“Theologizing in Black: God in Africana Theological Enterprise and Hermeneutics: Volume 2”

“Theologizing in Black: God in Africana Theological Enterprise and Hermeneutics: Volume 2”

I just ordered the following books to get me started with the second volume in the “Theologizing in Black” series. While volume one in the series studies theological ethics and anthropology in Africana Studies (Title: “Theoligizing in Black: On Africana Theological Ethics and Anthropology,” 2020), the second volume will investigate the concept of God in Africana Theological Enterprise and Africana Theological Hermeneutics:

  1. Acts: A Theological Commentary on the Bible (Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Jennings, Willie James
  2. How Is Jesus Christ Lord?: Reading Kwame Bediako from a Postcolonial and Intercontextual Perspective (African Theological Studies / Etudes Théologiques Africaines) by Dinkelaker, Bernhard
  3. Against God and Nature: The Doctrine of Sin (Foundations of Evangelical Theology) by McCall, Thomas H.
  4. Sojourners and Strangers: The Doctrine of the Church by
    Allison, Gregg R.
  5. Théologie trinitaire en instance africaine Tome 1: La Révélation biblique trinitaire et l’effort de théologisation de Dieu-Trinité par les Pères de … et savoir en Afrique) by Anzian, Pierre
  7. Théologie africaine et calvaire des peuples: La spiritualité africaine en questions (Églises d’Afrique) by Vangu Vangu, Emmanuel
  8. Théologie trinitaire en instance africaine Tome 2: Le Kambonou comme rationalité africaine à la compréhension de Dieu-Trinité (Croire et savoir en Afrique) by Anzian, Pierre
  9. Médiation ancestrale et médiation christique: L’écartèlement du chrétien africain (Croire et savoir en Afrique) by Anzian, Pierre
  10. Eglise et développement humain intégral en Afrique: Jalons pour l’avènement du Règne de Dieu (Croire et savoir en Afrique) by Anzian, Pierre
  11. God the Son Incarnate: The Doctrine of Christ (Foundations of Evangelical Theology) by Wellum, Stephen J.
  12. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief by
    John M. Frame
  13. African Origins of Monotheism: Challenging the Eurocentric Interpretation of God Concepts on the Continent and in Diaspora
    by Gwinyai H. Muzorewa
  14. Historical and Social Dimensions in African Christian Theology: A Contemporary Approach by Wilson Muoha Maina
  15. A la découverte d’une théologie trinitaire chez les Bantu: ou le Dieu Trine dans l’ontologie africaine (Afrique théologique & spirituelle) (French Edition) by Stanislas Maweni Maleb
  16. Le Dieu Crucifié en Afrique (Églises d’Afrique) by Benoît Awazi Mbambi Kungua
  17. Repenser la théologie africaine – le Dieu qui libère by Jean-Marc Éla
  18. Jean-Marc Ela ou l’honneur de faire de la théologie en Afrique: Hommage au théologien africain de la libération by Jean Kouadio
  19. Théologie africaine et problèmes connexes: Au fil des années (1956-1992) (Études africaines) by Vincent Mulago
  20. Foi et libération dans les oeuvres de Jean – Marc Ela: Perspective christologique (Églises d’Afrique) by Jean Kouadio
  21. Dieu et l’Afrique: Une approche prophétique, émancipatrice et pluridisciplinaire (Afroscopie) by Benoît Awazi Mbambi Kungua
  22. The Origins and Development of African Theology
    by Gwinyai H. Muzorewa
  23. Esquisse d’une théologie du logos en Afrique: Proposition d’une foi narrative et dialogale en milieu bantu (Afrique théologique & spirituelle) by Stanislas Maweni Malebi
  24. The Great Being: Creator, Yahweh, Chuku, Allah, God, Brahman: An Introduction to the World’s Major Religions by Gwinyai H. Muzorewa
  25. The Making of an African Christian Ethics: Bénézet Bujo and the Roman Catholic Moral Tradition (African Christian Studies)
    by Wilson Muoha Maina

“Majestic Theism in Action”

“Majestic Theism in Action”

Good People: Let’s do a little theology on this beautiful Sunday morning:

Sacred religious texts such as the Bible have an interesting way to remind us about our fragility as human beings as compared to God, the Ultimate Reality, the Center of Gravity, and the One Who holds all things together in the (multi)universe; the latter is an example of theological reasoning and belief that goes beyond the sphere of science and theoretical physics. Also, Scriptures (sacred Texts or sacred Writings) have a specific way to call us to mental submission, that is, the call to surrender ourselves to the will, majesty, and sovereignty of God. Submission in this case is a way to help us cultivate humility, to think about the transient nature of our time in the world and the ephemeral things that inhabit our world, and to ponder upon our constant dependence on God for the reality of our existence in the cosmos.

