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Transfiguring Lutheran identities in the debate on theological education in sub-Saharan Africa
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Africa Theological Journal was launched in 1968 and has ever since been an important platform for theological reflection amongst churches and institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The initiative to establish the periodical was taken in the wake of the All-Africa Lutheran Conferences in Tanzania (1955), Madagascar (1960), and Ethiopia (1965). Initially the periodical was financially supported by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and throughout the years edited and produced by the Faculty of Lutheran Theological College Makumira (now Tumaini University Makumira) in Tanzania. Despite such strong and multifaceted ties to Lutheran tradition and its many transnational links and networks, the perceptions of what it means to be Lutheran in the discourse of higher theological education remain rather vague.

The overall aim of this paper is to explore some of the perceptions of Lutheran identity in relation to the conversations on higher theological education in sub-Saharan Africa. In order to do that a partial aim is to examine some of the main features of the Lutheran educational discourse on higher theological education and ministerial formation in Africa. Another partial aim, based upon the 1983 and 2015 special issues of Africa Theological Journal that specifically focused on the Lutheran reformation, is to discuss some specific examples that clearly show what is at stake. Thus this paper will show that the reflections on denominational identity and the current interpretations of Lutheran tradition draw attention to the complex interplay between theology and theological education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Theological education, denominational consciousness, social change, higher education, Lutheran tradition, sub-Saharan Africa.
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Studies of Missions
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-305271OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-305271DiVA: diva2:1037140
The 18th Nordic Conference on Systematic Theology. Ecumenical and Interreligious Challenges. Helsinki, 7-10 January 2016.
Available from: 2016-10-13 Created: 2016-10-13 Last updated: 2016-10-14

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