The Church as Salt and Light
Path to an African Ecclesiology of Abundant Life
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
"This book serves as a poignant reminder that the mission and identity of the church in Africa or the African Church remain open to a rich variety of theological interpretations, imaginations, and applications. The Church as Salt and Light initiates an African theology of the Church that successfully connects ecclesiology with Christology to produce a rich flourish of possibilities for the Church in Africa. No longer will the Church imagined in this book be considered a merely abstract theological construct; it is a Church of the people, by the people, and for the people. Poised between the historic Des pretres noirs s'interrogent and the Second African Synod, The Church as Salt and Light recalls and applies Vatican II's maxim Ecclesia semper reformanda in ways that are challenging, stimulating, and refreshing. With this book, we can confidently affirm that postcolonial theology has come of age-a new world-Church is possible!"
-Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ
Professor of Contextual Theology and Ecclesiology
Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya
"To put it simply, here is a book that clearly transcends the all-too-common approaches in African Theology that, to quote an apt phrase from the Introduction, still cling to "Western theologies as canons for doing theology in Africa." Hopefully, the original and insightful approach of this work will inspire definitive change in theological methodologies in seminaries and institutions of higher learning throughout the continent. The Church as Salt and Light overcomes the theologically sterile divisions between, for example, Ecclesiology and Christology, religion and social development, and faith and life to which we are accustomed. Instead, it situates the church's vocation directly in its true setting as 'salt' and 'light' in concrete human locations. The young African scholars whose ideas make up this book reorient us in clear and powerful ways to the necessity of putting at centre-stage of theological thought the meaning of church as practical application of the liberation and solidarity that form the revelation contained in Holy Scripture. Indeed, as Pliny the Elder said two thousand years ago: 'Ex Africa semper aliquid novi,' Africa will always bring forth something new."
Professor of Moral Theology
Maryknoll Institute for African Studies, Nairobi, Kenya
"Rooted in the conditions and vibrant imagination of African Christians, this collection explores a new ecclesiology for bringing abundant life among the suffering African people. At once prophetic, pastoral, and personal, this rich tapestry weaves sub-Saharan African struggles, wisdom, and tradition as strong and integral threads into the tradition of the universal (Catholic) church. This book of highly relevant theology, courage, and vision also invites ecumenical solidarity for compassionate justice and peace."
-Marilyn J. Legge
Associate Professor of Christian Ethics
Emmanuel College of Victoria University, Toronto, Canada
"Given that the church is an interpretative source of theology the authors aptly anchor their thoughts on the necessity of de-Westernizing African Christianity in a manner that will bring about the realization of 'God's dream for Africa.' In the now vociferous call for paradigm shift in both contemporary ecclesiology and Christology this collection is both topical and seriously thought provoking."
Professor of Systematic Theology and Dean of Theology
Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, Nigeria
"The authors provide us with a biblical, theological, and integrated social analysis and some concrete pastoral proposals for a post-synodal African Church. This is a prophetic work with depth, and a refreshing attempt at a constructive and creative transformational praxis for a Church that truly and fully offers abundant life to all Africans in their very challenging social context. These young African scholars have offered the African continent and the universal church an important contribution to reimaging the African church for today and for tomorrow."
-Bishop John Okoye, STD
Professor of Biblical Theology
Spiritan International School of Theology, Enugu, Nigeria
"This book comes at a very crucial moment in the life of all Africans. Africa is summoned to reposition herself in the New World Order and there is no way this can be done than for African Scholars to help reflect on this reality and identify obstacles that hinder the fullness of life in Africa and how they can be overcome. This work is a bold demonstration of the resilience of Africans to define themselves and to swim above the tide. The authors succinctly post signposts of renewal and transformation for God's people in Africa in the midst of the present prophets of doom. This book is, therefore, a must-read for all who wish Africa well and all Africans who wish to work within the church for a better and a hopeful Africa."
-Benedict Ssettuuma Jr.
Dean of Studies
National Major Seminary Ggaba, Kampala, Uganda