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Idolatry and the Peril of the Nation: Reading Jeremiah 2 in an African Context

Bungishabaku Katho

This article focuses on a theological interpretation of Jeremiah 2:4–8 in light of the African context. This passage is typical of many in Jeremiah where the Lord laments Israel’s turn away from the Lord to serve idols. Jeremiah offers a diagnosis of what went wrong with Israel, and I seek to understand how that diagnosis might provide a key for understanding Africa’s own postcolonial situation. The article examines Israel and African Christianity in parallel: the historical context, the abandonment and banalization of God in contemporary times, and the resulting failed leadership that the prophetic imagination is called to address on the basis of Jeremiah’s prophecy.

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