Sustainability, African identity and climate justice

Anvil journal of theology and mission

Sustainability, African identity and climate justice: reframing the climate conversation

by Israel Oluwole Olofinjana


As an African missionary pastor resident in the UK, the area of my scholarly research has been examining the reverse mission of African Christians in Britain. Reverse mission in this context is understood as a divine strategy to establish or usher in God’s kingdom in the West. This is not to say that God’s kingdom is not already present, but that the migration of Majority World Christians brings a missiological significance in terms of God’s multi-ethnic kingdom. But a further question I have been wrestling with is: what crucial role does African identity play in the mission of African Christians in Britain? How does African identity impact their mission? Does it enhance or hinder it? Part of answering these questions has been to develop what I refer to as African British theology, which posits that confidence in African identity is essential for the success of the African missionary enterprise in a contested multicultural British society, but that this is not a substitute for a contextual approach to mission.[1] African British theology is essentially developing African theology in Britain as an intercultural missiology and public theology.

As a postcolonial theology, one of the major preoccupations of this theological thought is interrogating western public theology as it relates to racial justice and climate justice concerns. This paper therefore examines western notions of sustainability and offers new insights on how we can define and measure sustainability. It shifts the conversation on sustainability from an economic perspective to an anthropological perspective. The paper further proposes that we need a new understanding on how we tackle climate justice that incorporates racial justice thinking. This is in developing a brown theology that resonates with the brown agenda. This is different from a western green theology, which situates conversations on the environment in the green agenda. Too often our conversations on climate justice are rooted in ecology, but if we are going to tackle the intersection of climate and racial injustice, we clearly need an approach to climate justice that is rooted in anthropology: a theological anthropology that seeks the redemption of the collective notion of humanity through a reconciled community.

A working definition of racial justice in this essay is the strategic thinking and action to combat institutional, structural and personal racism that dehumanises people of colour created in God’s image. Climate justice as used in this paper refers to our shared responsibility to speak up and take action to safeguard the rights and dignity of those disproportionately affected by climate change. Climate change in this context is understood as the results from the impact of our actions and inactions on our world.[2]

Western notions of sustainability

The climate crises affect us all and we are increasingly seeing the impact on every continent, biodiversity and ecosystems. Coral reefs are declining, floods have increased in different parts of the world, bushfires are becoming rampant, famines are impacting people’s livelihood, storms are accelerating, erratic weather conditions are becoming normal, and the levels of our CO2 have skyrocketed due to greenhouse emissions and other factors. As a result of the climate crisis, we now have climate refugees who are fleeing their countries because they have lost their homes, businesses and livelihoods to the devastating effects of environmental crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned us just before COP 26 (the global climate summit in Glasgow in 2021) in a report on the current state of the climate:

It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.[3]

In essence, humans have caused unprecedented and irreversible change to the climate. The recent report in April 2022 gave a starker and final warning that we need a radical step if greenhouse emissions must peak by 2025.[4] In the light of these warnings, what is the prophetic role of the church? Due to the climate and environmental crisis that faces humanity, one of the buzzwords that has gained ascendancy in our vocabulary is sustainability. In an attempt to survive by seeking alternative, reliable and efficient energy to power our planet, there are lots of conversations on sustainable development, sustainable products, sustainable energy, sustainable energy engineering, sustainable future, sustainable planet and so on. Western notions of sustainability embody three concepts that always seem crucial, namely the environmental, economic and social aspects. The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 give us a better and holistic way of understanding how we can sustain our planet because they give a framework that balances social, economic, political and environmental sustainability. For example, Sustainable Development Goal 7 focuses on affordable and clean energy, therefore aiming to provide affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all. Sustainable Development Goal 13 talks about climate action, highlighting the need to take urgent steps to tackle the impact of the climate crisis.[5] However, Sustainable Development Goal 8 focuses on decent work and economic growth with the aim to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth. But economic growth sometimes has echoes of colonialism, with big western corporations extracting wealth from developing countries while leaving waste, environmental damage and health crises in their wake. The ongoing funding of fossil fuel extraction is manifestly unjust because the emissions from continued fossil fuel use are having the greatest adverse impact on Black and brown people in deprived communities across the globe who have least contributed to and benefitted from the cumulative emissions that have brought us to this state of emergency.

