To study thought as it affects religion . . . A Gathering of Unitarian Universalist Ministers
2016 Prairie Group: African Theology
Our exploration of African Theology begins. This immense topic will be narrowed by our papers and interests. The goal of this course of study is to familiarize ourselves with as much African Theological approaches as possible knowing that a whole continent, with many cultures and religions, and a history as long as the human being is difficult to completely grasp. Below you will see papers with assignments followed by readings. These readings are the required readings for the whole of Prairie Group and tied to each essay (yes it’s different this year.) Recommended readings follow at the bottom of this document. Happy reading!
Paper One: Get us started, what is the scope of the study?What possible pitfalls and opportunities does this course of study make available to UU ministers serving churches? What most interests you? Without writing the other four papers, take us on a theological reflection about the assumptions in ‘African theology’ and how it impacts us today.
Paper Two:Describe African religions and rituals as represented in African literature.Include the group selections of Things Fall Apart by Achebe and The River Between by Thiong’o, as well as other works determined by the paper writer.Describe the beliefs, practices, and social structures that the religious images and descriptions in the literature reflect.
Essay Chapter 5, “Orality, Literature, African Religions,” by Jonathan A. Draper and Kenneth Mtata (attached)
Essay Chapter 6, “African Rituals,” by Laura S. Grills (attached)
Paper Three: Explore the unique contribution of African women theologians to a global feminism. What models do African women theologians offer us in resisting patriarchy?What correctives to Western feminism do they offer us?
Paper Four: Explore the themes of resistance and resilience as they emerge in both African theology and Black Theology in the United States. How does the historical and contemporary relationship between African theology and American Black theology contribute to a vision of liberation in both theological traditions?
Prophetic Rage: A Postcolonial Theology of Liberation by Johnny Bernard Hill---(Introduction and Chapter 5 only)
The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology Edited by Dwight N. Hopkins and Edward P. Antonio ( Pp. 3 – 165 only)
Paper Five: Explore African UU communities and how they interpret UU theology. What are the promises and pitfalls for UU communities in Africa? The paper writer should consider contacting African UU ministers and exploring these topics with them, as well as listening to or reading sermons from African UU's for perspectives on the realities and possibilities of African expressions of UUism.