Chapter

Christian Witness in the Public Sphere:

Kwame Bediako

in The Changing Face of Christianity

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780195177282
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835812 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195177282.003.0007
Christian Witness in the Public Sphere:

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This chapter describes the role of Christian churches, leaders and ideas in the democratization of Africa, with a focus on Ghana. The author argues first that African Christianity needs to be understood on African terms. European and American assumptions about religion and politics are framed by the history of the “Christendom” cultural ideal and the current secular outlook of the North Atlantic world and thus are less relevant for African politics. There is a new public theology arising that contests the tendency in traditional Africa to vest political power with sacred authority. Recounting the election of a democratic challenger to succeed Ghana’s authoritarian president, Jerry Rawlings, Bediako sees evidence that this new Christian public theology is changing the political culture in a genuinely democratic direction.

Keywords: African Christianity; African politics; Christendom; democratization; Ghana; public theology; religion and politics; Jerry Rawlings

Chapter.  7417 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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