Inculturation Methodology as the Medium towards the Formulation and Establishment of an African Ecclesiology of Ubuntu.
The emergence of ecclesiology scholarship in recent theological discourse has exposed the various approaches that ecclesiology has been studied as a distinctive discipline. The traditional ecclesiological approach has prioritized the scholarship of ecclesiology from the perspective of specific denominational orders. There has also been an approach of ecclesiology that revolves around the perspective of some renowned theologians on the basis of their affiliation to their respective church organizations. The most recent approach has been the global ecclesiology that prioritizes the concept of contextualization while looking at ecclesiological discourse from distinct sociocultural-geographical contexts. Three geographical regions hold a wealth of significance by virtue of the global trajectory of Christianity towards the global South: Asia, Africa and Latin America. African ecclesiology plays a critical role in this arrangement and is a major contributor to global ecclesiology. In this understanding, it is imperative for the pursuit of an African ecclesiology to appreciate the concept of Ubuntu as a definitive expression of the African identity. The problem is the methodology of ecclesiological scholarship in Africa that ignores the significance Ubuntu has and resultantly births a foreign ecclesiology to the indigenous African population. It is important to acknowledge that the approach of ecclesiology that will thrive in Africa is nothing less than an Ubuntu ecclesiology that prioritizes community and relationships reminiscent of our traditional African portrait as foundational pillars for her establishment. The formulation and establishment of an African friendly ecclesiology of Ubuntu can only be facilitated by the usage of the inculturation method of theology. This methodology accords due consideration to the African heritage with regard to their culture, spirituality and religious background emphasizing the values from traditional Africa that are helpful to Christian life and condemning those practices that are non-Christian in nature.
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