considered linguistically sub standard or are at odds with the Wests own

Considered linguistically sub standard or are at odds

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considered linguistically sub-standard or are at odds with the West’s own understanding. Therefore, African scholars discuss issues, when in European languages proposed for
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publication or in formal circles, with a mind to pleasing Westerners. 15 “Most of our influential theologians are only influential among their theological peers and not in the Christian communities even in their own villages or local contexts. African theologians seem to be speaking to themselv es and not to the people” (Ilo 2017b:51). Theses, articles , and books are almost invariably assessed in the above way before approval. The above-mentioned mechanisms mean in effect that African scholars are kept to functioning within the orbit of Western academia. Dominant Westerners seeking to incorporate what Africans write into their own arena of theological discourse in effect means that African scholars do not engage with each other in terms of African contexts. Instead, their discussion is always (and must always be) engaged with the arena of Western theological debate in a way not to threaten the Westerners’ camp. I add as an aside that such ‘welcome’ by the West to non -Western theology can be unhelpful to the West. When something rooted in a totally different worldview is incorporated into Western theological debate, it can handicap that debate. A good example of this is African scholars’ tendency to insist that ‘miracles happen’ . African theologians not being familiar with Western dualism, do not see miracle as being ‘something contrary to the requirements of science . 16 For African scholars, a miracle is something amazing that may have nothing to do with science or breaking of the laws of nature, the latter not being native to African soil. Wester ners hearing that ‘miracles happen’ implies an undermining of science that the African never intended! Accepting that this is the kind of miracle happening (not of course a biblical definition 17 ) disrupts or at least influences progress in Western theology. Western theology gets caught up in discussions of how impossible things can be possible. This is just one example of how the globalisation of English interferes with Western theology. Back to the main line of my argument, the requirement that African theological discourse must always acquire Western approval prevents a peculiarly African debate from ever taking off. Instead, an enormous underlying presupposition of inter-cultural (so-called) theological discussion is that inter-cultural difference is irrelevant to it. Supposed efforts by theologians at being ‘contextual’ or at ‘contextualising’ run aground on this rock of an almost universal requirement for Western approval. The solution to the above dilemma is surely to encourage/allow African scholars to use their own languages (or language). This must be without translation into Western languages. (Or else, African scholars will write in African languages, with a view to being translated back into Western languages.) Providing of course, and this is another concern, that such African
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  • The Bible

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