professor john mbiti

Prof. John Samuel Mbiti was Emeritus Professor of the Makere University of Kampala, Uganda and of the University of Bern, Switzerland. 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. The same paper was retyped, mimeographed and circulated to many institutions between 1969 and 1971. He then taught religion and theology in Makerere University, Professor Jesse Mugambi of the University of Nairobi has informed me that Professor John S. Mbiti has joined his ancestors and maker. 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. 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. 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. Prof Mbiti holding his NT translation. The Kenyan-born Christian religious philosopher and writer died on Sunday in Switzerland. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/world/africa/john-mbiti-dead.html Canon Professor JOHN MBITI, an Anglican priest from Kenya, taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. Mbiti challenged the view that traditional African religions were “primitive,” arguing that they deserve as much consideration and study as other faith systems. He said that the death of the scholar is a big blow to the nation. 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. John Mbiti at the All Africa Conference of Churches Assembly in Kampala, Uganda, 2013. Prof Makau Mutua confirmed the death through his Twitter account. More details will be provided by the family. Sigomba Ramadhan Omar. Ironically, I wrote about him in my Sunday Nation column today before he passed. Although Mbiti taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. He also collaborated on a book of African proverbs, collected from across the continent. John Samuel Mbiti, a Kenyan theologian and Anglican priest, died Octo­ber 5 at a nursing home in Switzerland. Others also refused to convert to Christianity because of the belief that Christian missionaries were there to destroy the Igbo religion. His Christian upbringing encouraged his educational journey through the African Inland Church. He sought out his own personal research to teach the class. because we are, and since we are, therefore I am”. He will always be remembered as a colossus of the African He passed away in Switzerland. Recently CMS mission partner Harvey Kwiyani organised the Missio Africanus conference at CMS in Oxford. 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. 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. We thank God for his immense contribution to scholarship in African religion and philosophy and in the development of Kiikamba language and literature. 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. Born in Kenya, The Conversational School of Born in Jomo Kenyata’s land, Kenya, Professor Mbiti studied in Uganda and the United States America. philosophical notions in African philosophy. Kenya is mourning the death of celebrated scholar Prof John Mbiti who breathed his last today, Sunday 06 October 2019. Arnong all religions of the world under academic study African Traditional Religion (A.T.R.) [10] Mbiti died in Burgdorf on 5 October 2019. Canon John Samuel Mbiti, an Anglican priest who was born in Kenya, November 30, 1931. professor john mbiti PROFESSOR JOHN MBITI. Their traditions revolve around a highly ontological phenomena, pushing their followers to question their existence and being. It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Mbiti’s seminal book, African Religions and one of the greats and pioneers in African Philosophy, Rev Canon Prof John After that he served as Director of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, of the World Council of Churches near Geneva, Switzerland. He then earned his Doctor of Philosophy in theology at the University of Cambridge, from where he graduated in 1963. Canon Professor JOHN MBITI, an Anglican priest from Kenya, taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. several visiting professorships at universities all over the world and published 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. The place of Professor John S Mbiti in African theology and African Philosophy is undoubtedly colossal. He did join the land of his ancestors on the 6th October 2019. [6] 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. A Family Member carries Rev. 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 … As the world joins family and Friends in celebrating the Life of Rev. His second more well-known conference, "Confessing Christ in Different Cultures", was held in Bossey in July 1977. Philosophy celebrate the life of this great – a true ancestor. The Igbo religious life is connected to their ancestors and to those not yet born creating a mystic continuum. social organizations and . They believe in a supreme being who is believed to be the controller of the world and all its inhabitants. Image. He was 87. John Samuel Mbiti was a Kenyan-born Christian religious philosopher and writer. 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. some very seminal works on African philosophy and religion. 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. 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. He was married to Verena Mbiti-Siegenthaler United Kingdom. Load More. 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. Prof. Mbiti’s Potrait. INTRODUCTION. After that he served as Director of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, of the World Council of Churches near Geneva, Switzerland. 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. He was a retired Parish Minister in Burgdorf, in Switzerland. 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. 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). 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. Prof Mbiti’s influence in African He held visiting professorships at universities across the world and published extensively on philosophy, theolo… 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.[7][8]. This waiting period is called the transitional period of the deceased. Books by John S. Mbiti. The Igbo religion is one of the traditional African religions that Mbiti researched, their tradition was rooted in their culture. He held a series of influential conferences that focused on intercultural theology. ordained Anglican priest, and as of 2005 a canon of the Anglican Church. [4], 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. Received orally by authorities, this tradition was transmitted from generation to generation through the same oral process. Certainly, this paper does not pretend to exhaust this topic within a short space of time. His sympathetic treatment of traditional religions was based on massive field work. based on extensive fieldwork) challenged the prevalent notions of traditional From 2005 up until his death in October 2019, Mbiti Latest News. John Samuel Mbiti was a Kenyan-born Christian religious philosopher and writer. 13 January 2015. 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. Beyond his philosophy career, Prof Mbiti was an 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. 