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Mobile Ed: TH390 Contextual Theology: Examples from Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (7 hour course)
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Mobile Ed: TH390 Contextual Theology: Examples from Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (7 hour course)

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Lexham Press 2017

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Contextual theology requires you to take human contact seriously and is an indispensable source of theology. Victor Ezigbo discusses how contextual theology can teach theologians who already do theology from a systematic, historical, or biblical perspective. Ezigbo explores the “ancestor Christologists” in Africa, who look at Jesus Christ as an “ancestor”—someone analagous to the African concept of an ancestor of the spiritual world and the physical world. He explores liberation theologians in South America and their work, including their emphasis on engaging in social action and taking on socio-political problems in their communities. Ezigbo considers Dalit theologians as an example of theology in Asia. These individuals take on the questions that the Dalits—who are considered outcasts in the traditional Hindu system — are asking about the gospel. All of these contextual theologians from around the world have learned that theologians have the responsibility of serving the church — they should identify the needs of the church and address those needs in the ways that people can understand. Contextual theology will help all theologians accomplish this great task.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Define the concept of contextual theology
  • Understand the relationship between contextual theology and other forms of theology such as systematic theology, historical theology, and biblical theology
  • Apply the strengths and criticisms associated with contextual theology

Course Outline

Unit 1: Introduction to Contextual Theology

  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course
  • What Is Contextual Theology?
  • Contextual Character of Theology
  • Method, Sources, and Resources in the Practice of Contextual Theology
  • Process of Theological Construction
  • Three Steps of Contextual Theologizing
  • Criticisms of Contextual Theology
  • Benefits of Contextual Theology
  • Contextual Theology Examples from the Earliest Christian Communities

Unit 2: History of Contextual Theology

  • Contextual Theology: Before 1950s
  • 1950s and Onwards: Africa
  • 1950s and Onwards: Latin America
  • 1950s and Onwards: Asia
  • 1950s and Onwards: North America

Unit 3: Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Christianity in Northern Africa
  • Major Factors in African Christianity
  • Key Assumptions of Western Missionaries in Africa
  • Western Missionary Strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Unit 4: Churches and Theologies

  • Reforming the Church from ”Within”
  • Reforming the Church from “Outside”
  • Features of African Indigenous Churches (AICs)
  • Rise of “African Christian Theologies”
  • Christological Presuppositions in African Christianity: Gap and Fulfillment
  • Christological Presuppositions in African Christianity: Deconstructionist
  • Christological Presuppositions in African Christianity: Reconstructionist
  • Christological Presuppositions in African Christianity: Solutions-Oriented (Grassroots)
  • Christological Presuppositions in African Christianity: Communicative and Hermeneutical

Unit 5: African Contextual Christology

  • Who Is an “Ancestor” in African Traditions?
  • How Is the Concept of “Ancestor” Useful for Doing Christology in Africa?
  • In What Ways Can Jesus Become an African Ancestor?
  • Summary and Critique of Ancestor Christology
  • Usage of the Idea of a “Revealer”
  • Illustration of the Revealer Christology

Unit 6: Christianity

  • The “Church” Today
  • What Can Christian Communities Learn from African Contextual Theology?

Unit 7: Latin America: Liberation Theology

  • Issues that Led to the Birth of Latin American Liberation Theology
  • Grassroots Response to Social/Political Issues in Latin America
  • Theologians’ Response to Social-Economic Issues of Latin America
  • Strategies of Latin American Liberation Theologians
  • Hermeneutics of Liberation Theology
  • Political Characteristics of Liberation Theology
  • Major Theological Themes in Liberation Theology: The Poor

Unit 8: Gustavo Gutierrez

  • Contributions of Gutierrez to Liberation Theologies in Latin America
  • Preferential Option for the Poor: Its Definitions
  • Preferential Option for the Poor: Its Theological Justification
  • Summary of Gutierrez’ Contributions

Unit 9: Assessing Liberation Theology

  • Criticisms of Liberation Theology
  • Responses to Criticisms of Liberation Theology
  • Reflections on Liberation Theology

Unit 10: Asia: Dalit Theology

  • Introduction to Indian Christianity
  • Dalits within Indian Caste System
  • Why Did Dalit Theology Emerge?
  • Sources of Dalit Theology
  • Dalit Resistance Movement
  • Goals of Dalit Theology
  • Contributions of Joshua Kavi Gurram to Dalit Christian Theology
  • Concluding Reflections on Dalit Theology

Unit 11: Theology

  • If Theology Is Inherently Contextual, Why Use the Term “Contextual Theology”?
  • How Does Contextual Theology Relate to Other Forms of Theology?
  • Does Contextual Theology Have a Place for a Universally Binding Theology?
  • What Blind Spots Affect How We Do Contextual Theology?
  • What Are Some of the Steps to Develop and Apply Contextual Theologies?
  • Are There Different Approaches within the Field of Contextual Theology?
  • Is There a Preferred Model of Contextual Theology?
  • Course Summary

Product Details

  • Title: TH390 Contextual Theology: Examples from Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
  • Instructor: Victor Ezigbo
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
  • Courses: 1
  • Video Hours: 7

About Victor Ezigbo

Victor Ezigbo received his PhD at the University of Edinburgh and is associate professor of systematic and contextual theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. His areas of research are Christology, African Christian theologies, African indigenous religions, and world Christianity. He is the founder of The Center for Research in Global Christianity. His recent books include

  • Introducing Christian Theologies: Voices from Global Christian Communities
  • and
  • Re–Imagining African Christologies: Conversing with the Interpretations and Appropriations of Jesus in Contemporary African Christianity.
  • Getting the most out of Mobile Ed

    Logos Mobile Education is a highly effective cross-platform learning environment that integrates world class teaching with the powerful study tools and theological libraries available in Logos Bible Software. Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.

    This course comes with an Activities resource that functions as a type of “workbook” for the course. This resource includes learning activities such as: places for you to respond to reflection questions, exercises that will challenge and show you how deepen your understanding of this course by using specific Logos tools and resources, tutorial videos on different features of Logos Bible Software, and links to relevant Logos guides and tools. A link to open the Activities resource is conveniently placed at the end of every segment.