African Theology Conference

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African Christian Theology:
Memories and Mission for the 21st Century


Recalling African theology’s origins,
envisioning its 21st century mission

March 22-25, 2017
Notre Dame Global Gateway
Via Ostilia, 15
Rome, Italy

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This conference will gather the world’s leading experts, scholars, and theologians to reflect upon the 20th century origins of African Christian theology, to examine how contemporary issues and emerging questions have influenced its more recent developments, and to discuss its future in light of today’s most pressing problems. Bringing together an impressive and diverse array of international scholars, Church leaders, Bishops and members of the Curia, lay men and women, and activists working across the spectrum of African initiatives. We anticipate vibrant discussion and intense dialogue and hope to lay foundations for ongoing collaboration to address issues that affect the global community as well as the African Church.

Register for the conference here.

Registration is required to receive a conference packet and nametag, which will be the entry indicator for meals.


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The conference will address a variety of topics, including:

  • Scripture and biblical hermeneutics in the African context
  • Christology and Trinitarian theology
  • interreligious dialogue
  • moral theology and pastoral concerns
  • women and the Church
  • the future of the family
  • ecclesiology and Church governance
  • the intersection of Christianity with the African cultural and religious heritage

Invited Speakers' biographies

Conference Schedule


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Conference Hosts

The Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture believes that the truth that the Church affirms about the human person is the foundation for freedom, justice, human dignity, and the common good. The Center’s mission is to share the richness of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition through teaching, research, and dialogue, at the highest level and across a range of disciplines. The Center strengthens Notre Dame’s Catholic character on campus, and brings the university’s voice into the public discussion of the most vital issues of our day.

Fr. Paulinus Odozor, C.S.Sp., is a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He received his initial formation in Nigeria and did his graduate studies at St Michaels College, Toronto, Regis College, Toronto, and the University of Toronto. Odozor's scholarly interests are in foundational issues in Christian ethics; the history of Catholic moral theology; contextual theological issues, including questions pertaining to inculturation; theology and society; African Christian theology; and the theology of marriage. Fr, Odozor is also an Africanist with interest in African history, African literature, African politics and questions relating to change and contemporary African societies. In addition to being the author of over 30 articles in peer-reviewed publications in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, Fr Odozor has also published the following books : Moral Theology in an Age of Renewal: A study of the Catholic Tradition since Vatican II (Notre Dame Press, 2003); Sexuality, Marriage and Family: Readings in the Catholic Tradition (Notre Dame Press, 2001), editor; Africa: Towards Priorities of Mission (Enugu: SIST Publications, 2000), edited with Elochukwu Uzukwu; and Richard McCormick and the Renewal of Moral Theology (Notre Dame Press, 1995). His latest book, Morality Truly Christian, Truly African: Foundational, Methodological and Theological Considerations, was released in November 2014 by the University of Notre Dame Press. Before and since coming to Notre Dame in 1999, Fr. Odozor has held numerous academic, administrative, and pastoral positions in Nigeria and Canada. He is currently president of the Governing Council of Spiritan International School of Theology in Enugu, Nigeria and was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as expert assistant to the 2009 Synod of Bishops for Africa.

Conference Co-Sponsors

Catholic Peacebuilding Network Center for Social Concerns
College of Arts & Letters Department of Theology
Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts Kellogg Institute for International Studies
Keough School of Global Affairs Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
McGrath Institute for Church Life Nneka Ekechukwu
Notre Dame International  

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