Luther's Small Catechism with African Descent Reflections
In connection with the observance of the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation events initiated by the 95 Theses, a distinguished group of African descent Lutheran theologians gathered at the offices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to explore and reflect on Luther’s Small Catechism.
While continuing to affirm the gift of the Small Catechism in the life of the church, they recognized that the meaning of these explanations of Christian faith could and should be broadened to address the historical, cultural, and linguistic experience of Lutherans of African descent, both on the African continent and in the diaspora.
In the Small Catechism Luther presented central articles of Christian faith, then asked and answered a critical question: “What is this?” or “What does this mean?” Luther’s answers were contextual, addressing his historical, cultural, and social settings.
This edition of Luther’s Small Catechism not only the version of the Small Catechism widely used among Lutherans in North America today, but also reflections from a distinguished group of African descent Lutheran theologians. These brief commentaries offer additional context, language, and illumination from the experiences of African descent people, both past and present, to enrich our understanding of the Small Catechism and enliven faith. -- Excerpt from the introduction by the Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Echols (1951- 2018).
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