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Product Details

  • Series: Eerdmans Ekklesia
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (December 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802862683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802862686
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What drives Katongole, a Duke University theologian born in Uganda, is the quest to know what difference Christianity makes--or can make--in Africa. He argues that conversation on Christian social ethics in Africa is long overdue and must shift "exclusive focus on strategies for fixing the structures of democracy and development and get into the business of stories." This book tells stories, stories of political and religious leaders who share qualities: nonconformist stubbornness, touches of madness, and willingness to jettison old formulas. The author, an ordained Catholic priest, tells gripping stories of people across Africa, such as Maggy Barankitse. Raised amid ethnic hatred in Burundi, she now takes in former child soldiers and orphans and ignores ethnicity in order to raise children "beyond this hatred and bitterness that I came to see in their eyes." The story of senseless killing must be replaced by a new kind of sacrifice--one of self-emptying, as Jesus Christ emptied himself in service to others, and by determination that forgiveness and love will have the last word, not violence and ethnic hatred. (Nov.)
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Review

“Drawn from the wells of Emmanuel Katongole’s faith and faith on the ground, The Sacrifice of Africa is a work of singular importance and power. Its insights and implications are prophetic and compelling. One of the most visionary theologians of our day, Katongole helps the whole church see itself in a new way. This is the theology we need — and indeed must have.”
— Mark R. Gornik
City Seminary of New York

“The colonized countries of Africa gained independence only to fall into crisis and instability. Sometimes churches are the only viable, if inadequate, social institutions left to shoulder the burden of society. Yet the nation-state as the successor of the colonial state has stood in the way of the development aspirations of Africans. Katongole confronts this issue in a direct way. His reflections call on the churches to commit to action to change the situation and give people hope in a future that has looked increasingly bleak. The demands of the moment require the sacrifice of the churches on behalf of Africa’s long-suffering peoples. This book is a valuable installment in that cause.”
— Lamin Sanneh
Yale University

More About the Author

Emmanuel M. Katongole is associate professor of theology and peace studies at the Kroc Institute at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He is a Catholic priest of the Kampala Archdiocese, Uganda.

Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Englewood Review of Books on May 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
[ This Review originally appeared in
THE ENGLEWOOD REVIEW OF BOOKS - 22 April 2011 ]

One of my most memorable experiences of the last year was the opportunity I had to spend a week at the Summer Institute at Duke Divinity School, hosted by the Center for Reconciliation there. Some of my best memories from that week involve hearing stories of unfathomable faith and courage told by church leaders from the Great Lakes region of central Africa. Emmanuel Katongole, professor of theology and world Christianity at Duke and Roman Catholic priest of the Kampala archdiocese in Uganda, was one of these African leaders, whose lecture was one of the highlights of the Institute.

I had been familiar with Katongole's work for a couple years, particularly his narration of the genocide in Rwanda, Mirror to the Church, which I reviewed here in 2009. I was therefore delighted to see that he recently published a new theological reflection on the African context, The Sacrifice of Africa, in which he probes the meaning of recent African stories of Christian faithfulness. I can see that this book might easily be overlooked by readers who are unfamiliar or unconcerned with African Christianity. However, to overlook this extraordinary book would be a grave error. Following in the footsteps of his Duke Divinity School colleagues J. Kameron Carter (author of Race: A Theological Account) and Willie James Jennings (author of The Christian Imagination), Katongole's work here serves to spur the church to imagine what faithfulness to the Gospel will look like in a post-Western world. Katongole's work is therefore of great significance because it reflects on the meaning of those who - in the poignant words of J.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Noele J. Coooper on January 1, 2013
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Since 1964 I've been especially interested in the African experience, met African friends, and for some years traveled to Africa learning more about the various cultures (Burundi, Sierra Leone, South Africa). "The Sacrifice of Africa: A Political Theology of Africa" is an informative and challenging addition to my research. It's a book I'll keep returning to and discussing with Africans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Hamilton on May 24, 2011
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In his book The Sacrifice of Africa, associate research professor of theology and world Christianity at Duke Divinity School, Emmanuel Katonogle, attempts to inject fresh life into the conversation surrounding Christian social ethics and Africa. Undergirding the desire for a new conversation is Katongole’s observation that despite Christianity’s growth and increased interest in social engagement in Africa, Christians have been unable to both explain and adequately address the realities of “war, tribalism, poverty, corruption and violence…endemic in Africa’s social history.” Christians have failed, Katongole contends, because Christians have often assumed that “the most urgent task for Christian social ethics is to make politics work better, that is, become more democratic and transparent, with the expectation that properly functioning nation-state politics in Africa will ensure peace and stability and thus advance development.” As such, Katongole argues that the dominant paradigms of Christian social engagement have operated within the terms and conditions of the nation-state with its underlying stories, assumptions and structures.

In this way, churches and Christianity have purchased the false story of modernity, which Katongole contends, suggests that the nation-state, as the successor institution to the colonial structures of divide and rule, offers to bring salvation to Africa through democracy, stability, and development. Yet, throughout Africa’s post-colonial history, Katongole notes, this “story translated into myriad forms of use and abuse, sacrificing African lives and ultimately Africa itself.”

As a result, Katongole believes that “Christian social ethics must uncover the underlying stories of the key social institutions [e.g.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Heuertz on June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Father Emmanuel Katongole's newest book, 'The Sacrifice of Africa' may be his very best work to date.

His political, social and religious analysis is insightful and provocative.

His life experience and connection to the continent of Africa grounds the text, offering solid credibility.

The stories of pain and suffering, illuminate real-life activists for justice and peace, and bring the whole book alive with human passion.

More than anything, Katongole's brilliant nuances of weaving together classic and contemporary literature with thick theological and political content makes this book extremely readable.

'The Sacrifice of Africa' will dismantle many of your assumptions on the perceived hopelessness, powerlessness and chronic social problems of Africa by re-narrating a continent's struggle for an awakened and realized humanity that leads through its own witnesses of hope.
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