Description : This was probably the first serious theological study by an African scholar of the African response to the Christian faith. It opened the research field, provided a reference point, and paved the way for future investigation. It is now regarded as a seminal work, central to historical understandings of the theology of indigenous African Christianity, its relationship with indigenous African religions, African prophet movements and the independent churches. To this day, it remains one of the most authoritative academic sources on religious innovation in Africa in the twentieth century.
Description : The basis for this project is to verify and determine the extent to which contemporary prophetic ministry in Ghana appropriates prophetism in the early church, Corpus Paulinum, and traditional prophetism in Ghana. The spirit of prophecy which was believed to have ceased in Judaism and during the intertestamental period has now been restored at the inauguration of Christianity. Notwithstanding, Paul gave stipulations for prophets and prophecy in the church in 1 Corinthians 14. This confirms that prophecy was a common phenomenon in the early church and Pauline communities. Contemporary prophetic ministry in Ghana claimed to have conformed to Pauline stipulations concerning prophets and prophecy in the church, but what is their level of conformity? Contemporary prophetic ministry is becoming popular due to its appeal and compatibility with religious worldviews and its pragmatic outlook that resonates with the Ghanaian phenomenon of religion. As an adherent of the Akan traditional religion would go to a religious intermediary for ebisa (literally to "inquire" or "ask") into present or future happenings, contemporary prophets have positioned themselves to be agents of ebisa in Ghanaian Christianity. This book explores biblical and traditional understandings of prophetism that have influenced contemporary Christian understanding of prophets and prophecy in the church.
Description : This study traces the historical antecedents of the prophetic phenomenon in Ghana and shows its recurrence in Ghanaian Christianity. It identifies four types of prophets in the Church of Pentecost, namely, Prophesiers, Singing Prophets, Grassroots Prophets and Institutionalised Prophets. It is Grassroots Prophetism which forms the main thrust of the work and which together with prophetism in New Prophetic Churches' (NPCs) in neo-Pentecostalism constitute what we call Peripheral Prophetism. Peripheral prophetism demonstrates how the dialectic of Pentecostals' biblical understanding and the Akan religio-cultural worldview informs and underpins their quest for meaning in this life. It also reveals that undergirding Ghanaian Pentecostal prophetism's belief in supernature is the causal other (abonsam/bayifo) of evil and suffering. In negotiating the other Pentecostal prophets propose Christological subversions via various ritualistic symbolisms or prophetic practices. Amidst the challenge it poses to us Pentecostal prophetism offers hope to Ghanaian Christianity due to its ability to respond to soteriological and pastoral needs. In all the study challenges Ghanaian Pentecostals to re-examine their spirituality in order to make their faith meaningful to the Ghanaian public life.
Description : Originally published in 1975, this book presents the results of research into social change in Ghana. The book looks in detail at the problems of particular sub-groups and sectors in one single nation and they show that the field-worker with a wide comparative background in the range of pre-industrial societies has a positive role to play in contemporary social science.
Description : It has been maintained that the secular nature of modern human rights makes them incompatible with the religious orientation of African and non-Western societies. However, in view of the resilience of religion in the global and local public sphere, it is important to explore how religion can contribute to the promotion and enjoyment of human rights. Based on fieldwork conducted in Ghana, Abamfo Ofori Atiemo here establishes a convergence between human rights and local religious and cultural values in African societies. He argues that human rights represent universal 'dream values'. This allows for a cultural embedding of human rights in Ghana and other non-Western societies. He argues that 'dream values' are usually presented in religious language and proclaimed, for example, by prophets and seers or expressed in certain forms of taboo, proverbs or legal norms. He employs the concept of inculturation, adaptation of the way Church teachings are presented to non-Christian cultures, as a hermeneutical tool for developing a model to understand the encounter between universal human rights and local cultures. Offering a new model for explaining the relation between religion and human rights, Religion and the Inculturation of Human Rights in Ghana offers a novel perspective on the links between global trends and local cultures underpinned by strong currents of religious ideas.
Description : This book centers around mid-level charismatic pastors in Ghana. Karen Lauterbach analyzes pastorship as a pathway to becoming small “big men” and achieving status, wealth, and power in the country. The volume investigates both the social processes of becoming a pastor and the spiritual dimensions of how power and wealth are conceptualized, achieved, and legitimized in the particular context of Asante in Ghana. Lauterbach integrates her analysis of charismatic Christianity with a historically informed examination of social mobility—how people in subordinate positions seek to join up with power. She explores how the ideas and experiences surrounding the achievement of wealth and performance of power are shaped and re-shaped. In this way, the book historicizes current expressions of charismatic Christianity in Ghana while also bringing the role of religion and belief to bear on our understanding of wealth and power as they function more broadly in African societies.
Description : The emergence of Pentecostalism in Ghana has attracted a massive following and generated institutions that have significantly impacted Christian discourse and national life. The movement has produced prominent leaders who have developed exemplary Christian education programs and generated volumes of Christian literature unprecedented in Ghanaian Christianity. Nevertheless, public opinion often upbraids church leaders for unethical conduct. Despite the concern for high moral standards set by Pentecostal church polity and ministerial ethical codes, reports of Pentecostal ministerial misconduct appear regularly in the media. Although congregation members and perceptive public observers appreciate the constructive moral impact of Pentecostal ministers, instances of promiscuity, power abuse, financial misappropriation, and superstition reveal a gap between ethical ideals and practice. As this research reveals, factors behind unethical ministerial conduct include inadequate training, poor accountability, and a general low level of ethical reflection. Good Pastors, Bad Pastors suggests that a multidimensional approach of responsible reportage, emphatic moral education, appropriate but sympathetic response to moral failure, and peer-review accountability could help uphold a higher standard of ministerial ethics.