31. African Readings of Paul

  1. Stephen Westerholm
  1. Grant LeMarquand

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch31

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

How to Cite

LeMarquand, G. (2011) African Readings of Paul, in The Blackwell Companion to Paul (ed S. Westerholm), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch31

Editor Information

  1. McMaster University, Canada

Author Information

  1. Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188449

Online ISBN: 9781444395778



  • African Readings of Paul - Paul's letters have been the least explored section of the Christian canon in Africa;
  • African Patristic Readings of Paul - Oden, not denying that Europe and Asia contributed to the formation of Christian identity in the ancient world;
  • biblical exegesis, as well, African thinkers - great contributors to the ecumenical discussion that developed during the Patristic period;
  • For Origen, the Bible was something like the human body - which has (as Origen learned from Paul: 1 Thess 5:23) body, soul and spirit;
  • rise of Islam in the seventh century - devastating North African Christianity;
  • missionary readings of Paul in African contexts - Western missionaries, bringing the Christian faith to Africa, coming as readers and interpreters of the Bible;
  • Colenso's belief that Zulu culture itself - how the Bible was translated into Zulu, reading the Bible through an African cultural lens;
  • indigenous readings of Paul in Postcolonial Africa - center of Christian life in the modern world, shifting to the south in the colonial period;
  • Paul and spiritual gifts: 1 Corinthians 12–14 - The New Testament figure of Paul, being, no stranger to religious experience;
  • confessional-based hermeneutics - interested in matters of ethnicity, spiritual and political power, holiness, and issues related to mission, past and present


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • African Patristic Readings of Paul

  • Missionary Readings of Paul in African Contexts

  • Indigenous Readings of Paul in Postcolonial Africa

  • Conclusion

  • References