“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.”
–Psalm 100:3

“1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.

12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

–Psalm 90:1-4, 12

I call this scriptural summary and attestation, as noted in the verses above, about the rapport between human beings to the infinite God “majestic theism in action.” The great danger in human spirituality and theological meditation is existential–which may produce  spiritual alienation and discomfort–is when all human activities and interventions in the world elevate human beings (a humancentric attitude toward life, joys, pleasures, and death) above the divine (a theocentric attitude toward life, pleasures, joys, relationships,  and death).

Happy Sunday from the Sunshine State!



Religious belief tends to evolve with the changing culture and intellectual climate. Yet if God is dead and unnecessary in the post-God and anti-theistic Western culture, to whom shall we (mortals) turn to for immortality and comfort? We are not the source and end of life in the cosmos. We are not our own; everyone (every one) of us belongs to God. He is our Father and She is our Mother too. Our existence is contingent upon the One who made us as his image bearers and according to her likeness too. Our life is dependent upon God who gives and sustains life.

The genderless God is life.
She is the life-giver and life-sustainer.
He is immortal and eternal.
No one is like Him.
She is the most compassionate and the most patient Being.
God is not dead because we humans are still alive.
If we can still breathe, God is necessary.
God is our Ubuntu; we are because He is. Our humanity is connected to God’s divinity.

“Can These Bones Live, Lord? Being Optimistic and Truthful about Haiti’s Long history of Trauma and Suffering”

“Can These Bones Live, Lord? Being Optimistic and Truthful about Haiti’s Long history of Trauma and Suffering”

Given Haiti’s long history of trauma and suffering, and a fragile democracy, sometimes, it terrifies me that the country of Haiti and its people will be destroyed by natural disasters and catastrophies. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, storms, floods, earthquakes, and other forms of traumas (i.e. economic, political, cultural, psychological, existential) visit the nation of Haiti and its dear people too often. Arguably, I have been struggling with this personal fear for a long time, and it has waged numerous battles within me. I believe that the most important task of a public intellectual is not to stir up the human conscience nor to awaken the national spirit. The concerning and people-centered intellectual will provide guidance to the people in fragile and tormentous times, help them to maintain a spirit of optimism and future possibilities, and will be sensitive to their state of mind and evolving psychology.

Nonetheless, I am a very positive person and always try to hold on to hope and not to let despair, hopelessness, or cynicism guide my thoughts and actions. I am not afraid to face this life’s challenges and moments of despair, desolation, and pessimism. Correspondingly, I am not afraid of the power of (personal and collective) lament and mourning over my country and my people.

  1. Resilience is not another word for safety and hope.
  2. Collective suffering is not often redemptive or salvific.
  3. Staying alive does not mean living out the quality life or the good life.
  4. Holding on to the end does not necessarily lead to restoration or
  5. Resistance to corruption, poverty, poor healthcare, violence, trauma, mass death, economic exploitation, racial capitalism, international sanctions, and foreign invasions and interventions is not equated with collective power and self-determination.
  6. Holding on to a glorious past, and a history of revolution and resistance does not often produce collective peace, national unity, or political sovereignty.
  7. Being zealously religious and spiritual will not help escape existential death, even physical disappearance from this world.

Yet I remain convinced today that a country that has given birth to a François Makandal, a Dutty Boukman, a Toussaint Louverture, a Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a Louis Félix Mathurin Boisrond-Tonnerre (“Boisrond-Tonnerre”), a François Capois (“Kapwa lanmò), a Cécile Fatiman, a Suzanne Béliar, a Marie Sainte Dédée Bazile (“Défilé”),  a Catherine Flon, a Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniére, a Marie Vieux-Chauvet, a Jacques Roumain, and a Charlemagne Péralte will be resurrected from the dead, and its people will rise triumphantly in the midst of its ruins. The source of our strength is within us, and our Messiah is not and will not be a foreigner, but a Haitian-born or Haitian-descent Savior. The Messiah is not an individual, but the collective. The Savior is not a person, but the people.

