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MODERN EVANGELICAL AFRICAN THEOLOGIANS: A Primer Print E-mail
Written by Kevin L. Howard   
While not exhaustive, this information includes mostly Sub-Saharan conservative* theologians, and most of them are from East or West Africa.  I don't claim to be an expert on African evangelical theology or theologians.  This is a work in progress and if you have suggestions for whom to add or delete, let me know.  Also let me know if a link isn't working.  Email me here.

 

This page does not necessarily endorse the views of any of these theologians listed below.

 

A Few Evangelical African Theologians:

  • ADEYEMO, Tokunboh (deceased): Nigerian.  He was general editor to the Africa Bible Commentary.  He authored several articles and books, including Is Africa Cursed: A Vision for the Radical Transformation of an Ailing Continent.
  • ADIOYE, Ebele: Ivoirian.  His PhD dissertation from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Cordova, Tennessee, covered selected art forms of the Baoule people relating to evangelism, spiritual warfare, and church planting.  He published an article in Journal of Evangelism and Missions on spiritual warfare and revival regarding the Daloa Baptist revival.  He is the founder and president of Institut Baptiste de Formation Pastorale et Missionnaire (IBFPM) of the Baptist Convention of Cote d'Ivoire.
  • AHOGA, Augustin Cossi: Beninese.  He wrote the commentaries to Jonah and Nahum in the Africa Bible Commentary and works as the Regional Secretary of IFES-GBUAF for Francophone Africa.
  • ANDRIATSIMIALOMANANARIVO (Andria), Solomon: Malagasy.  He wrote one article and four commentaries on NT books in the Africa Bible Commentary.  He is also the author of La Théologie: Une Introduction and a professor at La Faculté de Théologie Evangélique de l'Alliance Chrétienne (FATEAC) in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
  • BEDIAKO, Kwame (deceased): Ghanaian.  He contributed to the Africa Bible Commentary and was the author of a few books, including Christianity in Africa: The Renewal of a Non-Western Religion.  He was the founder and director of Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture in Akropong, Ghana. (For an excellent article critiquing some of Bediako's views, see Keith Ferdinando, "Christian Identity in the African Context: Reflection on Kwame Bediako's Theology and Identity" in JETS 50/1 March 2007. Also see "Kwame Bediako: Considerations on the Motivating Force behind His Theology and Identity.")
  • BOSCH, David (deceased): South African.  Ordained by the Dutch Reformed Church, he taught missiology at University of South Africa.  One of his key books was Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. 
  • CAREW, M. Douglas (deceased): Sierra Leonean.  He wrote his PhD dissertation at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) on "To Know and Not to Know: Hosea's Knowledge in Discourse Perspective."  He contributed to the Africa Bible Commentary.  He serves as vice chancellor at Africa International University (AIU)--formerly the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (NEGST).
  • COLE, Victor Babajide: Nigerian.  He wrote one article and Mark in the Africa Bible Commentary and has authored a separate work, Training of the Ministry.
  • COULIBALY, Issiaka: Ivorian.  He has taught at FATEAC and made several contributions to the Africa Bible Commentary.
  • DEMBELE, Youssouf: Malian.  He authored Habakkuk in the Africa Bible Commentary and now pastors a church in Mali.
  • HABTU, Tewoldemedhin: Eritrean.  He teaches OT studies at Africa International University (AIU)--formerly the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (NEGST)--and he wrote several pieces in the Africa Bible Commentary.
  • IMASOGIE, Osad: Nigerian?  He used to teach in Nigeria and wrote Guidelines for Christian Theology in Africa.
  • KALELI, Jones: Kenyan.  He took his PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary and now teaches at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia.  Read more here.
  • KALU, Ogbu (deceased): Nigerian?  He was the Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago.  He published 18 books and over 180 articles in journals and as book chapters, including African Pentecostalism: An Introduction.
  • KARAMAGA, Andre: Rwandian.  He is the president of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda and serves as a vice-president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.  He wrote several pieces, including Evangile en Afrique: Ruptures et Continuité.
  • KATO, Byang (deceased): Nigerian.  He is considered the father of evangelical African theology.  His most notable work was Theological Pitfalls in Africa.  A biography of his life has been published.  Read more here and here.
  • KEÏTA, Isaac: Guinean.  While at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS), he wrote his doctoral dissertation on spiritual formation in African theological education.  He is dean at FATEAC.
  • NDJERAREOU, Abel Laoundoye: Chadian.  He served previously as the principal of Faculté de Théologie Evangélique de Bangui in Central African Republic and wrote several pieces in the Africa Bible Commentary.
  • NGEWA, Samuel: Kenyan.  He served as a theological editor for the Africa Bible Commentary and wrote many articles in it.  He teaches NT at AIU.
  • OUOBA, Elisee: Burkinabé.  He is completing his PhD at Wheaton University. He has teaching experience at the college at Bangui.  His area is New Testament.
  • PHIRI, Isabel Apawo: Malawian.  She was a theological advisor for the Africa Bible Commentary and wrote several articles in it.
  • SEMENYE, Lois Mvuli: Kenyan.  She is currently dean of Instruction and Head of Christian Education at Nairobi International School of Theology.  She is an author in the Africa Bible Commentary.
  • SOUNGALO, Soro: Ivorian.  He wrote Philemon and a few other articles in the Africa Bible Commentary.
  • TIÉNOU, Tite: Burkinabé.  He is Senior Vice President of Education, Dean of TEDS. He was former president and dean of FATEAC.  He has written several books, including The Theological Task of the Church in Africa.  Read more here.
  • TURAKI, Yusufu: Nigerian.  Not only did he serve as a theological advisor for the Africa Bible Commentary but also made a significant authorial contribution to it.  He's a translation consultant for International Bible Society.
  • ZOKOUÉ, Isaac: Ivoirian.  He teaches at FATEB in Central African Republic.  He has written several works, one of which is Jésus-Christ Sauveur: Le Mystère des Deux Natures.

