The Rebirth of African Orthodoxy

Return to Foundations

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Thomas C. Oden
  • Ada, IN: 
    Abingdon Press
    , April
     176 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by David Ngong forthcoming.


African orthodoxy today is the same faith that was confessed by Athanasius and Augustine seventeen centuries ago.African orthodoxy today reveals the same powerful faith that was confessed by Athanasius and Augustine seventeen centuries ago.

Classic African Christian teaching in the patristic period (100–750 AD) preceded modern colonialism by over a thousand years. Many young African women and men are now reexamining these lost roots. They are hungry for accurate information about their Christian ancestors. 

Thomas C. Oden asks readers to recapture the resonance of a consensual orthodoxy, the harmony of voices celebrating the apostolic testimony to God’s saving work in Jesus Christ, witnessed to in scripture and understood best by African interpreters of the faith. In ten seminars, Oden invites discerning readers to reclaim and reaffirm Christian faith as it emerges from thoughtful conversations between contemporary and ancient African interpreters of orthodox faith.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Thomas C. Oden, the retired Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology and Ethics, is an ancient ecumenical evangelical with a passion for orthodoxy. For over thirty years he taught at Drew University and came under the influence of his “irascible, endearing Jewish mentor” Will Herberg. Herberg bluntly told Oden that he would remain “densely uneducated” unless he “read deeply in patristic writers.”  This focus on patristics (the early church fathers) helped professor Oden to realize that modernity is over. As he probed the early church writers for several decades, he incorporated and rechanneled his activism and idealism for the modernist social gospel into a recovery of the classic religious tradition.  Scripture found new life in him, which means he repented an enthrallment with progressive social causes in favor of a stable two-thousand year memory, which he defines as orthodoxy.


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