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Resurrection hope in the African context : challenging Luo beliefs and practices concerning death
Owuor, Victor Benard
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This study investigates how the Biblical teaching on death and the resurrection can provide the appropriate doctrinal challenge to the problem of the pervasive and persistent fear of death amongst the Luo people of Kenya. It therefore examines the Luo traditional beliefs and customs surrounding death in order to establish its contribution to the fear of death, even amongst some Luo Christians. A Biblical-theological study of death and the afterlife provides the doctrinal antidote necessary to rescue and transform a people under bondage to fear, thus outlining the basis for hope in a life beyond physical death through the doctrine of the resurrection. The research commences with a description of Luo traditional beliefs concerning death and dying, and outlines the related Luo customs in relation to their belief in the spirit-world. The contention is that these beliefs result in the fear of death, while the lack of Biblical understanding even amongst some Luo Christians has led to their ignorance of the Biblical teaching on death, and thus a loss of the assurance found in the resurrection of Christ. Death and the afterlife is carefully examined from a Biblical-theological perspective in order to demonstrate how the doctrine of the resurrection can function as a 'rescue doctrine' for those affected by the pervasive and persistent fear of death. The study also explores the assurance of triumph over death as an eschatological reality in keeping with Christ's work of redemption. Similarly, it is argued that triumph over evil and malevolent spirits is guaranteed. In closing, the study explores the power of the Gospel of the resurrected Christ to change lives and transform unbiblical practices and worldviews to conform to his will. It is the resurrected Christ alone who has the power to transform the moral and ethical values ingrained in any culture.
- Theology