The problem as I see it is that our idea of sustainability is still rooted in economic growth, so that even when we talk about sustainable development or sustainable economic growth, we are still preoccupied by how we address economic growth through efficient extraction, transportation and consumption of resources. It is ultimately ingrained. The other problem is that our idea of sustainability is still largely driven by the West with its history of economic dominance and exploitation, and it therefore begs the question: why should the world at large follow western notions of sustainability if at the end of the day it is communities from the Majority World that continue to suffer disproportionately from the impact of the climate and environmental crisis?

If western ways of measuring sustainability are so intricately bound to economic growth, are there other ways of measuring sustainability? An example of a different way of measuring sustainability that is not rooted in economic growth but in well-being can be found in the South Asian country of Bhutan, which measures sustainability through well-being and human flourishing. Their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is measured by the Gross National Happiness (GNH) index on well-being and happiness of its citizens. This was first introduced in 1972 by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth king of Bhutan. Is there something we can learn here on a different set of parameters of measuring sustainability?

African identity, enslavement and colonisation

To advance a different model of measuring sustainability, it is important to consider the complex history that fragmented African identity as well as the intersection of racial and climate injustice to better understand western economic exploitation and dominance. African traditional identity before enslavement was diverse with different tribes, kingdoms and languages. This traditional African identity, while not homogenous, has a shared root on the geopolitical continent of Africa. The transatlantic slave trade with its brutality fragmented African identity and dislocated it so that today we speak of an African tripartite identity:[6] African diaspora in the Americas as African Americans, in the Caribbean islands as African Caribbeans, and those who remained on the mother land as Continental Africans. This dislocation of the African family has done almost a permanent damage in the sense that while this tripartite identity is now fully accepted, nevertheless there are ongoing differences and tensions between Africans, African Caribbeans and African Americans. A further fragmentation of African identity took place with the colonisation and partitioning of Africa by seven uninvited European powers, namely Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Spain and Germany. The continent was carved out during the scramble for Africa in 1884–85 on new lines of European powers and languages, thus displacing traditional boundaries, ethnic languages and customs of the people of Africa. The consequences are that firstly, the African mind was colonised, but the land and its resources were also taken; however, far more insidious is that African identity was fragmented along European identity and languages so that today Africans are multilingual, speaking their indigenous languages but also the languages of their colonisers. While this makes us international and helps us navigate the global and transnational processes, the negative is a constant reliance on the West for its deliverance. This is part of the reason why the West has a large percentage of so-called economic migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, thus leading to a large diaspora community in the West.

Theological reflection on Hebraic identity

A biblical precedence of diaspora community is the Jewish community, who, in similar fashion, has experienced and continues to experience fragmentation and dislocation of Jewish identities. A quick theological reflection on diasporic identity by looking at Hebraic identity in the Scriptures is therefore crucial to this conversation. This is in the true fashion of African theology, which takes its point of departure from Scripture. Hebraic identity in the Old Testament, while not homogenous, has a shared commonality in the centrality and worship of Yahweh (see Deut. 6:4). Kingdom politics and tribal loyalties among other things led to a divided kingdom around 900 BC with Judah in the south and what emerged to be Israel in the north. These two kingdoms had their distinctive identities in terms of government administration, religion and culture. Two centuries later, a powerful nation – the Assyrian empire – conquered and exiled the people of the north, repopulating it with people from other cultures; thus Samaria, the capital city in the north, was perceived by the southerners as corrupt and confused (see 2 Kings 17). Around 586 BC, the people of the south were also conquered and exiled by the Babylonian, later Persian, kingdom. This created a sort of tripartite Hebraic identity with Samaritans (people of the north), Judah or Jews (people of the south) and those in diaspora, who were exiled into Babylonia and later Persia. This tripartite Hebraic identity is seen at play throughout the inter-testamental period otherwise also known as Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament. For example, when the exiles from Judah returned to rebuild the Temple, city and city walls, they were opposed by the Samaritans, who did not share their loyalty (see Ezra 4–5; Neh. 4–5). We also see similar tensions in the early church in Acts 6 when the Grecian Jews (Jews born in the diaspora) complained of being marginalised by the Hebraic Jews (Jews born in the land of Israel).

