Theology promotes Africanisation - agreement of co-operation signed in Cameroon
Posted on 13 June 2011
Prof Johan Buitendag, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Prof Ernest van Eck of the Department of New Testament Studies, visited the Cameroon Christian University (CCU) and the Presbyterian Theological Seminary (PTS) in Kumba, Cameroon, between 25 and 31 May 2011.
As part of the Faculty's Africanisation strategy, it is important to collaborate with African institutions. One of Prof Van Ecks previous students, dr David Mbengu, a scholar at the PTS, invited them to Cameroon. This was followed by a mutual agreement of exchange programmes for staff and students between the Deans of the two institutions. They are also considering developing mutual research fields as well as co-publishing.
"The agreement of co-operation shows that UP is serious about its roots in Africa and that we want to be relevant on our continent," said Prof Johan Buitendag.
Prof Buitendag also said that Africanisation starts in one's mind and heart. It is important for the lecturers in the Faculty of Theology to experience Africa's devotion and successes in theology first-handedly. "I would like to see that all our lecturers can on a rotational basis visit Kumba for short courses and other collaboration projects. They are about to embark from a seminary to a proper theological faculty and we can assist them in this process. They too want to become internationally recognised. I am quite impressed with their academic standard," he said.
On Friday, 27 May, Proff Buitendag and Van Eck attended a graduation ceremony at CCU where Prof Buitendag delivered the occasional address. On the Sunday, the graduandi were legitimised (or authorised) in the Presbyterian Church which they attended and they also partook in the liturgy.
According to Proff Buitendag and Van Eck, the people of Cameroon are well-known for their hospitality and food. If they want to celebrate, a feast is organised. All their lunches and suppers were on invitation.
Cameroon is not a rich country, altough they have some oil. Cameroon exports bananas and cocao beans. The emphasis of all meals is on vegetables and there is quite a variety. The local people eat dried prawns, shrimps and lobsters. The name Cameroon comes from the word ‘lobster’. French wine is served with every meal. Beer is a popular beverage but is served warm – not because they prefer it warm, but because of limited resources.
"I was very impressed with the Cameroon people’s devotion and dedication. With very limited resources, they manage to achieve a lot. I am proud to be an African", Prof Buitendag said.
To see more photos from the event. click here