Kenneth Kaunda's philosophy of Christian humanism in Africa from the pserpective of Christian ethics
Muwina, Derrick Muwina
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The future of our world will largely be determined by our willingness and ability to address practices and beliefs that threaten human dignity, promote violence, and impoverish communities. This dissertation develops an African humanist theology as a basis for concrete engagement with social problems (dehumanization, violence, and poverty) by drawing from Kenneth Kaunda’s concept of Christian humanism. Relying on writings by Kenneth Kaunda housed at Boston University library (books, pamphlets, and unpublished speeches), this dissertation argues that his concept of Christian humanism is a valuable, multidimensional concept that, properly understood can serve as a critical resource for addressing the ethical challenges related to human dignity, nonviolence, and economic justice. This dissertation undertakes four main tasks. First, the dissertation’s critical examination of Christian humanism and African humanism exposes shared yet distinctive emphases on human dignity. Second, the dissertation studies Kaunda’s biography to explore the contextual influences on his life and the development of his thought. Kaunda was deeply influenced by his missionary parents and, later in life, by thinkers such as Mahatma Gandhi. Third, the dissertation analyzes the theoretical bases of Kaunda’s Christian humanism with regard to the main themes of human dignity, nonviolence, and economic egalitarianism. Fourth, the dissertation proposes an African Christian humanist approach embodying the ideas espoused by Kaunda as a framework for addressing the ethical challenges in Africa related to violence and poverty. This study concludes that African Christian humanism in the sense proposed should be an important component of social ethics.