Who Are My People? Love, Violence, and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Emmanuel Katongole

Notre Dame Press, 2022

In Who Are My People?, Emmanuel Katongole examines what it means to be both an African and a Christian in a continent that is often riddled with violence. The driving assumption behind the investigation is that the recurring forms of violence in Africa reflect an ongoing crisis of belonging. Katongole traces the crisis through three key markers of identity: ethnicity, religion, and land. He highlights the unique modernity of the crisis of belonging and reveals that its manifestations of ethnic, religious, and ecological violence are not three separate forms of violence but rather modalities of the same crisis. This investigation shows that Christianity can generate and nurture alternative forms of community, nonviolent agency, and ecological possibilities.

The book is divided into two parts. Part One deals with the philosophical and theological issues related to the question of African identity. Part Two includes three chapters, each of which engages a form of violence, locating it within the broader story of modern sub-Saharan Africa. Each chapter includes stories of Christian individuals and communities who not only resist violence but are determined to heal its wounds and the burden of history shaped by Africa’s unique modernity. In doing so, they invent new forms of identity, new communities, and a new relationship with the land. This engaging, interdisciplinary study, combining philosophical analysis and theological exploration, along with theoretical argument and practical resources, will interest scholars and students of theology, peace studies, and African studies.