This thesis does not attempt to castigate Africa for its collective sin. The focus
on collective sin in Mrica does not suggest that collective sin is limited to
Africa, but simply that Africa is suffering from this sin. It is regrettable, but
indeed a reality, that collective sin has impacted negatively on Mrica. The
influence of sin on African theological thinking has had far reaching
consequences and has also affected the culture of Africa in general. Sin has
also completely permeated social and political arenas in Africa.
This thesis identifies three kinds of collective sin: cultural sin, social sin and
structural sin. It points out that, unfortunately, sin has strongly influenced the
collective existence of the Church throughout the world. The conclusion is
reached that the mission of the church always therefore remains to counter sin
and its origin, whether this is original, individual or collective sin within the
church or in the community.
The argument begins by setting out the conceptual framework to this study
and outlining the methodology. Thereafter, it provides a clarification of the
terminology used. Chapter Two presents an understanding of collective sin in
African traditional religion by situating the discussion within an
anthropological, historical and ideological frame of reference.
Chapters Three and Four, respectively, explore the three categories of
collective sin in depth and explore collective sin within a specific tribe - the
Baluba tribe. A systematic treatment of collective sin follows in Chapter Five.
This involves providing a full theological and biblical explication of sin.
Chapter Six discusses collective sin, more generally, in Africa; attempts to
identify the causes of the crisis; and begins to proffer some tentative solutions.
These latter solutions are more fully articulated in Chapter Eight, by identifying the true mtsston of church. The penultimate chapter places
collective sin within a global and a church context.
An annotated Harvard system has been used for notation and vibliographical