More Information
ISBN: 9781783687596
Imprint: HippoBooks
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 26
Publication Date: 30/04/2020
Pages: 510
Language: English

Engaging Religions and Worldviews in Africa

A Christian Theological Method


In a world of increasing globalization, we live amidst a clash of cultures, religions, and worldviews – each battling for the human heart and mind.

In this in-depth study, Yusufu Turaki offers a theological framework for engaging this clash of perspectives in Africa, where traditional African religions, colonialism, and exposure to Christianity have each had a lasting impact on contemporary African worldviews. Professor Turaki undertakes a systematic analysis of the nature of African Traditional Religion, its complex history with Christianity, and the need for African Christian theology to address its cultural and historical roots effectively. He provides both a conceptual framework and practical guide for engaging African cultures and religions with compassion, understanding, and a firm foundation rooted in scriptural truth. This book is an excellent resource for students of religion and theology, as well as those interested in Africa’s traditional heritage or drawn to the important work of cross-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.

Author Bios

Yusufu Turaki

THE REVEREND PROFESOR YUSUFU TURAKI was Provost of Jos ECWA Theological Seminary (JETS); General Secretary of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA); National Vice-President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Language Consultant, International Bible Society (IBS); Executive Secretary of Ethics, Peace and Justice Commission of the Association of the Evangelicals of Africa (AEA) and presently a Professor of Theology and Social Ethics at JETS, Jos, Nigeria and Chief Executive Director of the Yusuf Turaki Foundation. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Ethics (Boston University), a Double Major Masters in Theology and Ethics (Gordon-Conwell), Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Yale Divinity School. He is married to Deborah and they have 4 children. Prof. Turaki is author of several books, book chapters, articles, papers and manuscripts in ethics, theology, missions, development, colonialism, Islam, African contemporary socio-political issues and African Traditional Religion and culture.


This book is one of Professor Turaki’s tremendous contributions to African theological, social and ethical reflections. Its interdisciplinary and multidimensional approach and perspective makes it a very critical theological handbook.

Rev Sunday Bobai Agang, PhD
ECWA Theological Seminary (JETS), Jos, Nigeria

This book not only guides the African scholar and pastor, it also models a method of theologizing that can be used by faithful theologians in any culture where a traditional worldview needs to be renewed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dr Joshua Bogunjoko, MD
SIM International Director

Turaki pitches his strong voice a notch higher in this book, suggesting a new methodology in the search for genuine Christian understanding that takes into consideration spiritual and social needs of African Traditional Religions.

Rev Aiah Foday-Khabenje, PhD
Association of Evangelicals in Africa

This classic from Turaki is a theological road-map for constructing an African Christian theology for public engagement!

Randee Ijatuyi-Morphe, PhD
Director, Hokma House, Nigeria

This book is a definitive text on the methodology for a sound Christian understanding of African Traditional Religion and its pervasive influence on the mindset of Africans that is bothbiblically rooted and theologically responsible.

Pastor Cosmas Ilechukwu, DMin
General Overseer, Charismatic Renewal Ministries, Inc.

The genius of the book is found in the extraordinary use of a method that reflects on the inner logic and workings of the traditional religious mind and thought in order to formulate an African theology that is relevant and biblical. In this regard, it is a double-edged sword that cuts deeply into African Traditional Religion and presents a truly biblical African Christianity.

Samuel Waje Kunhiyop, PhD
ECWA Theological Seminary, Kagoro, Nigeria

Turaki has provided a masterly and comprehensive work which will remain a reference point and guide for students and pastors for many years to come. It will surely go a long way to fulfil the author’s hope that it will help to strengthen the faith and commitment of African Christians, and that African peoples, societies and nation-states will thereby be renewed and transformed.

The Most Rev Dr Benjamin A. Kwashi
Bishop of Jos, Nigeria

I believe this volume will stand for decades to come not only as Professor Turaki’s magnum opus, but as a cherished guide to serious African Christians and scholars.

