Lyrics of Songs and Poetry in Contemporary Indigenous Mission Theology: An Analysis of the Works of Six Ghanaians

Show simple item record Apaah, F. 2019-04-17T10:25:14Z 2019-04-17T10:25:14Z 2018-07
dc.description PhD. en_US
dc.description.abstract Christian indigenous literary texts, particularly, songs and poetry, form a central component of Ghanaian Christianity. These songs and poetry are not just literary texts but theology in action that express the religious understanding and reflections of a people. They function as a vehicle for proclaiming the Gospel and the rudiments of Christian life outside the usual rubrics of Western missiology. This study examines these indigenous literary texts as sources of African Christian epistemology. It also investigates the Gospel of Christ as a source of inspiration for creativity among indigenous composers as well as the relevance of indigenous knowledge to indigenous mission theology. The study employs Holladay’s model for theological reflection which holds that there are some distinctive elements that inform and shape theological reflections. The research is also aligned with the interpretive paradigm; within which much research activity is centered on the relationship between socially engendered concept formation, language and the belief that understanding human experiences is as important as focusing on explanation, prediction, and control. Data were collected through purposive sampling of song lyrics and poetic texts, the narrative method, focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews and participant observation. The work examines the literary texts of six indigenous composers; two Catholics, two Mainline Protestants of the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches and two Pentecostals. All six composers operate within their cultural contexts, address specific issues from their background and have made significant impact on their church traditions. The study revealed that Christian indigenous literary texts are an effective tool for mission among predominantly oral communities. Especially in oral societies, where people cannot read and write, the involuntary and voluntary learning of songs enables Ghanaians to memorize passages of scripture and also to utilize them at deeper levels of meaning. In addition, the songs and poetry function as a means of spiritual formation and incarnation of the meaning of the gospel. Moreover, these songs and poetic texts are an effective tool for redefining and shaping the identity of the individual believer and the community of Christians as a whole. Furthermore, the study established that indigenous concepts employed by the composers offer possibilities of fresh knowledge and new perspectives of the Christian faith. Equally important to this study is the contributions of the composers to indigenous mission theology. These include concepts of God and the theology of suffering. Notwithstanding the contributions highlighted above, the study also revealed some challenges endangering indigenous mission theology. This includes a fallen standard of knowledge of indigenous languages among urban dwellers, especially the second and third generation urban dwellers. This is problematic because of the profound implications of language loss, which includes the loss of cultural identity, heritage and the dignity of a people. Evidently, this has an adverse effect on societal development and individual empowerment. Thus, it is important for indigenous composers to continue to utilize the vernacular in their compositions to enhance the learning and growth of the indigenous languages. This has positive implications for Ghanaian Christianity and the society as a whole. It is hoped that the examples of the composers will inspire the creativity of future indigenous composers; thus, contributing to indigenous Christian thinking. Ultimately, the study contributes to African Christian epistemology. Keywords: Theology, Knowledge, Indigenous, Songs, Mission en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University Of Ghana en_US
dc.subject Mission en_US
dc.subject Christian en_US
dc.subject Theology en_US
dc.title Lyrics of Songs and Poetry in Contemporary Indigenous Mission Theology: An Analysis of the Works of Six Ghanaians en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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