‘THE PROVERB IS THE DRUM OF GOD’: ON THE USE OF AFRICAN PROVERBS IN THE INTERACTION BETWEEN AFRICAN CULTURE AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Willie Van Heerden

Abstract


An African theology of inculturation needs to take into consideration the oral literature
of the African people, including their rich treasure of proverbs. However, African
proverbs have been largely neglected in situations where the Bible is studied and taught
on this continent. This article is a plea for a revaluation of African proverbs in such
situations. I first propose a theological framework within which the study of African
proverbs in dialogue with the Christian faith fits. Then certain characteristics of
(African) proverbs that make them suitable instruments for the dialogue between culture
and faith are discussed. Finally, I explore some opportunities for using African
proverbs when we read or teach the Bible in Africa.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/81-0-748

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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