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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

Jennings, Brian Keith (2007)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This 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.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Sicard, Sigvard von and Bauben, Jabal
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Theology and Religion
Additional Information:

Appendices 5 and 7-20 are not included in the web version.

Keywords:Contextualisation of Christian ethics in West Africa, Methodist virtue ethics, Akan virtue ethics, Methodist moral tradition, Akan moral tradition, Fanti moral tradition, Liberalism and communalism in African moral discussion, Alasdair MacIntyre
Subjects:BJ Ethics
BX Christian Denominations
DT Africa
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:120
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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