Christian virtue in a West African context : a study of the interaction and synthesis of the methodist and Fanti moral traditions as a model for the contextualisation of Christian Ethics
Author(s)Jennings, Brian Keith
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AbstractThis thesis explores the use of Alasdair MacIntyre’s tradition based model of ethics as a heuristic tool in analysing the contextualisation of Christian ethics. Ethical contextualisation is thus understood as the interaction and synthesis of particular Christian moral traditions with the moral traditions they encountered in the different cultures where the Christian faith was established. This study focuses on the interaction of the Methodist moral tradition with that of the Fanti people of Ghana. The argument begins with the contention that morality in African cultures may be better understood as discrete traditions in the light of MacIntyre’s model. This claim is substantiated by a reconstruction of the Fanti (Akan) moral tradition in terms of its practices, virtues and ends. A detailed historical study of the interaction of the Methodist and Fanti moral traditions within Ghana indicates that a synthesis between these traditions has occurred at the level of leadership practice and virtue. The findings of field research conducted among Fanti traditional rulers and Methodist ministers suggests this synthesis is continuing, and probably extends to other areas of moral practice, and even to the heart of each moral tradition. Taken together historical and empirical research provide credible evidence that a Fanti-Methodist moral tradition is emerging out of the encounter between the two traditions.
Jennings, Brian Keith (2007) Christian virtue in a West African context : a study of the interaction and synthesis of the methodist and Fanti moral traditions as a model for the contextualisation of Christian Ethics. Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.