Research Description
A Thesis Submitted to the South African Theological Seminary for the Degree of Master of Theology in Systematic (Public) Theology

Author
Isaac Boaheng

Date Added to the Noyam Research Archive
Wednesday, 3rd April, 2024

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This study was conducted to formulate a contextual theology of poverty for the Ghanaian context. It began with an examination of the Ghanaian context in terms of religious, political, economic and social developments from the pre-colonial era, through to the post-independence period.

Next, exegetical analyses of three anchor passages that are very crucial to the subject, one each from the law (Deut. 15:1-11), the prophets (Is. 10:1-4), and the gospel (Matt. 6:19-34) were conducted to ascertain what Scripture teaches about the subject matter. The major findings from the exegetical studies include the fact that God frowns upon materialism, extravagance, love for riches, anxiety and worry that detract one from his/her loyalty to him but encourages contentment, simplicity, modesty and sharing of resources with others.

With the biblical teaching and Ghana’s poverty situation as contextual frameworks, the study critiqued the Prosperity Theology model of poverty alleviation, Ghana’s most influencial model for  Christian understanding of poverty and its alleviation. The study found some merits in Prosperity Theology for poverty alleviation but also discovered that it lacks contextual application to the Ghanaian socio-religious landscape.

The final part of the study presents a contextual approach to poverty based on three major partners namely, Scripture, tradition and the socio-politico-economic situations of Ghana. The theological formulation was done based on the following thematic areas: work ethics, material ethics, human development, female empowerment, cultural transformation, social and structural transformation, spiritual transformation, solidarity with the poor, fruitfulness to spirituality and work, solidarity with the poor, contentment, modesty and simplicity, job creation, financial ethics and fighting against extravagance in the Church. The contextual theology formulated not only addresses the theological and biblical needs of Ghanaians but also socio-cultural needs. The findings from the study confirm the hypothesis that a contextualized theology of poverty offers a paradigm for the understanding and alleviation of poverty among Christians in Ghana.

Copyright and Licensing
Copyright © 2019 Isaac Boaheng