Original Research

Soteriology on the interface of traditional African religion and Christianity: Engaging Bediako’s soteriology and a soteriological alternative

Vhumani Magezi, Christopher Magezi
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 1 | a2068 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i1.2068 | © 2016 Vhumani Magezi, Christopher Magezi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 December 2015 | Published: 18 August 2016

About the author(s)

Vhumani Magezi, Faculty of Humanities, School of Basic Sciences, North West University, Vaal Triangle Campus, South Africa
Christopher Magezi, Faculty of Humanities, School of Basic Sciences, North West University, Vaal Triangle Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Many African scholars such as Bolaji Idowu, Mbiti, Bediako and others have posed a question about the interrelationship between traditional African religion and Christianity. Some scholars tend to exalt traditional African religion at the expense of the biblical meaning of salvation, as well as undermining the value of traditional African religion. In seeking to establish the interface between traditional African religion and Christianity, this article engages Bediako as one of the most influential African theologians who has thoroughly considered traditional African religion as a preparation for the Gospel. This approach has a danger of misidentifying the unique place of Israel in God’s redemptive history, as well as diminishing the biblical meaning of conversion and the newness of the Gospel. Thus, in contrast to Bediako’s inclusivism position, the article offers an alternative approach which argues that God’s general revelation in all pre-Christian traditional religions is a non-preparation for the Gospel. This is because in Pauline theology (Rm 1:18–32), general revelation grants humanity a very limited insight into the divine nature.


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