The West and China in Africa
Civilization without Justice
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
432 Pages, 7.00 x 10.00 x 0.86 in
- Published: November 2015
- Published: November 2015
- Published: November 2015
The West and China in Africa: Civilization without Justice is an outcome of Dr. Alemayehu Mekonnen's personal intellectual struggle, life experience, and an attempt to understand Christ and his message within the cultural context of Africa. The intellectual struggle has to do with the paradoxical reality of Africa's situation. An attempt to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable situation of Africa tests and stretches anyone's mind beyond limit. According to archaeological and geological findings, Africa is the first habitat of humanity and yet it is the least habitable place in the world today. The continent is extremely rich with natural resources, but it is known for poverty, disease, malnutrition, and starvation. As some Afro-centric scholars argue, Africa is the birthplace of world civilization and yet it is known for destruction. Social instability is rampant; coup d'etat and counter coup d'etat is common. Displacement and the number of refugees are ever increasing. As a person of African origin and now a US citizen, Mekonnen was able to see realities objectively in the eyes of an African and American. This book explores the myth and reality of Western, Eastern, and African dictators' role in the history of Africa.
"Alex Mekonnen has written a wide-ranging and ambitious survey of African realities, past and present. While frankly admitting the dangers and difficulties the continent faces, he also offers hope in the form of applying the Jewish and Christian prophetic tradition to a region that seems so ideally suited for it. A daring exploration of the idea of the Kingdom of God in the contemporary world."
--Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History, Institute for Studies of Religion,
"Building on an African centrist appreciation of the historical perspectives, this study successfully analyzes Africa/West relations from every perspective. Readers will learn much about advanced civilizations in Africa and the tragedies of internal and external (no longer only Western, but now predominantly from China) forces that repeatedly have brought the continent's inhabitants unimaginable suffering. Above all, I appreciate the author's awareness that any solution is to be found in the realm of the human heart and the question of faith. Read this work to understand the geopolitics of the modern world and the critical role of Christianity."
--Rick Hess, Professor of Old Testament, Denver Seminary
"Alemayehu Mekonnen's outstanding book on Africa is informative, serious, convicting, and thought-provoking for anyone who cares about humanity. For centuries, psychological, economic, social, and cultural injustices have been heaped on Africans by internal and external powers. Mekonnen shows how, in the midst of chaos and turmoil, Africans have successfully contributed major innovations in the fields of economy, science, medicine, philosophy, architecture, mathematics, technology, literature, the arts, and theology. With sincere optimism, Mekonnen points to the real answer for Africans--"the crucified Christ [who] has power to transform despair into triumph." A must-read by all serious Christians."
--Helene Dallaire, Professor of Old Testament, Denver Seminary
"Passionate and deeply personal, The West and China in Africa is a detailed treatise on Africa's sociopolitical and economic condition. Mekonnen works to dispel Western stereotypes, both secular and religious, of the continent. His is not the voice of victimization, as Mekonnen also points to African complicity in the centuries of sinful abuse. Succumbing neither to cynicism nor despair, he argues that any hope of justice for Africa's long-suffering peoples must be grounded in the cross of Jesus and the kingdom of God."
--M. Daniel Carroll R., Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Denver Seminary
"Expect Alex Mekonnen's newest book to open your eyes wide and cause your spirit to lament what the West has done and what China may now be preparing to do in Africa (though the jury is still out). Economically, socially, and politically, even through well-intentioned humanitarian aid, untold human suffering has been provoked from the centuries of the slave trade until the present, exacerbated by the consistent corruption of many African leaders themselves. But Mekonnen does not become embittered or leave you without hope. The cross-centered gospel unpacked in all its dimensions, still provides answers for those with ears to hear."
--Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
"The West and China in Africa by Dr. Mekonnen is an expansive exposition of the affects of Western and Chinese elements on the African people. There have been many who have attempted to lay open the wounds that Africa has suffered at the hands of its 'conquerors,' but none that I know of have done as thorough and as heart-felt job as Alex has. The emotion of one who has suffered, both personally and empathetically, the wrongs of modernity, capitalism, and imperialism from extra-continental influences empowers the message of this book in a way that a mere academic treatise never would. I would highly recommend this book to all of us who, by intention or by default, are part of the oppressive nature of Western presence abroad. Alex brings truth to us in a palatable form, but in a realistic way that drives itself home to the soul of whomever is truly ready to receive it. May this message reach the heart of many so that the 'our sins and the sins of our fathers' will not be repeated by our children."
--Les Hirst, Program Director, Global Engagement Program, Global Mapping International
"Thoroughly researched and lucidly argued, The West and China in Africa is an authoritative and balanced statement on the major causes of Africa's perennial distress. Without ignoring internal factors, Mekonnen shows in a forthright yet irenic tone that the West's long history of exploitative engagement on the continent, along with its legacy of anthropological denigration of Blacks at home and abroad, has contributed in no small way to Africa's deplorable condition. But the book doesn't stop there. It goes on to challenge and empower Africans and people of African descent, to shed that paralyzing legacy and forge a hopeful future by recovering and reclaiming their glorious past, and more importantly by trusting firmly in the God of the future. For Africans at home and in the diaspora, this is a must-read."
--Dieumeme Noelliste, Professor of Theological Ethics, Director of the Grounds Institute of Public Ethics, Denver Seminary
"Alex Mekonnen speaks to this topic with passion and from experience. He successfully avoids the extremes of an uncritical dogmatism, and a disconnected analysis of the current situation in Africa. Rather, here is an informed, knowledgeable, and fair assessment of an important topic from one who speaks with firsthand experience. This is certainly bound to emerge as the standard treatment of this crucial issue. A must-read for anyone dealing specifically with the topic of China in Africa and the resulting political situation, but also for a penetrating analysis of culture and issues of social justice. At the same time it will challenge those of us in the West, and perhaps will make us somewhat uncomfortable! I recommend this book highly."
--David Mathewson, Associate Professor, Denver Seminary