Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
versão On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versão impressa ISSN 1017-0499
BEGHELA, Philemon. "Rethinking African theology: Exploring the God who liberates" by Jean-Marc Ela. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2012, vol.38, suppl.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2412-4265.
Jean-Marc Ela of the Republic of Cameroon has marked the contemporary world by his writings whose echo went beyond its domestic readership. Ela, who popularly became known as the "spokesperson of Africa's diminishing status in the world", was not hesitant to write about those issues considered controversial and "no go" areas by many African societies. The author builds up his theological discourse from a question raised during a debate by a young woman who asked what "worshipping" God means for people in situations of poverty, drought, famine, injustice and oppression. The challenge of reinterpreting the message of Christ in a language appropriate for indigenous people remains a critical need. The time is now for theologians and Christian thinkers alike in Africa to propagate the Christian message of total faith from an African perspective. The radicalism of the Gospel and its lack of relevance to Africa emerge as some of the major problems facing Christianity today. The debate on the relevance of the Gospel for Africa continues to become central and inevitable. In an attempt to engage readers in this debate, the following question is asked: "What should the essential message of the Church be in the articulation of the Gospel and its relevance for the people of Africa?" In an effort to provide possible answers to the above question, I explored Ela's thoughts in one of his works entitled, Repenser la théologie africaine: le Dieu qui libère (2001).