Can these dead bones live, Lord?

Yes, they can.

Yahoo News: “Haiti needs time to breathe’ after 1st devastating earthquake since 2010 disaster” by Marquis Francis

Yahoo News: “Haiti needs time to breathe’ after 1st devastating earthquake since 2010 disaster” by Marquis Francis

Here’s an excerpt of my interview with Marquis Francis of Yahoo News:

“Celucien L. Joseph, an associate professor of English at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Fla., is a Haitian historian and literary scholar who moved to the U.S. at age 15. He blames a troubled history of foreign rule, including by the U.S., for many of the challenges Haiti struggles with today.

“The United States has contributed enormously to the suffering of the Haitian people and Haiti’s economic challenges and decline and political troubles,” Joseph told Yahoo News. “U.S. policies toward Haiti have been detrimental to the country’s economic development and autonomy.”

“The Haitian people are a people who have known or experienced political tragedy, trauma, suffering, natural disasters and all forms of abuse and exploitation coming from different directions and sources,” Joseph said. “Politics in Haiti is synonymous with national catastrophe, and the fragile political life continues to challenge the enduring legacy of the Haitian Revolution.”


“Bragging about my biologically literary children” I gave birth to all of these children you see here. I love them all equally. They’re very proud to call me daddy. 😂 Here is the truth about my academic babies and the nature of their birth. I’ve had some of these children with one mother; we have a collective name for them: (5) Single-authored books. Other children were birthed as a collaborative effort with other (surrogate) fathers and mothers; we choose a group name for them: (5) edited volumes/books. #justalittlebragging

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“Nations and the Practice of Human Cooperation”

“Nations and the Practice of Human Cooperation”

We will save ourselves and others from a lot of trouble and misfortune if only the developed countries would leave the developing nations in the Global South and their governments alone. By alone, I would like to convey this idea: not to interfere in their politics, way of life, and tell them how they should govern their people and live in the world. The nations of the world have their own culture, practices, and moral framework, and they often look at the other nations from their own particular lens and worldview. Political sovereignty and national autonomy of a nation are significant to help develop a sense of national pride and patriotic sensibility, and achieve a level of economic sustainability.

On the other hand, as a matter of international relations and good will diplomacy, countries should help each other in moments of political crisis, natural disasters, war, violations of human rights, etc., and they should practice the ethics of human solidarity and the politics of international cooperation. The nations of the world are not just comprised of systems and institutions to enable them to function; nations are like people who need each other to grow and flourish in the world. Nations, regardless of their economic strength, amount of wealth, and democratic governance, are like individuals who need a cooperative lift or a human booster to help explore future possibilities and achieve a strong democratic character. Nations, just like people, need each other to make the world a more liveable and welcoming place for everyone. Human beings are like plants, and the nations of the world are like trees that need water and human care to grow, develop, and flourish. We are Nations. The countries are People. Let’s practice human cooperation and mutual reciprocity.

Reading Cicero for the Good Life in 7 Days:Day 3 (“The Practice of Moral Goodness in Society”)

Reading Cicero for the Good Life in 7 Days:
Day 3 (“The Practice of Moral Goodness in Society”)

What is my individual duty and obligation in the world?

“For we are morally bound to cherish and observe the degree of right which comes within our comprehension just as carefully as the ideally wise man is obligated to cherish what is right in the full and ideal sense of the world. Because that is the only way in which we can maintain whatever progress we have made towards achieving goodness.

So much then for people who fulfil their moral obligations sufficiently well to be regarded as good. But those who habitually weight the right course against what they regard as advantageous are in quite a different category. Unlike good men, they judge everything by profits and gains, which seem to them just as valuable as what is right. Panaetius observed that people often doubtingly weigh those two things against one another. I am sure he meant just what he said: that they often do this, not that they ought to. For preferring advantage to right is not the only crime. It is also sinful even to attempt a comparison between the two things—even to hesitate between them.”

