempt home-grown solutions for sustainable life in Africa. John Mbiti alleged that missionaries established a Christianity that befits European worldviews and despised African traditional values. Missions, though they brought the Gospel together with literacy and medicine, made westernization the way of human “advancement.” Locals came to believe that “progress” consists not in being themselves, but in imitating foreign ways. It impaired the hermeneutical abilities of Africans to understand the world through their own cultural systems. Today this impairment prevents the concept of connectedness of life to unfold in African life, churches, and politics. Just as their evangelisers, the converted African Christians relate with the earth in the mood of subject (humans) versus objects (nature). This article construes African moral dimension of nature, the sense of community (Ubuntu) and the cosmological role of kingship as vehicle for Christian hermeneutics of sustainability in Africa and African churches.

Author Biography

Kivatsi Jonathan Kavusa, University of Pretoria

Research Associate in Department of Old Testament and Hebrew  Scriptures/University of Pretoria Alexander von Humbold Research Fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.






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