Volume 6, Issue 2, 2017
Simon Mary Asese Aihiokhai
An African Ethic of Hospitality for the Global Church: A Response to the Culture of Exploitation and Violence in Africa
Barely seventeen years into the twenty-first century, our world continues to be plagued by endless wars and violence. Africa is not immune from these crises. As many countries in Africa celebrate more than fifty years of independence from colonial rule, Africa is still the poorest continent in the world. Religious wars, genocides, ethnic and tribal cleansings have come to define the continent’s contemporary history. Corruption, nepotism, dictatorship, disregard for human life,
tribalism, and many social vices are normalized realities in many parts of the continent. Rather than despair, a radical refocusing on Africa’s rich history of hospitality that affirms the flourishing of all life ought to be embraced. This article aims to do exactly this by exploring Africa’s role and place in the history of three Abrahamic religions; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. While celebrating Africa’s unique role as the gateway for the realization of divine hospitality, this article aims to serve as a witness to an ethic of life that is relevant for the global church’s vision and mission to a pluralistic world and for the mission of the churches of Africa to addressing the social, cultural, and political crises faced by the continent. To achieve these, this work appropriates a comparative theological method that sheds light on the centrality of Africa in these three Abrahamic religions with a bias for the flourishing of life.