This section of the website presents supporting materials that will (1) provide further details about the vision for this website, and (2) help researchers and students use the internet more effectively for the study of African theology. The Research Guide contains materials on the value of online material for the study of African Theology and how to use them, and on the value and use of lived theology for the academic theology. These resources can also be used in methodology courses on the study of theology in general, or methodology sections in courses such as Intercultural Theology, African theology, World Christianity, or African Christianity. In order to support such courses, we have also included learning exercises that accompany the more general texts. They are designed as tools to aid final year BA and MA level students who are writing papers, long essays, and theses. Of course, they can be adapted to the specific teaching/learning contexts in which they are applied. We would greatly appreciate any comments or feedback about the specific experiences you derived from using this material. Please send your comments via the feedback section of this website.
These learning exercises accompany the article written by Joseph Bosco Bangura and Benno van den Toren, “Local Theologies on the Worldwide Web: Various uses for the study of Theology in Africa” published by Impact: Journal of Transformation (forthcoming). The aim is to help upper-level BA and MA students to discover the wide range of materials available for study and research on the internet. This material can be adapted to the specific teaching/learning contexts in which it is applied.
The three sections below provide active learning tasks that help interested researchers, curious learners and students to develop their ability to use the internet to locate both primary and secondary resources for the study of African Theology. For each task, a context is provided to help learners relate the issues raised to wider discussions in the field of African Theology. This is followed by a practical class section and a homework section. The active learning exercises include tasks for learners to carry out online as they search the internet for relevant primary and secondary resource materials. These resources will help broaden students’ understanding of ongoing developments in the study of African Christianity and Theology.
Keywords: internet; research methodology; African theology; primary resources; secondary resources; local theologies; learning exercises; prayer; liberation; christian-muslim-relations; training
Although widespread internet usage across Africa enables access to fresh primary, secondary and archival materials for the study of theology, these internet-based resources have not yet been properly utilised for the benefit of academic study and research. Making use of appropriate examples, this article introduces three areas through which the internet provides essential resources for theological research: primary sources, secondary sources and repositories for archives and collections. This article examines each of these three areas and locates this topic within the wider context in which the internet has become a central aspect of scholarly research for various academic fields.
Keywords: internet; research methodology; African theology; primary resources; secondary resources; archival resources; local theologies.
In its early days, African theological reflection was consciously developed in African academic settings through critical debate with the models of Western theology in which the earliest representatives of African theologies were themselves trained. The traditional sources of Western theology were the academic writings of specialist theologians, the Scriptures, normative texts drawn from church history and critical conversation partners from other academic disciplines, particularly philosophy. The use of these traditional sources is one of the reasons why academic theology is often experienced as far removed from the lives of ordinary believers. However, from its early days, African theology has shown an interest in what might be called non-traditional sources of theology. African theologians saw the use of sources that represented the lived faith of the church as a way of relating their theological reflections to the lives of ordinary African believers and to the existential questions they were facing.