Review of Cephas Omenyo and Eric Anum (eds). 2014. Trajectories of Religion in Africa: Essays in Honour of John. S. Pobee, Studies in World Christianity and Interreligious Relations 48.

Review of Cephas Omenyo and Eric Anum (eds). 2014. Trajectories of Religion in Africa: Essays in Honour of John. S. Pobee, Studies in World Christianity and Interreligious Relations 48.
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  chapter is the only one in which voices from the global South are heard,and there are no female contributors. It is unclear how much will belearned for theology or ministry until we hear more representative voices.‘Globalisation’ is in some quarters a negative word, yet its meaning wasbarely discussed in this volume. Mention of breaking down hegemonicChristendom only scratched the surface of what the alternative mightmean. The editors are to be commended for starting a conversation, butmore dialogue partners are required to examine a vision of theglobalisation of Christianity and to ask whether it is desirable and howit may be realised in different contexts. Theological approaches arerequired, but, if they are to serve the church, more collaboration isneeded.Emma Wild-WoodCambridge Centre for Christianity 10.3366/swc.2015.0119 Cephas Omenyo and Eric Anum (eds). 2014 .  Trajectories of Religion in Africa :  Essays in Honour of John. S. Pobee , Studies in World Christianityand Interreligious Relations 48. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, pp.414, Hb  e 85. ISBN-13: 9789042038103.This wide-ranging and well-crafted Festschrift celebrates the multifacetedcareer and contribution of John Samuel Pobee, Professor Emeritus of Religion at the University of Ghana. Edited by fellow-Ghanaians CephasOmenyo and Eric Anum, it is a fitting tribute to Pobee’s leadership ‘on thecutting edge of biblical studies and theology, church and society,denominational communion and ecumenism, mission and history’ (16).The title is well chosen with ‘ Trajectories  . . . ’ reflecting the reach, depthand diversity achieved in the study of religion in Africa under theinfluence of a man called, echoing 1 Cor. 9: 22, ‘All things to all people’(16): scholar, leader in the World Council of Churches, priest, teacher,mentor.Each section of the book offers four to six articles. In ‘Mission,Ecumenism and Theological Education’, Dietrich Werner leads with areference to disturbances in first-century Thessaloniki following Paul’s186 S TUDIES IN  W  ORLD  C HRISTIANITY  teachings, then juxtaposes that event with the arrival two millennia laterof theologians from all over the world and poses a question: how can the World Council of Churches assist in the training of clergy in nationswhere theological education is in its infancy while church attendance isburgeoning?‘Religion and Public Space’ focuses on the relationship betweenreligion and power, political violence, development and traditionalbeliefs. Rabiatu Amman addresses the subordination of women in Africa,and we note that the small proportion of women contributors to thiscollection is emblematic of her theme. She argues that women must makea concerted effort, through faith groups and across religious divides, toimprove their standing. Rebecca Ganusah takes a gender-neutral stanceas she asks overarching questions like ‘Why is religion so powerful inAfrica?’ While most writers here report research in Ghana, Ganusahoffers a case study from Mozambique.Part Three, ‘Religion and Culture’, examines relationships betweenChristianity and traditional religion and, again, women’s roles.Amenga-Etego shows that women are returning to traditional notionsof chastity while simultaneously challenging the injustice of beingblamed for the spread of STDs while men are the ones with sexualfreedom.The final part, ‘The Bible in Africa’, focuses on African biblicalhermeneutics and biblical interpretations in Africa. Musa Dube usesfieldwork from Botswana where church women’s experiences werebrought together to produce models for empowerment. Of particularinterest is her observation that many women report being called bythe Holy Spirit, circumventing the patriarchal constraints of biblicaltradition. Gerald West’s article on liberation hermeneutics focuses onSouth Africa, which is both liberated and burdened with inequalitiesthat give rise to diverse theologies – for blacks, women and theHIV-positive.This is a collection with depth and breadth that offers a valuablesampling of the strands and patterns that make up the study of religion onthe vast continent of Africa. Janet W. ParsonsBishop Barham University College, Book Reviews  187
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