John Mbiti at the All Africa Conference of Churches Assembly in Kampala, Uganda, 2013. While he was here he wrote his first book, African Religions and Philosophy (1969). From 1980 to 1996 Mbiti was a parish minister in Burgdorf, Switzerland and taught at the same time from 1983 onwards at the University of Bern. His primary focus in his first book was to challenge the widely held views that African traditional religions were rooted in demonic anti-Christian values and to stress that traditional African religions deserve the same respect as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism. Latest News. Responding to news about his death, Prof Makau Mutua stated that he had written about the acclaimed scholar and his works in his Sunday Nation column. INTRODUCTION. Prof Mbiti’s influence in African He was 87. He was 87. He was an ordained Anglican priest, and is considered "the father of modern African theology". The Conversational Society of Philosophy (CSP) is a forum for African philosophers and specialists in the field of African philosophy. He sought out his own personal research to teach the class. , Mbiti returned to Makerere University, where he taught African traditional religion from 1964 to 1974. The Igbo religious life is connected to their ancestors and to those not yet born creating a mystic continuum. Philosophy (1969), continues to influence African philosophers today. Born in Mulango, Kitui County, in British Kenya on 30 November 1931, Mbiti studied in Uganda and the United States before taking his doctorate in 1963 at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. After that he served as Director of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, of the World Council of Churches near Geneva, Switzerland. Watch Live. Mbiti, whose death occurred on Sunday, October 6 2019. He also collaborated on a book of African proverbs, collected from across the continent. Mbiti had little knowledge of African Traditional religion, as he was unaware of previous lectures regarding its foundations due to the deep oral traditions of such religions. is a sick baby, It is so far the least practised. He taught religion and theology in Makerere University, Uganda, from 1964 to 1974 and was subsequently director of the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Institute in Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will be long remembered as … Mbiti obtained his doctorate in 1963 at the University of Cambridge, Born in Kenya, Prof Makau Mutua confirmed the death through his Twitter account. The same paper was retyped, mimeographed and circulated to many institutions between 1969 and 1971. understood from a mostly Christian lens, and although this was criticized, there The Igbo religion is one of the traditional African religions that Mbiti researched, their tradition was rooted in their culture. Rev. Prof. John Samuel Mbiti in his death, much can be drawn from his legacy both as a Theologian and Scholar. Professor Jesse Mugambi of the University of Nairobi has informed me that Professor John S. Mbiti has joined his ancestors and maker. His goal was to bring together African, Asian and other theologians for ecumenical encounter and dialogue. “Prof John Mbiti, Kenya’s — one of the world’s most iconic philosophy and religion scholars — passed away today in Switzerland. May he continue to live on in our memories. Elders were merely protecting their traditions. The Igbo religion differs from nontraditional proselytizing religions because it does not have elders who carry out missionary work and individuals who do not preach their religion onto others. This set the stage for religious conflict between the Igbo and the Christians, which might have led to the inference that African traditional religions were rooted in anti-Christian belief. He was 87. His second more well-known conference, "Confessing Christ in Different Cultures", was held in Bossey in July 1977. After that he served as Director of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, of the World Council of Churches near Geneva, Switzerland. Mbiti's research interests included theology in Africa and Asia, and ecumenism. He held a series of influential conferences that focused on intercultural theology. Mbiti taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. He served as a parish priest in England until he returned to Makerere in 1964 to teach traditional African religions. P’Bitek wrote in his own book African Religions in Western Scholarship that the African traditional religions are beyond recognition to the ordinary Africans in the countryside. John Samuel Mbiti, “the father of contemporary African theology”, is a philosopher and as of 2005 an Emeritus professor at the University of Bern and a parish minister to the town of Burgdorf, Switzerland. Professor John Mbiti wrote to me making important and constructively critical comments on my paper “Traditional Religion of the Embu People.” It was delightful to receive typed critical comments from such an important scholar as John S. Mbiti. Mbiti in his book looks to dissect the origins of African traditional religion, in specific by studying oral traditions. Collecting and synthesizing