Hermeneutics in the context of African traditional religion : with particular reference to the Mpondo people in Lusikisiki, Flagstaff and Bizana areas of Transkei.
The primary reason for writing a thesis on this particular theme is to focus on some of the explosive and obscure issues that touch on the lives of many Africans near and far. Much has already been said and written in this land about Black Theology and African Theology. About African Traditional Religion very little has been written. In actual fact there are some people who would not even credit it as an acceptable topic for academic debate. Yet it is a religion that lived and was practised by almost all African Christians in this country and further north in the continent. In this thesis an endeavour is made to distil and analyze in a simple and digestible form the main features and claims of the African Theology. The emergence of Black Theology and African Theology signalled a need for a reviewed African Traditional Religion, something long aspired for, by the aboriginal people of this continent. However, this was perceived by Western Christians as syncretism. The problem of paying less heed to the African cry for real revival and revitalization of African culture by some mainline church leaders accelerated the spirit of African nationalism which is embodied in African culture. The application of a hermeneutical approach to African Traditional Religion is an attempt to address the question of African culture as explicated and explored by the early missionaries, anthropologists, sociologists, historians and theologians. It is also an attempt to survey the plight of African culture as it is now on the brink of being dealt a death blow by western civilization and western Christianity as well as other foreign religions which have been imported to Africa. Thus a hermeneutical assessment of African Traditional Religion becomes imperative particularly in the present prevailing winds of change sweeping the whole continent of Africa. The revived spirit of nationalism amongst Africans is growing day by day as a demand for total decolonization of Africa is fast multiplying. A complete and thorough liberation of Africa will be achieved only when the political, social, economic, psychological, religious and spiritual oppression has been removed and eradicated. This implies that religion as aspect of life cannot escape or survive the strength of the call of times for change.