The church as an ethical community : a paradigm for Christian ethics in an African context
That the centre of Christianity is rapidly shifting from the global North to the global South, particularly to Sub-Saharan Africa, is undoubtedly a great cause of celebration. But the impact of this shift on ethical life remains to be seen among many African believers both at individual and community levels. One main factor for this is that moral life for most believers continues to be guided by a traditional ethical framework which derives its foundational moral values and norms from the concepts of community and solidarity. In this way, African ethics shares significant similarities with Christian ecclesial ethics which regards church as an ethical community. But a conceptualisation that sees the church as an ethical community does not only find fertile grounds in African cultures and thereby enriched by its strong sense of community and solidarity but it also ought to meaningfully challenge and transform this cultural framework in order to formulate an ethics that is not just African but is genuinely Christian, evangelical and biblical. As this research argues, this is possible when the distinctive underpinnings of the gospel are taken seriously thereby ensuring a fruitful and sustained moral formation within Christian communities.
- Theology