In summary, in similar fashion to Hebraic identity, African traditional identity – while not homogenous – has a shared root on the continent of Africa. But like the Jews due to conquest, enslavement, colonialism, migration and neocolonialism, this heterogeneous identity on one continent was displaced so that the African diaspora was created in the West Indies as African Caribbeans and the Americas as African Americans. The transatlantic slave trade that fragmented African identity cannot be dichotomised from its link to racial and climate injustice.

Racial injustice: climate crisis

The transatlantic slave trade as a global economic system and institution prospered because of racial ideology that conceived Africans as objects and properties that needed to be dominated because they were inferior and not intelligent. Sometimes Christian mission, with its understanding that Africans were heathens and pagans that needed saving, colluded with colonial authorities to propagate the gospel. The transatlantic slave trade was also an integral part of the Industrial Revolution from the 1750s onwards. One of the first scholars to identify the links between racism and capitalism was Eric Williams (1911–81), the first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Williams uncovered slavery’s role at the heart of the Industrial Revolution. He states in his book Capitalism and Slavery, which was his published doctoral thesis:

The triangular trade thereby gave a triple stimulus to British industry. The Negroes were purchased with British manufactures; transported to the plantations, they produced sugar, cotton, indigo, molasses and other tropical products, the processing of which created new industries in England; while the maintenance of the Negroes and their owners on the plantations provided another market for British industry, New England agriculture and the Newfoundland fisheries. By 1750 there was hardly a trading or a manufacturing town in England which was not in some way connected with the triangular or direct colonial trade. The profits obtained provided one of the main streams of that accumulation of capital in England which financed the Industrial Revolution.[7]

While many western historians would separate the history of the Industrial Revolution from that of slavery and colonialism, Williams’ ground-breaking work was one of the first to integrate our thinking on this. A further step I am identifying in this essay is the link between racial injustice and climate injustice that is historically rooted in slavery, colonialism and the Industrial Revolution and which continues to shape current injustices around climate conversations.

Firstly, the Industrial Revolution prospered on the back of slave labour (the Atlantic economy). This was because cotton, which was the major product replacing wool during the industrial age, was imported from slave plantations. Industrialisation being powered by steam and water has led to what we now refer to as the climate crisis. Secondly, this historic connection of the fragmentation of African identity, racial injustice and climate crisis continues to today because poverty and economic instability in the Majority World means that Africa, Asia and Latin America suffer disproportionately the effects of the climate crisis.

It is interesting to know that slavery was later labelled an illegitimate trade only to be replaced by so-called legitimate trade through colonialism and partitioning of Africa, which further fragmented African identity as discussed above. Legitimate trade – that is, trading with Africa through colonisation – has also been replaced with what I refer to as controlled trade in neocolonialism, sometimes through aid, globalisation and international development. This sometimes leads to a dependency factor on the West by African countries.

Thirdly, western solutions to the climate crisis are not holistic and focus too much on the green agenda. Before describing what the green agenda is, it is worth summarising with clarity the intersectionality of racial injustice and climate injustice.

Enslavement: Slavery provided the slave labour and raw material for industrial change
Colonialism: Colonies were the early seeds of a capitalist economic system that finances and enhances industrialisation
Industrial Revolution: Steam power accelerated and increased our pollution and climate crisis

Climate justice and reparative justice[8]

I am going to digress briefly to share my own experience and journey into climate justice to illustrate some crucial points. My experience of climate change started with the fact that I grew up in an area of Nigeria where flooding was a constant occurrence. We played in it as we walked back home from school. Along the way I saw bridges collapse, roads torn apart, shops destroyed and businesses disappear as a result of these floods. The question of why we had so much flooding in my area lingered in my mind as I grew up and was not fully answered. Later, as a committed member of an African Pentecostal church in my area, our church, including myself, was so preoccupied with our spiritual and economic survival that issues that caused the flooding did not really surface in our conversations. While I continued to wrestle with why we had so much flooding, there were certain practices that my family and I engaged in that, on reflection, I did not realise were environmentally friendly or green. We planted our own tomatoes, and we had our own poultry. I remember my first job was working for my mother with our poultry looking after chickens and collecting and selling eggs.

