28th February 2019

On Tuesday 12th February All Nations was delighted to welcome former Principal Joe Kapolyo who presented the 2019 Whitley Lecture ‘From Theology to Theologies’.


Over 90 people booked their free tickets through the college web site and travelled from far and near to listen to Joe share his insights about Western theology and its impact on African, Asian and Latin American Biblical interpretations and theologies.

Joe pointed out that the average Christian is now a 37-year-old Ugandan woman.  He is excited that the centre of gravity of Christianity is shifting to the southern hemisphere. Joe argued that

‘…the traditional distinction between theology (which should rightly be named as European or Enlightenment theology) and its privileged position over against so-called contextualised theologies is not only false but dangerous.  At best this has been and continues to be an instrument of exclusion; excluding African, Asian and Latin American cultures from serious theological discourse. At worst it is an act of arrogance and even oppression.’

Joe’s message was that African, Asian and Latin American cultures should start from the Biblical text to work out how to apply Scripture using their own cultural language rather than using Western theological terminology that does not resonate with the culture/context. Joe gave colourful anecdotes that illustrated his point.  Different cultures can read Scripture and come out with some powerful truths if liberated from applying Western theological process in their engagement. Joe speaks about ‘mining for gold’, suggesting that the Bible can speak more poignantly into people’s lives if they stop applying Western structures but instead become liberated to realise their own!

The evening ended with questions and answers. Former All Nations lecturers Richard Harvey and Martin Goldsmith were among those who discussed with Joe. All copies of Joe’s lecture booklet sold out!

Copies of the booklet ‘From theology to theologies’ are available on Amazon – the booklet is recommended reading, especially for people leading in multicultural churches.


The 2019 Whitley Lecture - Joe Kapolyo


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