Christian Faith and Akan Culture in Ghana: A Review of Major Works of Sidney George Williamson

Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong  ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.3  No.2 September 2021 Article 1 pp. 21-31
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/motbit.2021321   |   Published online 10th September, 2021.
© 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

9 Downloads

Christian growth must not only be considered in terms of the growth of numbers. The growth in the church must also be considered in the level of depth and the quality of Christian conversion within a cultural milieu. The depth of the faith has a lot to do with how the Gospel speaks directly to the minds and hearts of its
hearers. Moreover, the Gospel can speak to the hearts and minds of its hearers when the indigenous world views that condition the inner lives of the people are given serious consideration. The study is a review of the major works of Sidney George Williamson on the Christian faith and Akan culture in Ghana. As an early student of the tension between the Christian faith and Akan culture and the challenges of Christian identity, Williamson draws attention to the fact that Christianity can adequately meet Akan Christian needs when it pays attention to the cultural worldview of the people it seeks to serve. The study as a qualitative one uses both primary and secondary sources. Interviews and observations were conducted in some Akan communities on the integration of Christian faith and Akan cultural worldview. The study points to the fact that the construction of theology among Akan Christians must be done from the inside to the outside and not from outside to the inside, the approach that Western missionaries adopted. The spiritual needs of Akan Christians will be adequately met when they hear the Gospel in their own cultural understandings rather than theology done in the West offered to the Akan in European worldview. The study further calls attention to the preparedness of the churches in the Akan cultural environment for paradigm shifts in the Christian faith and Akan Cultural engagements in post-missionary African Christianity.

Keywords: Akan Culture, Christian Faith, Local Theologies, Sidney George Williamson

Bediako, Kwame. Theology and Identity: The Impact of Culture Upon Christian Thought in the Second Century and Modern Africa. Oxford: Regnum Books 1992.


_______.Christianity in Africa: The Renewal of a Non-Western Religion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1995.


Busia, K.A. The position of the chief in the modern political system of Ashanti, Oxford University Press, 1951.


Gyekye, Kwame. African Cultural Values, Accra: Sankofa Publishing Company 1996.


Mbiti, J.S. African Religions and Philosophy. London: Heinemann, 1969.


Nana Addo Dankwa III, The Institution of Chieftaincy in Ghana – The Future. Accra: Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 2004.


Rattray, R. S. Ashanti. London: Oxford University Press 1955.


__________ .Religion and Art in Ashanti. London: Oxford University Press, 1927.


__________. Ashanti Law and Constitution. London: Oxford University Press 1916.


Schreiter, Robert J. Constructing Local Theologies. New York: Orbis Books, 1985.


Smith, Noel. The Presbyterian Church of Ghana 1835-1960. Accra: Ghana University Press, 1966.


Walls, Andrew. The Missionary Movement in Christian History. New York: Orbis Books, 1996.


Williamson, S.G. Akan Religion and the Christian Faith, Accra: Ghana University Press, 1965.


________. Christianity and African Culture. Accra: Christian Council of Gold Coast, 1955.


APPENDIX
Interview with Mercy Amba Oduyoye May 14, 2004, Legon Accra.
Interview with Kwabena Nketia May 19, 2004, Madina Accra.
Interview with Sam Prempeh September 1, 2004, Osu Accra.
Interview with Nana Addo Dankwa III November 22, 2004, Akropong Akuapem.

Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong (PhD), Lecturer in African Christianity, Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi – Ghana.

Opuni-Frimpong K. “Christian Faith and Akan Culture in Ghana: A Review of Major Works of Sidney George Williamson ” Journal of Mother-Tongue Biblical Hermeneutics and Theology 3, no.1(2021): 21-31. https://doi.org/10.38159/motbit.2021321

© 2021 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).