Apostle to the West: the theology of Kwame Bediako

“… Americans (particularly of European and African descent) facing challenges of racial tensions, religious pluralism, and declining church membership? ”

Team Members/Contributors

Tim Hartman Columbia Theological Seminary Contact Me

About this sabbatical grant for researchers

Christianity in America is at a crossroads. Mainline denominations are in steady decline; many people are walking away from the Christian traditions that raised them. Much of the prevailing theologies that informed the founding of the United States and the growth of churches has largely run its course, complete with at least two undesirable outcomes: rapid decline in adherence to the Christian faith (including church membership) and the inability of many churches (and their pastors) to effectively engage contemporary questions about race, church-state relations, and religious pluralism. My project turns to a non-Western theologian, Kwame Bediako of Ghana, who offers a coherent theological framework that is not based on Western, Christendom-inspired assumptions. Bediako proposes “the remaking of Christian theology” by understanding Christianity as a “non-Western religion.” Through an exposition of Bediako’s published corpus and archival materials, my project articulates Bediako’s theology for a North American audience, in the first book-length introduction to the work of “the outstanding African theologian of his generation.” (Andrew Walls, International Bulletin of Missionary Research (October 2008) 32:4, 192). In this way, North American Christians can have theological fellowship and learn from theology in the global South where the Christian faith is growing exponentially.

Image Title Year Type Contributor(s) Other Info
  African religions as “parables of the Kingdom”? Karl Barth and Kwame Bediako on revelation and culture 2019 Journal Article Tim Hartman
Stellenbosch Theological Journal 2019, Vol 5, No 1, 93–109
Theology After Colonization 2019 Book Tim Hartman
Kawme Bediako: African Theology for a World Christianity 2021 Book Tim Hartman