Pastor Gary S. Maxey, PhD
Founder, West Africa Theological Seminary

Given the challenges facing the church in Africa, this book is a valuable and timely contribution to the ongoing conversation on the nature and expression of modern African Christianity.

Elizabeth Mburu, PhD
Pan-Africa Christian University, Nairobi, Kenya

Everyone who serves the church in Africa, whether foreigner or indigene, will minister more effectively by reading and understanding the diverse facts and interpretations found in this book. I have often told my students and friends that Yusufu Turaki is Africa’s most thoughtful and prolific theologian. This book confirms that conviction by showcasing his vast knowledge, experience, wisdom and hard work.

Danny McCain, PhD
University of Jos, Nigeria

Turaki’s written and spoken words are as powerful as his presence. If you want to know what’s happening with the Christian gospel, as presented and received by Africans, this book is a definitive account. In my over forty years as a pastor and teacher, I have never run across a book that made such profound analysis of the engagement and interaction of religions and worldviews.

Rev Bauta D. Motty, PhD
ECWA Theological Seminary (JETS), Jos, Nigeria

Turaki’s wisdom and biblical and theological prowess in handling this sensitive subject in a comprehensive and balanced manner is commendable.

James Nkansah-Obrempong, PhD
Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, Kenya

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Preface and Acknowledgements
  3. Introduction
  4. The Approach
  5. Procedure
  6. Definition of Terms
  7. Part I: Understanding Western Christianity and Worldviews
    1. The Legacy of Western Christianity in Africa and the Need for an African Christian Theology
    2. Reactions to Missionary Christianity
    3. Approaches and Typologies of African Theology
    4. African Theological Issues
  8. Part II: Towards an Understanding of African Traditional Religion
    1. Various Approaches to the Study of Religion and Culture
    2. Defining Religion
    3. On Studying African Traditional Religion
    4. Fundamental Theological Beliefs
    5. Fundamental Psychological Beliefs
    6. Fundamental Philosophical Beliefs
    7. Fundamental Moral and Ethical Laws
    8. Ethical and Moral Principles
    9. The Supreme Being
    10. Gods, Divinities and Spirits: Monotheism or Polytheism
    11. Communication With and From the Spirit World
    12. The Acquisition of Power
    13. The Exercise of Power
    14. Being Human
    15. The Meaning of Life
  9. Part III: Engagement and Interaction between Christianity and the African Traditional Religion and Worldview
    1. Introduction
    2. Engaging with the Traditional Belief in Impersonal (Mystical) Powers
    3. The Power of God’s Sovereignty
    4. Engaging with the Traditional Belief in Spirit Beings
    5. Engaging with the Traditional Belief about the Origin of Spirit Beings
    6. Engaging with the Traditional Belief and Good and Evil
    7. Engaging with the Traditional Belief in Gods and Divinities
    8. Engaging with the Traditional Belief in Ancestors
    9. The Mediator: Jesus the Messiah
    10. Engaging with the Traditional Belief in the Supreme Being
    11. The Doctrine of God
    12. Engaging with the Traditional Roots of Spiritual Idolatry
    13. Engaging with the African Holistic Worldview
    14. The Power and Authority of Jesus the Messiah
    15. Engaging with the Traditional Communal Worldview
    16. Engaging with Traditional Moral and Ethical Beliefs
    17. Engaging with the Traditional Concept of Leadership
    18. Engaging with Governance, Management and Administration
    19. Engaging with the Need to Create a Responsible and Just Society
    20. Engaging with Traditional Human Values
    21. Engaging with the Doctrine of Man
    22. Engaging with the Doctrine of Sin
    23. Engaging with the Concept of Covenants
    24. Biblical Theology
    25. A Theological Framework of Religions and Cultures
    26. To Sum Up
  10. Conclusion
  11. Bibliography