ETH5210EN - Contemporary Issues in African Society

Course description

To give a meaningful and purposeful existence to its adherents and to have public prophetic voice, African Christianity needs to make deep and significant contribution in interpreting the past, analyzing the present, and setting a path for the future. The impact of the slave trade and colonialism is still haunting Africans after many generations. The global financial system, the presence of China in Africa, the corruption in African leadership, the higher level of unemployment, and the challenge of radical Islam, begs for theological and missiological analysis. For many Africans, the future is dark. This course provides theological understanding of the past, and missiological analysis of the present and the future.

How this course benefits students

It is very difficult to understand where God is during difficult times and why he allows suffering. Theology of the cross will help the students to understand and get meaning out of the meaningless past of Africans, particularly, the slave trade and colonialism. God’s redemptive plan in its all aspects provides answer to the other pertinent issues discussed in this course.

Why this course is important

In response to many challenges and issues Africans are currently facing, this course concentrates on theological and missiological approach to interpret the past and analyze the present. Accepting new challenges, making new relationships, liberation from intellectual and spiritual bondage, dealing with visible and invisible violence, are the main feature of this course.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Ethnic Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Barry Tolmay, Professor of African Christianity

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

God never promised us that Christians would be immune from suffering. Nevertheless, he has promised he will sustain us through difficult times. It is biblical to understand the place of suffering in the lives of Christians, the history of the church, and the mission movement.

Missionally driven

Since the birth of Jesus Christ, Christianity never had a respite from the attack of the ENEMY. In Christian mission shame and glory, joy and suffering, crown and thorn, acceptance and rejection, inseparably go together. This course analyzes the relevance of Christianity in modern Africa in the light of this truth.

Contextually informed

Africa is a vast continent. What is true in East or South Africa does not mean relevant and applicable across the continent. The course avoids simplistic approach and generalization of theories and analysis.

Interculturally focused

Despite their differences, Africans have a lot in common. Migration, suffering, rejection, their openness to spiritual realities, tribal concept, are good avenues for intercultural communication. This course provides insight to enhance the unity of the church and the African people.

Practically minded

Christianity takes deep root in any culture when it is applicable, transforms society, and introduces healthy and lasting change. All the theories discussed in this course leads to practical action.

Experientially transformed

For students who do not have historical or cultural affinity with the black people, we do our best to facilitate opportunities of exposure and interaction in the black community.