The following is a letter from one of our web readers who contacted us about how our work has helped him with his vision for Africa. We provide it to you to rejoice with us in the fruits of our labors:
Good day to you Dr Oden,
My name is Dr U Aligwekwe. I stumbled across the CEAC website quite by chance while researching material for a book I am writing with the title, 'Blackness: A Perspective from the Bible and from Early Christian History'. Suffice it to say that the wealth of information I gleaned from the website was nothing less than a treasure trove; the veritable mother lode as it were. I went on to purchase your books. I have now read 'How Africa Shaped The Christian Mind' and 'Early Libyan Christianity' and I am now reading 'The African Memory of Mark'. I believe I may be one of those young African scholars you mention so often who need to take up the mantle of the study of ancient African Christianity and set the record straight regarding the subject.
As I read your writings I sensed in you a frustration that grew in you as you studied these ancient texts over the years and gradually realised how Africa had been cheated out of her own literary and Christian history and heritage, as well as how we Africans ourselves had been willing participators in "disowning our own illustrious theological roots... misconceiving this denial as if it were a true defence of African identity", to quote you.
I sensed that you must have prayed that scholarly young African minds would rise up and take up this mantle of pursuit. In reality I can't say with any certainty that I am some sort of answer to your prayers but I did stumble across your website as described above, leading on to reading and loving, your books.
I am interested in various aspects of early African Christianity. I am a British-born African charismatic Christian. My full name is Uchenna Amechi Aligwekwe (Uche for short). Like I said I was born in the UK but my parents took us all back to Nigeria when I was about 5 years of age. I then did most of my study, all 23 years of it, including my medical degree, in Nigeria, before returning to England after my housemanship.
I have a great affinity for Nigeria and Africa and also believe like you do, that the future of Christianity lies more in the southern hemisphere than in the northern like it has been for perhaps the last several centuries. I want to see Africa lay claim to her unbroken Christian and literary heritage.
Apart from being a medical doctor, a UK General Practitioner, I am called to be a pastor and a writer. The book I am writing now will be my first.
I would love to hear from you. I have probably a million questions I want to ask you; discussions I want to have. I would be grateful if you would email me back.
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor (Dr) Uchenna Aligwekwe