 

Theologians Worth Noting But Perhaps Not Conservative Evangelicals:

  • Kä Mana: Congolese.  He claims to be an evangelical but some people take issue with a few of his ideas.  He is the author of several books, including Christians and Churches of Africa: Salvation in Christ and Building a New African Society.  He used to be, and perhaps still is, the Directeur du Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Œcuméniques et Sociales (CEROS).
  • MBITI, John: Kenyan.  No site about Protestant African theology would be complete without at least mentioning Mbiti.  He is the father of modern African protestant theology and has authored many books, including Introduction to African Religions. (For a concise contrast between Mbiti and B. Kato's theological focus, see Keith Eitel's article, "Contextualization: Contrasting African Voices" in Criswell Theological Review Vol 2, No. 2, Spring 1988.)
  • SANNEH, Lamin: Gambian.  He is a Roman Catholic who teaches at Yale Divinity School and is the author of the book, Translating the Message.
  • Other noteworthy authors†: Paul FUETER, "Theological Education in Africa" (1956), E. Bolaji IDOWU, Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief (1962), V. MULAGO, Un visage africain du christianisme (1965),Harry SAWYERR, Creative Evangelism--Towards a New Christian Encounter With Africa (1968), Kwesi DICKSON, Theology in Africa (1984), Justin UKPONG, African Theologies (1984), G. H. MUZOREWA, The Origins and Development of African Theologies (1985), E. W. FASHOLÉ-LUKE, "The Quest for African Christian Theologies" (The Ecumenical Review 27, 1975), John POBEE, Toward an African Theology (1979), T. TSHIBANGU, La théologie comme science au XXème siècle (1980), J.N.K. MUGAMBI, African Christian Theology: An Introduction (1989).  [†The chapters by Tiénou and Bediako in Issues in African Christian Theology were especially helpful.  Also see the bibliography of "African Theology" by James C. Okoye.]

