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.
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.
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