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 held visiting professorships at universities across the world and published extensively on philosophy, theology and African oral traditions. Uganda, from 1964 to 1974. Born in Kenya, Mbiti obtained his doctorate in 1963 at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will be long remembered as … Philosophy cannot be overstated. [15], 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. Mbiti leaves behind an unparalleled legacy of scholarship and leadership and will be missed. After that he served as Director of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, of the World Council of Churches near Geneva, Switzerland. Mbiti obtained his doctorate in 1963 at the University of Cambridge, He was 87. is a sick baby, It is so far the least practised. The acclaimed scholar is known for his outstanding work and contribution in philosophy and religion. parish minister to the town of Burgdorf, Switzerland. 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. 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. 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. Mbiti's research interests included theology in Africa and Asia, and ecumenism. This conference held an attendance of more than 100 people who gathered from 35 different countries. Professor John Mbiti was born on November 30, 1931, and his thirst for education saw him study beyond Kenya. Mbiti, whose death occurred on Sunday, October 6 2019. Prof Mbiti: The man who translated Bible from English to Kamba dies . More… News & Interviews. He was 87. Collecting and synthesizing indigenous concepts of God, myths, stories, prayers, and proverbs into a religiously oriented “African worldview.” The Most Anticipated Books of 2021. African philosophical and religious ideas as primitive juju. was an Emeritus professor at the University of Bern and His third conference focused on "Indigenous Theology and the Universal Church". Mbiti also found that when an individual dies, his soul or spirit wanders until the body is given a proper burial. Philosophy (1969), continues to influence African philosophers today. Photo: WCC/Naveen Qayyum. In specific, his biggest criticism was that African cosmologies ultimately align with Christian views of God as omnipotent, omnipresent and eternal. 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. From 1974 to 1980 Mbiti was the director of the World Council of Churches Bossey Ecumenical Institute. The Conversational Society of Philosophy (CSP) is a forum for African philosophers and specialists in the field of African philosophy. [11][12], After graduating from Cambridge University he was ordained an Anglican priest of the Church of England. [5], 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". 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. space. May his family and friends know peace @WMutunga @ncckkenya @RailaOdinga,” Prof Mutua tweeted. Verena Mbiti, 2012. 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. 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. Prof Mbiti’s influence in African Philosophy cannot be overstated. While he was here he wrote his first book, African Religions and Philosophy (1969). Mbiti supposedly never responded to the criticism, according to Derek Peterson, a professor of history and African studies at the University of Michigan. The first conference in June 1976 focused on African and Asian contributions to contemporary theology. He attended Alliance High School in Nairobi and continued his education at University College of Makerere where he graduated in 1953. His goal was to bring together African, Asian and other theologians for ecumenical encounter and dialogue. 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. He was an ordained Anglican priest, and is considered "the father of modern African theology". "[14], Mbiti faced criticism from the Ugandan writer Okot p'Bitek for casting his arguments in intellectual terms that had been established by the west. Prof John Samuel Mbiti is dead. 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) [9] He was married to Verena Mbiti-Siegenthaler and had four children and five grand-children. Mbiti in his book looks to dissect the origins of African traditional religion, in specific by studying oral traditions. 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. “Prof John Mbiti, Kenya’s — one of the world’s most iconic philosophy and religion scholars — passed away today in Switzerland. This is captured in the widespread acknowledgment of his famous dictum “I am Indeed, this book (which was Rev. Fluent in Greek, Prof Mbiti, 88, was an ordain priest, an academic colossus who … This paper discusses the contribution of Professor John S Mbiti to African theology and African Philosophy. He served as a parish priest in England until he returned to Makerere in 1964 to teach traditional African religions. Within their traditional life, individuals immersed themselves with religious participation, in which they believe starts before they are born and continues after their death. 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. He gathered ideas from over 300 African peoples or tribes while conducting field research. 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. "Wherever the African is, there is religion. [13], Mbiti returned to Makerere University, where he taught African traditional religion from 1964 to 1974. understood from a mostly Christian lens, and although this was criticized, there It does this by highlighting several scholars in … “Prof John Mbiti, Kenya’s — one of the world’s most iconic philosophy and religion scholars — passed away today in Switzerland. His 1969 book, African Religions and Philosophy, explored this theme, and he elaborated upon it After his stint at Makerere University, he held and had four children. One of Mbiti's most famous quotes in his book African Religions and Philosophy was: Christians attacked the traditional song music and dance of the Igbo religion as they deemed it immoral. This conference had an attendance of more than 80 participants. John Mbiti was born on 30 November 1931 in Mulago, Kitui County, eastern Kenya. 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.[4]. Mbiti was quick to mention that his examination of these religions was John S. Mbiti is a 1 time AALBC.com Bestselling Author. Renowned Kenyan … Mbiti was an ordained Anglican priest. Prof. John Samuel Mbiti in his death, much can be drawn from his legacy both as a Theologian and Scholar. May he continue to live on in our memories. Christianity arrived in Igbo land in 1857, conjuring fear within the Igbo that if they became Christians their god would bring disaster to them. Elders were merely protecting their traditions. Watch Live. Canon Professor JOHN MBITI, an Anglican priest from Kenya, taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. 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. Mutua who is also a scholar noted that the deceased will be remembered because of his immense contribution towards the education sector. John Samuel Mbiti (1931–2019) was a Kenyan-born Christian philosopher and writer. is no doubt that his work provided a unique perspective on several Cambridge University he was married to Verena Mbiti-Siegenthaler and had four children five! The death of celebrated scholar prof John Mbiti, an Anglican priest who was born on 30 1931! 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