indigenous concepts of God, myths, stories, prayers, and proverbs into a religiously oriented “African worldview.” This conference held an attendance of more than 100 people who gathered from 35 different countries. From 2005 up until his death in October 2019, Mbiti Prof. Mbiti’s Potrait. Mbiti furthered his academic education in USA and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1956 and a Bachelor of Theology degree in 1957 from Barrington College, a Christian liberal arts school in Rhode Island. As the world joins family and Friends in celebrating the Life of Rev. His third conference focused on "Indigenous Theology and the Universal Church". Among the numerous prestigious distinctions and honorary doctorates Mbiti received, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa honored Mbiti with the Archbishop’s Award for Peace and Justice during a celebration of his life and writing at the University of Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa, in November 2016. several visiting professorships at universities all over the world and published This paper discusses the contribution of Professor John S Mbiti to African theology and African Philosophy. The Igbo religion fully embodies all characteristics of a traditional world religion, including its beliefs, sacred myths, oral qualities, strong appeal to the hearts of its followers, a high degree of ritualization, and possession of numerous participatory parsonages such as officiating elders, kings, priests and diviners. , Mbiti's seminal book, African Religions and Philosophy (1969), was the first work to challenge Christian assumption that traditional African religious ideas were "demonic and anti-Christian". , Born in Mulango, Kitui County, in British Kenya on 30 November 1931, Mbiti studied in Uganda and the United States before taking his doctorate in 1963 at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. “Prof John Mbiti, Kenya’s — one of the world’s most iconic philosophy and religion scholars — passed away today in Switzerland. Prof. John Samuel Mbiti was Emeritus Professor of the Makere University of Kampala, Uganda and of the University of Bern, Switzerland. Philosophy cannot be overstated. Prof Mbiti holding his NT translation. The Most Anticipated Books of 2021. Mbiti was an ordained Anglican priest. He did join the land of his ancestors on the 6th October 2019. was an Emeritus professor at the University of Bern and ", Mbiti faced criticism from the Ugandan writer Okot p'Bitek for casting his arguments in intellectual terms that had been established by the west. Verena Mbiti, 2012. Mutua who is also a scholar noted that the deceased will be remembered because of his immense contribution towards the education sector. May his family and friends know peace @WMutunga @ncckkenya @RailaOdinga,” Prof Mutua tweeted. Photo: WCC/Naveen Qayyum. Conversational Society of Philosophy - The Elite African Philosophical Circle, African Philosophy and the 2020 UNESCO World Philosophy Day Celebration: A Conversation with JO Chimakonam, The African Philosophy World Conference: From the Eyes of the CSP, Reconsider your ‘Reconsideration of the Decolonisation Project’: A Reply to Rafael Winkler, The Anti-Racists Purge Must Begin From Within. From 2005 up until his death in 2019, Mbiti was an Emeritus professor at the University of Bern and parish minister to the town of Burgdorf, Switzerland. His 1969 book, African Religions and Philosophy, explored this theme, and he elaborated upon it The first conference in June 1976 focused on African and Asian contributions to contemporary theology. He passed away in Switzerland. John Samuel Mbiti (1931–2019) was a Kenyan-born Christian philosopher and writer. social organizations and . John S Mbiti, who coined the famous phrase ‘I am because we are and because we are, therefore I am” died in Switzerland, his home away from home for over 40 years. It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of the greats and pioneers in African Philosophy, Rev Canon Prof John Mbiti, whose death occurred on Sunday, October 6 2019. Uganda, from 1964 to 1974. Child of two farmers, Samuel Mutuvi Ngaangi and Valesi Mbandi Kiimba, he is one of six children and was raised in a strong Christian environment. John mbiti introduction to african religion pdf African Religions & Philosophy - John S. Mbiti - Google Books What is African Review of John S. Mbiti, Introduction to African religion. Born in Jomo Kenyata’s land, Kenya, Professor Mbiti studied in Uganda and the United States America. Although Mbiti, a son of Kenya and an authority in religion and philosophy, had traversed the world for decades as a theologian, scholar and a teacher. He was a retired Parish Minister in Burgdorf, in Switzerland. Being asked by his students for a collection of his research propelled him to compile his notes and lectures into his first book, which was published in 1969. Mbiti’s seminal book, African Religions and They believe in a supreme being who is believed to be the controller of the world and all its inhabitants. John Mbiti was born on 30 November 1931 in Mulago, Kitui County, eastern Kenya. In specific, his biggest criticism was that African cosmologies