The Missionary & the Diviner: Contending Theologies of Christian and African Religions
By: Michael C. Kirwen, M.M
“Well-researched and well-written . . . recommended reading to any serious-minded pastoral agent, and to trans-cultural theologians.”—Joseph Therese Agbasiere, AMECEA Gaba Pastoral Institute
“No one reading this book can escape either the urgency or the frustration surrounding the incultruation question in Africa.”—Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S., author, Constructing Local Theologies
“The worldview of the African diviner emerges as a complex and systematic theology and opens the eyes of the Western theologian and layperson alike . . . . Brilliant . . . .”—Sara J. Talis, Society of African Missions
“Kirwen has skillfully combined a deep knowledge of Christian theology, his many years of productive pastoral work in Tanzania, and a systematic and tireless search for empirical explanations to the complex co-existence between Christianity and African indigenous religions . . . .”—B.A. Rwezaura, University of Dar es Salaam
“The best presentation of Africa religion in print today.”—Herbert Richardson, St. Michael’s College
In a series of conversations, a Christian missionary and an African diviner challenge and compare one another’s views on fundament theological questions. What is the meaning of God, of family and community? Of sickness and healing, death and the afterlife, good and evil? These discussions tellingly reveal both the vitality of traditional African religions, and Christianity’s ethnocentrism when faced with basic issues of African life.
The Missionary and the Diviner demonstrates how—and why—a culturally informed approach to evangelization is essential to the indigenization of Christianity.
Michael C. Kirwen, MM, since 1963 has divided his time between pastoral work among the Luo people of Tanzania and research, teaching, and writing cross-cultural theology.