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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The quest of African identity
Author:Appiah, Simon KofiISNI
Year:2003
Periodical:Exchange: Bulletin of Third World Christian Literature
Volume:32
Issue:1
Pages:54-65
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:African identity
African theology
Link:https://doi.org/10.1163/157254303X00136
Abstract:The author discusses some aspects of the African theological hermeneutic with specific reference to the question of African identity, inculturation and ethics. He illustrates the separation between tradition and people in Africa by considering the way communal remembering was done in different epochs of African cultural history. The first period, the intracultural stage, was the period in which African peoples and their traditions were still connected to each other. During the second, intercultural, period, African cultures were dominated by Western cultures. African peoples were considered 'nature folks', who were thought to have no history. From then on, Africans were compelled to forget their own narrative. In this way, Africans suffered 'cultural amnesia', which resulted in a crisis of narrative. This is characteristic for the third period, the era of self-alienation, which spreads over time just before, during and after independence. The spiral of humiliation consists of wars, political dictatorships and brutalities, worsening socioeconomic circumstances and the general breakdown of existence in many African communities. African leaders have inadvertently internalized colonial behaviour and act accordingly. The paper concludes with two observations about the importance of a good theological hermeneutic and the necessity of an organic approach to world history. These observations are meant to generate further rapport in the North-South theological dialogue. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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