ultimately align with Christian views of God as omnipotent, omnipresent and eternal. He then earned his Doctor of Philosophy in theology at the University of Cambridge, from where he graduated in 1963. Kenya is mourning the death of celebrated scholar Prof John Mbiti who breathed his last today, Sunday 06 October 2019. He held visiting professorships at universities across the world and published extensively on philosophy, theology and African oral traditions. Christianity arrived in Igbo land in 1857, conjuring fear within the Igbo that if they became Christians their god would bring disaster to them. Philosophy celebrate the life of this great – a true ancestor. John Samuel Mbiti was a Kenyan-born Christian religious philosopher and writer. Load More. Christians attacked the traditional song music and dance of the Igbo religion as they deemed it immoral. Upon his retirement as a parish minister (1996) and university lecturer (2005) in Switzerland, Mbiti translated the entire New Testament from its original manuscripts in Greek and Hebrew into his mothertongue Kiikamba, a Bantu language spoken by the Kamba people of Kenya (and Tansania). Arnong all religions of the world under academic study African Traditional Religion (A.T.R.) Renowned Kenyan … From 1974 to 1980 Mbiti was the director of the World Council of Churches Bossey Ecumenical Institute. 13 January 2015. John Samuel Mbiti was a Kenyan-born Christian religious philosopher and writer. Canon Professor JOHN MBITI, an Anglican priest from Kenya, taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. John Samuel Mbiti, a Kenyan theologian and Anglican priest, died October 5 at a nursing home in Switzerland. Ironically, I wrote about him in my Sunday Nation column today before he passed. He attended Alliance High School in Nairobi and continued his education at University College of Makerere where he graduated in 1953. Indeed, this book (which was After his stint at Makerere University, he held It does this by highlighting several scholars in … The Kenyan-born Christian religious philosopher and writer died on Sunday in Switzerland. Sigomba Ramadhan Omar. More… News & Interviews. Their traditions revolve around a highly ontological phenomena, pushing their followers to question their existence and being. This waiting period is called the transitional period of the deceased. He taught religion and theology in Makerere University, Uganda, from 1964 to 1974 and was subsequently director of the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Institute in Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland. Mbiti challenged the view that traditional African religions were “primitive,” arguing that they deserve as much consideration and study as other faith systems. some very seminal works on African philosophy and religion. Professor John Mbiti was born on November 30, 1931, and his thirst for education saw him study beyond Kenya. Professor in the School of Theology, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.6 A Summary of: John Mbiti’s contribution to African theology by Kwame Bediako Subdivisions of the article-text: Mbiti’s theological approach (on page 367) Theology as the embodiment of the Gospel (p. 370) John S. Mbiti is a 1 time AALBC.com Bestselling Author. There were discussions on how an individual could reach from a contextual to a universal confession of Christ and emphasized how confession can find expression in liturgy and worship. philosophical notions in African philosophy. He will always be remembered as a colossus of the African Received orally by authorities, this tradition was transmitted from generation to generation through the same oral process. , CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (, "Kenya mourns the late Prof. Samuel John Mbiti", "The Encounter of Christian Faith and African Religion", "Celebrated Kenyan Scholar Dies in Switzerland", "John Mbiti, 87, Dies; Punctured Myths About African Religions", "WCC commemorates life of former Bossey director John Samuel Mbiti", "Conflicts Between African Traditional Religion and Christianity in Eastern Nigeria: The Igbo Example", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Mbiti&oldid=996459701, CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown, Articles with dead external links from March 2020, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 December 2020, at 19:05. The acclaimed scholar is known for his outstanding work and contribution in philosophy and religion. One of Mbiti's most famous quotes in his book African Religions and Philosophy was: based on extensive fieldwork) challenged the prevalent notions of traditional His sympathetic treatment of traditional religions was based on massive field work. Within their traditional life, individuals immersed themselves with religious participation, in which they believe starts before they are born and continues after their death. African philosophical and religious ideas as primitive juju. Prof John Samuel Mbiti is dead. As it will soon be evident in this paper, several scholars in various contexts have attempted to highlight his contribution to these fields of study. After that he served as Director