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Theology and Identity: The Impact of Culture upon Christian Thought in the Second Century and in Modern Africa
Kwame Bediako examines the question of Christian identity in the context of the Greco-Roman culture of the early Roman Empire. He then addresses the modern African predicament of quests for identity and integration.
Theology and Identity was one of the finalists for the 1992 HarperCollins Religious Book Award.
“A book of quite outstanding importance. It is rich and rewarding both in interpretation and in construction, furthering understanding of modern African Christianity and relating it to the Christian tradition as a whole. No previous work has covered this range, nor has the perennial question of Christ and culture been pursued with more depth and insight.” — Andrew Walls, formerly Director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, University of Edinburgh
Professor Kwame Bediako was born in Akropong, Ghana and, as the son of a police inspector, grew up in a Police Training Depot in Accra. Due to this upbringing, he learned and spoke his mother tongue of Twi and the Accra language Ga.
Bediako was raised in a Christian home, the grandson of a Presbyterian catechist and evangelist, and received his secondary education in the Mfantsi-pim School, Cape Coast, originally founded as part of a British Methodist mission. However, he later became an atheist through French existentialist influences and pursue masters and doctoral degrees in the University of Bordeaux on African francophone literature. Yet during his time in France, he experienced a radical conversion event back to Christianity. In 1973, he married a fellow student of French, from England, Gillian Mary. Later, he would move on to a second doctorate in 1983 in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen, under Andrew Walls.
Bediako later became the first rector of the Akrofi-Christaller Institute for Theology, Mission and Culture, a university dedicated to the study and the documentation of Christian history, thought, and life in Ghana and, more broadly, in Africa.
Kwame Bediako died on June 10, 2008 following a serious illness.