African Day

“Theology and Africa“ was the title of a workshop with the focus on Africa that took place on Saturday, February 2 2019, in the Dominican convent in Vienna. It was organised by the Department of Fundamental Theology and lead by Kurt Appel. Master- and PhD-students who originate from different African countries presented and discussed their current projects.

The focus lay on topics that have to do with the chance for peace and reconciliation. This has to do with the fact that numerous African societies are confronted with the recurrence of fratricidal wars and tribal genocides. Another problem is that colonisation and evangelisation lead to a destruction of religious and cultural traditions. Important in this context is the question whether a recourse to traditional African Religion and Culture is possible at all. The theological reflection in this field focusses on the topic of reconciliation.

Furthermore, the fundamental theological concept of ecology is worth mentioning. Starting point for this is the encyclical “Laudato Sì“. It was emphasised that education is essential to foster awareness and responsibility also in regard to social and gender justice.

Another question that came up was if one could actually speak about “African Theology“, given the manifold differences within this huge continent and its cultural and religious traditions.

At the end of these engaging discussions, we concluded that it is very desirable to establish room to continue this discourse and to promote theology in the context of Africa. It turned out that this could also be fruitful for the development of theology in Europe.

Sylvère Buzingo