of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, of the World Council of Churches near Geneva, Switzerland. Canon Professor JOHN MBITI, an Anglican priest from Kenya, taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. Professor John Mbiti (30 November 1931 – 6 October 2019) was a Kenyan-born Christian religious philosopher, writer and Director of the World Council of Churches’ Bossey … From 2005 up until his death in 2019, Mbiti was an emeritus professor at the University of Bern and a retired parish minister to the town of Burgdorf, Switzerland. Canon John Samuel Mbiti, an Anglican priest who was born in Kenya, November 30, 1931. Prof Mbiti: The man who translated Bible from English to Kamba dies . https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/world/africa/john-mbiti-dead.html because we are, and since we are, therefore I am”. From 2005 up until his death in 2019, Mbiti was an Emeritus professor at the University of Bern and parish minister to the town of Burgdorf, Switzerland. , After graduating from Cambridge University he was ordained an Anglican priest of the Church of England. Mbiti supposedly never responded to the criticism, according to Derek Peterson, a professor of history and African studies at the University of Michigan.  Last week at St John’s College, Durham, Prof Mbiti reflected on his recent experience translating the New Testament from the Greek into his native Kiikamba. Fluent in Greek, Prof Mbiti, 88, was an ordain priest, an academic colossus who … The place of Professor John S Mbiti in African theology and African Philosophy is undoubtedly colossal. Beyond his philosophy career, Prof Mbiti was an Following his career at Makerere, he held visiting professorships at universities across the world where he continued publishing books on philosophy, theology and African oral traditions.. space. Mbiti also found that when an individual dies, his soul or spirit wanders until the body is given a proper burial. His Christian upbringing encouraged his educational journey through the African Inland Church. Professor John Mbiti, theologian and former director of the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey of the WCC has recently become the first African scholar to translate the entire Christian New Testament from Greek to Kikamba, a local Kenyan language. professor john mbiti PROFESSOR JOHN MBITI. ordained Anglican priest, and as of 2005 a canon of the Anglican Church. He held visiting professorships at universities across the world and published extensively on philosophy, theolo… "Wherever the African is, there is religion. This conference had an attendance of more than 80 participants. parish minister to the town of Burgdorf, Switzerland. More details will be provided by the family. He gathered ideas from over 300 African peoples or tribes while conducting field research. and had four children. He was married to Verena Mbiti-Siegenthaler Certainly, this paper does not pretend to exhaust this topic within a short space of time. Books by John S. Mbiti. Canon Professor JOHN MBITI, an Anglican priest from Kenya, taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. Professor John Mbiti, the first African scholar to translate the Bible in Kikamba, a Kenya intellectual and one of the strongest pillars of African theology, is no more. Recently CMS mission partner Harvey Kwiyani organised the Missio Africanus conference at CMS in Oxford. Image. Prof Mbiti’s influence in African Philosophy cannot be overstated. Kenyan religious leaders, scholars, students and ordinary people have mourned Prof. John Samuel Mbiti, world-renowned Christian philosopher and writer who died on 6 October.  He was married to Verena Mbiti-Siegenthaler and had four children and five grand-children. The Conversational School of Others also refused to convert to Christianity because of the belief that Christian missionaries were there to destroy the Igbo religion. United Kingdom. This is captured in the widespread acknowledgment of his famous dictum “I am is no doubt that his work provided a unique perspective on several He based his claim on his knowledge that in the Bible, God is the creator of all things, therefore meaning that God has revealed himself to all things. Mbiti leaves behind an unparalleled legacy of scholarship and leadership and will be missed. Mbiti was quick to mention that his examination of these religions was A Family Member carries Rev. He said that the death of the scholar is a big blow to the nation. We thank God for his immense contribution to scholarship in African religion and philosophy and in the development of Kiikamba language and literature. It is with great sadness that we announce the death of He then taught religion and theology in Makerere University, Born in Kenya, Mbiti obtained his doctorate in 1963 at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. one of the greats and pioneers in African Philosophy, Rev Canon Prof John Mbiti was clear that his interpretation of these religions was from a firmly Christian perspective, and this aspect of his work was sometimes severely criticized..  Mbiti died in Burgdorf on 5 October 2019.
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