What is it about?

This work is to argue that contextualization has been part of Christianity in the interpretation and proclamation of Christ’s message, and that as far as it is an indispensable aspect of Christian theologies, it must neither devalue Christian religiousity nor suggest that the eternal God who happened in history can be subjected to historicity.

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Why is it important?

One is the defensive reason of historical consequence. The ripples of Christian history has pushed it into a very defensive corner. Contextualization seeks to expose the situations that might have caused or necessitated certain past decisions that no longer seem fashionable, or those aspects of the past that were anything but religiously motivated, yet have been judged and condemned as Christian issues. On the offensive side of contextualization is the second reason based on the claims of eternal truth. Contextualization, however, exposes the fallibilities of time. It exposes that every development is time-bound, every decision is limited to the many contexts of the milieu. So the seeming contradiction makes religious contextualization an interesting search for the balance between the eternal truths and the necessary changes in Christianity. The third reason dwells on the new theological challenge of 21st century; the upsurge of pluralistic theologies and the ‘de-westernization’ of Christian theology. Classical theology has been sustained by two sources; scripture and church tradition (loci theologici). But contextual theology has an additional paradigm, the present human experience.


With the help of Fr. Rowland Onyenali, this wonderful work was realized. I recommend it, not just to students and the academia but to people who are concerned over the relevance of Christian messages.

kizito Nweke

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Contextualization as a Critical Transformative Agent in Christianity, Exchange, April 2018, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/1572543x-12341476.
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