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For Freedom or Bondage? A Critique of African Pastoral Practices
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For Freedom or Bondage? A Critique of African Pastoral Practices

by

Eerdmans 2014

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.
$24.50

Overview

In Ghana today, many people who suffer from a variety of human ills wander from one pastor to another in search of a spiritual cure. Because of the way cultural beliefs about the spiritual world have interwoven with their Christian faith, many Ghanaian Christians live in bondage to their fears of evil spiritual powers, seeing Jesus as a superior power to use against these malevolent spiritual forces.

In For Freedom or Bondage? Esther Acolatse argues that Christian pastoral practices in many African churches include too much influence from African traditional religions. She examines Ghana’s Independent Charismatic churches as a case study, offering theological and psychological analysis of current pastoral care practices through the lenses of Barth and Jung. Facilitating a three-strand conversation between African traditional religion, Barthian theology, and Jungian analytical psychology, Acolatse interrogates problematic cultural narratives and offers a more nuanced approach to pastoral care.

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Key Features

  • Examines the interweaving of African spirituality and Christian theology
  • Analyzes traditional African religion with Barthian theology and Jungian psychology
  • Investigates problems of pastoral care in Ghana

Contents

  • The Church in Ghana: A Window into Contemporary African Pastoral Practice
  • African Cosmology and African Christian Theology
  • Barth’s Theological Anthropology: An Overview
  • African Theological Anthropology in the Light of Barth’s Theological Anthropology
  • African Theological Anthropology: A Jungian Perspective
  • Toward a Model for Pastoral Counseling

Praise for the Print Edition

In this thoughtful, carefully researched, and much-needed book Esther Acolatse enters into critical engagement with African Christian pastoral practices, especially ‘deliverance’ ministries. . . . Her robust theoretical and practical approach, illustrated with actual contextual cases, avoids the dangers of over-spiritualization, under-psychologizing, and cultural irrelevance, which have marred effective care of souls in contemporary African cultures. . . . It should be required reading for all who have pastoral and educational responsibilities for persons influenced by African cultures.

—Emmanuel Y. Lartey, L. Bevel Jones III Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

This is an important book. With the increasing significance of Africa within contemporary Christianity, new and urgent theological issues are arising for pastoral practice as African understandings of the spirit world interact with the biblical materials and traditional Christian practice. Acolatse is beginning a much-needed conversation between African and Western theologians, with huge pastoral implications.

—Andrew F. Walls, professor of history of missions, Liverpool Hope University, Akrofi-Christaller Institute, Ghana

Acolatse’s proposals provide a holistic and dialogical model for pastoral care, one that engages with the ecumenical tradition and is informed by interdisciplinary analyses, while also expertly reappropriating global South perspectives, sensibilities, and cosmologies. May an increasingly Pentecostal and charismatic world Christianity take heed.

Amos Yong, professor of theology, Regent University School of Divinity

Product Details

About Esther E. Acolatse

Esther E. Acolatse is assistant professor of the practice of pastoral theology and world Christianity at Duke Divinity School.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition