Webinar: Refractions of Hermeneutics in African Theology: A South-North Conversation

7 June 2022 14:30 - 16:00

In this conversation, ATW and CTCW’s Prof Benno van den Toren will dialogue with Langham Literature African Coordinator Dr Liz Mburu about the place of hermeneutics in the discourses of current African Theology scholarship. 


Theology is contextually conditioned such that one’s theologizing is always geared towards addressing issues that arise from the specific context where the Christian faith is lived. This is not surprising because as an academic discipline, African Theology emerged because African Christians felt that the answers they received through participation in the inherited forms of western missionary Christianity were not directed to the questions they were asking. Hence, they began to re-read the Bible to encounter a God speaking directly to their local African cultural contexts. This contextual reading means that what Africans are presently doing with the Bible, when they read it with eyes and ears attentive to the African cultural context, far exceeds what missionaries had imagined (Kerr 2006: 76). Thus, the aim of African biblical hermeneutics is not to extrapolate objective truth as an end in itself. Rather, African hermeneutics ensures that African biblical interpretations contribute to the growth of the church and the contextual transformation of Africa in ways that benefit all of Africa’s Christian communities (West 2018: 248).

Consequently, African Theology Worldwide and the Centre for Theology and Christianity Worldwide are hosting a conversation that aims at exploring the refractions of hermeneutics in African Christianity and the theologies produced by the continent’s biblical scholarship. 


Based on key hermeneutical fragments of Liz’s book African Hermeneutics and Benno’s upcoming article “Reading the Bible in the Context of Christianity Worldwide,” the conversation will explore insights that have guided African Christian hermeneutics as African Christian constituents seek ways by which they can become at home in the Christian faith and contribute to Christianity worldwide.


  • Elizabeth Mburu. 2019. African Hermeneutics. Carlisle: HippoBooks.
  • Benno van den Toren.2022. ‘Lire la Bible dans le contexte du Christianisme mondial’ [Reading the Bible in the Context of Christianity Worldwide]. In Lire La Bible Aujourd’hui, edited by Lydia Jaeger, 385–407. La Société biblique française - Bibli’O. [Forthcoming]


After registration you will receive a hyperlink to our digital platform zoom to join the webinar.


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