Research Description
A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Theology and Religion In the Department of Religion Studies At the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Author
Isaac Boaheng

Date Added to the Noyam Research Archive
Thursday, 6th June, 2023

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Christianity, like any other religion, cannot thrive successfully in any human society unless it is given a contextual expression. Therefore, the contextualization of the Christian gospel is indispensable to the planting and survival of Christianity in a given environment. In the Akan community of Ghana, the lack of effective contextualization of atonement theology has led to a situation whereby many Christians habitually consult traditional powers to satisfy their quest for power, fame, wealth, longevity, and protection, among others. This literature-based research, therefore, was undertaken to explore how a theology of atonement from an Akan cultural perspective might bring about religious and ethical renewal to Akan Christians and hence empower them to rely solely on Christ’s atonement for all their physical and spiritual needs.

The general introduction to the seven-chapter thesis was followed by a socio-historical survey of key theories of atonement that have emerged since the birth of the Church. Next, exegetical analyses of selected biblical texts, including Leviticus 16:1-28; Psalm 51:1-12; Isaiah 52:13—53:12; Mark 14:10-26; Romans 3:21-26; 5:1-21 and Hebrews 9:11-14, were conducted to place the study in the biblical context. This was followed by an examination of atonement in the Akan religious, social-economic and political contexts.

Using the historical, biblical and Akan primal backgrounds of atonement as contextual frameworks, an Akan Christian theology of atonement was formulated based on key thematic areas such as Nyame-Kra-teasefoɔ Christology, Ntamgyinafokann Christology, Afɔdeprɛko Christology, Bɔne-ano-aduro Christology, Nkunimdie Christology, Ahobammɔ Christology, Duadaneɛ Christology, Yiedie Christology and Ayaresa-ne-ahofadie Christology, among others. The findings from the study led to the conclusion that to be meaningful and relevant to the ordinary Akan, Akan Christian soteriology must not only touch on liberation from sin but also on the liberation from social, political, economic, and health challenges facing the Akan community. The atonement theology espoused in this study not only offers an antidote to Akan Christians’ habitual consultation of traditional sources for solutions to their existential challenges but also serves to foster an improved divine-human, human-human and human-environment relations.

Keywords: African Traditional Religion, Akan, Atonement, Christianity, contextualization

Copyright and Licensing
Copyright © 2021 Isaac Boaheng