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Stellenbosch Theological Journal

versión On-line ISSN 2413-9467
versión impresa ISSN 2413-9459


IHEANACHO, Valentine Ugochukwu. Engelbert Mveng and Jean Marc Éla: Bridging the gulf between liberation and inculturation. STJ [online]. 2021, vol.7, n.1, pp.1-22. ISSN 2413-9467.

The history of African theology reveals the emergence of two dominant theological trends: inculturation and liberation. The former aims to incarnate the Christian faith into African culture, while the latter seeks to reclaim the intrinsic worth of the African violated by colonialism and to promote the social transformation of Africa. However, the 1990s witnessed a preponderance of inculturation theology that engaged the attention of many African theologians. During this period, Engelbert Mveng (19301995) and Jean Marc Éla (1936-2008) sought to inculturate the Christian faith into the African soil in a manner that speaks to the peculiarities of Africa without creating a dichotomy between inculturation and liberation methods. Their respective contextual theologies contributed towards fostering a creative balance between inculturation and liberation trends. This article examines the seminal contributions of Mveng and Éla towards sieving out a decolonised African theology. It uses analytical and comparative approaches to present the theologies of Mveng and Éla. It will argue that although inculturation and liberation emphases are distinct, they are complementary in an effort to graft a contextual theology that is truly Christian and African.

Palabras clave : Africa; inculturation; liberation; Christian faith; justice; poverty.

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