Modern Africa, scarred by its founding narratives of colonial oppression and nation-state politics, has been especially vulnerable to chaos, war, and corruption. Its people - mired within a seemingly endless cycle of violence, plunder, and poverty - have seen their resources exploited and their lives wantonly sacrificed time and again to the greed and ambition of oppressive regimes.
In The Sacrifice of Africa Emmanuel Katongole confronts this painful legacy and shows how it continues to warp the imaginative landscape of African politics and society. He demonstrates the real potential of Christianity to interrupt and transform entrenched political imaginations and create a different story for Africa - a story of self-sacrificing love that values human dignity and "dares to invent" a new and better future for all Africans.
Compelling accounts of three African Christian leaders and their work - Bishop Paride Taban in Sudan, Angelina Atyam in Uganda, and Maggy Barankitse in Burundi - cap off Katongole's inspiring vision of hope for Africa.
Mark R. Gornik
-City Seminary of New York
"Drawn from the wells of Emmanuel Katongole's faith and faith on the ground, The Sacrifice of Africa is a work of singular importance and power. Its insights and implications are prophetic and compelling. One of the most visionary theologians of our day, Katongole helps the whole church see itself in a new way. This is the theology we need and indeed must have.
The colonized countries of Africa gained independence only to fall into crisis and instability. Sometimes churches are the only viable, if inadequate, social institutions left to shoulder the burden of society. Yet the nation-state as the successor of the colonial state has stood in the way of the development aspirations of Africans. Katongole confronts this issue in a direct way. His reflections call on the churches to commit to action to change the situation and give people hope in a future that has looked increasingly bleak. The demands of the moment require the sacrifice of the churches on behalf of Africa's long-suffering peoples. This book is a valuable installment in that cause.
What drives Katongole, a Duke University theologian born in Uganda, is the quest to know what difference Christianity makes--or can make--in Africa. He argues that conversation on Christian social ethics in Africa is long overdue and must shift "exclusive focus on strategies for fixing the structures of democracy and development and get into the business of stories." This book tells stories, stories of political and religious leaders who share qualities: nonconformist stubbornness, touches of madness, and willingness to jettison old formulas. The author, an ordained Catholic priest, tells gripping stories of people across Africa, such as Maggy Barankitse. Raised amid ethnic hatred in Burundi, she now takes in former child soldiers and orphans and ignores ethnicity in order to raise children "beyond this hatred and bitterness that I came to see in their eyes." The story of senseless killing must be replaced by a new kind of sacrifice--one of self-emptying, as Jesus Christ emptied himself in service to others, and by determination that forgiveness and love will have the last word, not violence and ethnic hatred. (Nov.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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