 

Miscellaneous African Evangelical Theological Groups or Websites:

 

Notable Western Evangelical Scholars With African Ties or Influence:

  • Blocher, Henri: He has produced several works in French and teaches at Wheaton College.
  • Bowers, Paul.  He is currently based in the United States but spends two months full-time at George Whitefield College each year teaching Pauline studies and leading seminars.  Paul has served with SIM International in theological education in Africa since 1968 in Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe.  He has published a number of books and articles about African theologians or theology. 
  • Eitel, Keith.  He served as a career missionary (professor) in Cameroon and is now Professor of Missions, Director of the World Missions Center, and Dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
  • Ferdinando, Keith.  He used to work with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) mostly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire).  He has taught at the London School of Theology and is still affiliated with that institute although he is now at RIET (or FATER), a theological faculty in Kigali, Rwanda, set up by leaders of the AER to train leaders for the churches of the AER.  
  • Kraft, Charles: He served in Nigeria and teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary.
  • Kuen, Alfred: He has written many books that are widely used among French-speaking Africans.  [need more information].
  • May, Stan: He was a missionary in Zimbabwe; now he teaches at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
  • Moreau, Scott: He served for 10 years in Swaziland and Kenya as a missionary.  He edits Evangelical Missions Quarterly and is professor of Intercultural Studies and Missions at Wheaton College.  He also edited the Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions.
  • van den Toren, Benno: While from the Netherlands, he was formally at the Bangui seminary for about 10 years; he's currently teaching at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University.
  • van Rheenen, Gialyn: He served in Kenya as a missionary and teaches at Abilene Christian University. 
  • Walls, Andrew: He is a former missionary to Sierra Leone and Nigeria, now teaching at the University of Edinburgh.

 

For Further Study:

  • Africa Bible Commentary, general editor Tokunboh Adeyemo.  (See the list of contributors for more information on many evangelical African theologians.)
  • Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology is a scholarly evangelical theological journal offering articles and book reviews relating to theology and ministry in Africa.  It is published twice a year by the staff of Scott Theological College in Kenya.  (See various issues for African contributors.)
  • "African Theology" by James C. Okoye.  (See the bibliography.)
  • African Theology and Social Change: Bibliography Part 1: A to N.  (See this extensive bibliography.)
  • The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians (Not obviously evangelical but could be a good resource for research on or among African women theologians.)
  • Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia by Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom. (IVP/2011.)
  • CONSPECTUS: The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary.  Some issues are available on Logos Bible Software.  (See various issues for African contributors.)
  • Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions.  It's available on Logos.  (See contributors and relevant articles.)
  • Evangelical Theological College in Ethiopia.  (See faculty page.)
  • George Whitefield College in South Africa.  (See faculty page.)
  • "GLOBAL CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: An Annotated Bibliography with Emphasis on Non-White Theologians" by Bethel Theological Seminary.  (See their list of evangelical and non-evangelical theologians.)
  • Introduction à la Théologie Evangélique (unpublished) by Benno van den Toren.  (His bibliography is extensive.)
  • Issues in African Christian Theology edited by Samuel Ngewa, Mark Shaw, and Tite Tiénou, 1998 (See the list of contributors and their bibliographies.)
  • Journal of African Christian Thought is a periodical of Akrofi-Christaller Institute.  (See various issues for African contributors.)
  • La Théologie: Une Introduction by Andriatsimialomananarivo (Andria), Solomon.  (See his bibliography.)
  • Textbooks for Theological Education in Africa: An Annotated Bibliography by Richard L. Starcher and Enosh A. Anguandia.  (See this 200-plus-page PDF book of unbelievably helpful resources about Africa or by Africans.)
  • "The Thailand Report on People of African Traditional Religions" is a helpful pamphlet resulting from the findings of several African theologians in Pattaya, Thailand (1998).  (See the list of contributors on the back cover of this pamphlet.)

 

Quick Links to Some Evangelical French Resources:

 

*By conservative I mean those who would likely agree with the following statement: "The books which form the canon of the Old and New Testaments as originally given are plenarily inspired and free from all error in the whole and in the part.  These books constitute the written Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice."  (Taken from Harold Lindsell's book, The Battle for the Bible, p. 107, regarding Fuller Theological Seminary's original statement of faith.)  [Some above theologians would clearly have great respect for the Word of God but repudiate such labeling or wording as unnecessary western add-ons.  Bediako seems to be a case in point.]

 

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