Thursday 26th May 2016


For more than a millennium and a half Christian Theology has been
mediated through the languages, cultures, philosophies and
worldviews of Europe and North America, what we have broadly
come to regard as the West. Leaving the confines of 1st Century
Palestine, various doctrines developed to communicate truth about
the nature of God, the nature and destiny of human beings, and the
goal of creation in general, in intelligible ways throughout successive
empires. Unfortunately, much of the thinking about the mystery of
God who is viewed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reflects the
thought patterns and experiences of the western elite. This has
meant that the experiences, languages, cultures, philosophies and
worldviews of oppressed peoples have had little bearing on classical
Christian doctrines.

Third World theologians, those writing out of Asia, Oceania, Africa
and the indigenous peoples of the Americas, have contested this
trend. And while classical Christian doctrines have largely
concentrated on the Father and the Son, much has yet to be said of
the Spirit, who continually resists systemisation. This paper argues
that the unique experience of the African Caribbean have challenged
grey areas in Christian doctrine, bringing fresh insights to how
scripture and Christian thought are to be interpreted in those areas.

Three areas are briefly explored: The role and person of the Holy
Spirit; Miracles and works of power, and sin. Ultimately, insights
learned from African Caribbean religious traditions, strengthened in
the furnace of the plantation society, help us to gain deeper insights
into both Scripture and Christian doctrine. 

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