When African nationalist writers of the mid-twentieth century refer to Christianity they
almost invariably represent it as being implicated in colonialism. Writers like Beti and
Ngugi evidence this, and Ngugi in particular employs Christian mythology in order to displace it with a nationalism that is given spiritual dimensions. Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus ( 2006. Harare: Weaver) belongs to a new generation of novels that take for granted Christianity as part of contemporary African culture and although the novel criticises the Eurocentric and exclusive Catholicism of previous generations, and demands respect for Igbo spirituality, no attempt is made to recover traditional religion in everyday life or to inculturate Catholicism in religious practices that are no longer central to the majority of the people. Christianity can never be separated from the cultures in which it seeks to express itself, however, and the novel suggests that the Church should be inculturated in a post-modern Nigeria. The post-modernity of the novel is characterised by the migrations
of people, a mistrust of large intellectual systems, and a recognition that intellectual life can hope only for local revelations and tentative conclusions.