Do not harm or hurt others:

“Well, then, to take something away from someone else—to profit by another’s loss—is more unnatural than death, or destitution, or pain, or any other physical or external blow. To begin with, this strikes at the roots of human society and fellowship. For if we each of us propose to rob or inure one another for our personal gain, then we are clearly anything else in the whole world: namely, the link that unites every human being with every other. Just imagine if each of our limbs had its own consciousness and saw advantage for itself in appropriating the nearest limb’s strength! Of course, the whole body would inevitably collapse and die. In precisely the same way, a general seizure and appropriation of other people’s property would cause the collapse of the human community, the brotherhood of man. Granted that there is nothing unnatural in a man preferring to earn a living for himself rather than for someone else, what nature forbids is that we should increase our own means, property, and resources by plundering others.”

Source, Cicero, “Selected Works,” trans. with an introduction by Michael Grant, pp. 165, 166-7

Commentary and Reflection:

In the first passage above, Cicero argues because human beings share a common humanity and are universally endowed with a sense to fulfill their moral obligations or duties where they are in the world, they are compelled morally to do what is right and good in the world. Human beings are created with a sense to know the ideal good and the ideal right, which the Stoics called the ideal wisdom. Such moral vision of the world is inherent in the moral universe; in other words, we live in a moral universe due to divine providence and the divine spark that was universally bestowed upon every person, universally and transhistorically.

As a result, Cicero believed that it is impossible to realize moral progress without achieving moral goodness, which the Divine has gifted humanity. He connected human progress (i.e. human intelligence, reason, moral progress, economic progress, cultural progress) with the moral attributes of the cosmos; it is from this perspective, he could posit that the only way human beings could move forward toward global and universal progress is to fulfill both our individual and collective obligations in the world. In the most practical way, each one of us should be asking: what is my duty toward my family, other individuals, community, city, church, workplace, etc., to help others achieve progress and meet their respective obligations in various arenas and departments of life? Or as a national and global citizen, what am I supposed to do to contribute to the good life and human flourishing in society and in the world?

For Cicero, our moral obligations are linked automatically to the natural world and our nature as human beings, and the life worth living is the one that will fulfill such obligations already preordained in the moral universe by the Divine. Each one of us must always seek a way to do good and right, and to maximize the common good in the world. We are obligated to live in such a way because of our common identity as human beings. We do not live for ourselves, but to support and elevate our neighbor. Self-interest is the antithesis of the highest good. The pursuit of self-pleasure at the expense of the happiness and pleasure of another individual challenges Cicero’s conviction that the ideal good or the ideal right is a shared purpose of humanity.

Therefore, when an individual fails to fulfill his or her moral obligations in society, directly and indirectly, such attitude will result in postponing human progress in the world and deferring what should be profitable or advantageous to other human beings. If we follow Cicero’s logic about our moral obligations linked to his doctrine of divine providence, human-made calamities and evils such as oppression, abuse, exploitation, rape, dictatorship, authoritarianism, physical pain, poverty, famine, suffering, even death contradict the divine plan for the ordered moral universe and humanity. Harming or hurting another person is a counter action to what is morally good and advantageous. Abusing and exploiting another individual defeat our common purpose in the world. According to Cicero, if and when an individual exploits another person “to profit by another’s loss,” such action challenges “the roots of human society and fellowship” because we ought to live in cooperation and understanding and in light of the moral goodness inherent in the moral frame and order of the universe.

Practically, nobody should seek self-interest or should live a self-centered life; rather, each one of us should energetically and intentionally commit to the interest and wellbeing of others. Suppose each individually intentionally seeks the interest of others, our individual intervention will eventually complement each other and result in the fulfillment of our collective destiny and obligations. This is the only way we will avoid the (future) moral collapse of civilization and the progressive decline of our shared humanity. As Cicero warned us, “Granted that there is nothing unnatural in a man preferring to earn a living for himself rather than for someone else, what nature forbids is that we should increase our own means, property, and resources by plundering others.” The good life is how each one of us intends to live in the world in relation to the common humanity and fellowship we share as human beings and in respect to our moral obligations associated with divine providence in the world.