Prof dr John Samuel Mbiti

Prof dr John Samuel Mbiti
Emeritus, Makerere University, Uganda; Faculty of Theology, University of Bern, Switzerland

John Samuel Mbiti Mbiti is an Emeritus Professor at the and parish minister to the town of Burgdorf, Switzerland. He is a Christian religious philosopher, an ordained Anglican priest, and as of 2005[update] a canon. Born in Kenya, Mbiti studied in Uganda and the United States, taking his doctorate in 1963 at the University of Cambridge, UK. He taught religion and theology in Makerere University, Uganda from 1964 to 1974 and was subsequently director of the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Institute in Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland. He has held visiting professorships at universities across the world and published extensively on philosophy, theology and African oral traditions. Mbiti's seminal book, African Religions and Philosophy (1969), was the first work to significantly challenge Christian assumptions that traditional African religious ideas were "demonic and anti-Christian". His sympathetic treatment of traditional religions was based on massive field work. Mbiti is clear that his interpretation of these religions is from a firmly Christian perspective, and this aspect of his work has sometimes been severely criticized. Mbiti's research interests include theology in Africa and Asia, and ecumenism. He has also collaborated on a book of African proverbs, collected from across the continent. Some of his books include: Akamba Stories (1966); African Religions and Philosophy [1969] (1990); Concepts of God in Africa (1970); New Testament Eschatology in an African Background (1971); Love and Marriage in Africa (1973); Introduction to African Religion [1975] (1991); The Prayers of African Religion (1975); Bible and Theology in African Christianity (1987); African Proverbs (1997). Mbiti is one of Africa’s most influential theologians.