It was while studying Religious Studies at the University of Ibadan that I was introduced to African theology and African religious traditions and culture. The implication of this exposure was that I began to realise that God cares for his creation and that humanity has a part to play. The introduction to African theology and the African religious world view educated me about the different West African names of God. What is striking about these names is that several African names for God demonstrate God as the creator of heaven and the earth, but more importantly they evidenced that he is involved in such a way that God cares for his creation. A Biblical theology of creation affirms this because Scripture says, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.”[9] Some of the names go further to assert that God cares and sustains his creation. Take, for example, the Edo name for God: Osanobuwa. This means “the Source Being who carries and sustains the universe”. Other African names for God, such as Olodumare (Yoruba), Ngewo (Mende), Nyame (Akan) and Odomankoma (Akan), reveal that God really cares and is interested in maintaining the universe.[10] While African cosmology is rich in an understanding that sees God as the creator and carer of his creation, some African Pentecostals are somewhat disconnected from this narrative because of the colonial residue that sees everything in African religions and spirituality as evil. One of the consequences is a lack of engagement with climate justice issues.

It is therefore exciting for me as an African Pentecostal after being on this journey to be a part of the Christian Aid working group on climate justice with some Black Majority Church leaders, activists and theologians. My brief story serves as an example of an African that has experienced the effects of the climate crisis but did not have the resources or enough understanding to deal with the issue. In a recent survey poll done by Christian Aid into the views and attitudes of Black British Christians on climate change, 66 per cent of those polled are more aware that the impacts of climate change disproportionately affect people from the Majority World (Africa, Caribbean, Asia and Latin America) compared to the British public at 49 per cent. This is because being born in a climate vulnerable country, or through family connections, boosts awareness of the climate crisis.[11] This data confirms my own experience but also raises the issue of why we are not visible when it comes to government policies and conversations on climate change. It is the poorer countries in the world that suffer more the effects of climate disasters; therefore, while animal conservation, protection of endangered species and our environment are all important in their own right, my approach to climate justice is the brown agenda and not the green agenda.

The brown agenda in this instance is understood as the impact of ecological degradation on people,[12] particularly people from the Majority World, who have suffered from systemic and structural injustices such as colonialism and imperialism.[13] In this respect, there is a connection between racial and climate injustice because people who suffer more from the effects of the climate crisis are usually communities that had been impoverished due to legacies of enslavement, colonialism and imperialism. The green agenda in this respect is associated with “nature conservation and addresses specific issues such as the preservation of wilderness areas, endangered species, animal poaching, cruelty to animals, invader species, and in general, the impact of mining and industry, industrialised agriculture and urban trends on the habitats of plants and animals”.[14] My observation is that it is easier for people who live in the West, particularly in the countryside or rural areas, to be green, whereas those who live in crowded urban centres will naturally gravitate towards the brown agenda. This is because of urban factors such as homelessness, deprivation, overpopulation, poverty and so on, which are often linked to the impact of climate on poorer communities. To be green sometimes could also be expensive because you either have to drive a hybrid or electric car if you choose to drive. There is the option of cycling, which a lot of people now do. Maintaining healthy eating habits and lifestyle does not come cheap, and neither does living in an area that has poorer air quality due to pollution. Across the world being brown often means to live below the poverty line, lack resources and options, and lack education. This is not always the case because not all people classified as brown are poor or uneducated. I am also aware that we need both agendas and that they are not always mutually exclusive. I am clarifying here my own position and approach to the subject based on my journey and experience.

If the brown agenda offers us a holistic way of addressing the link between climate and racial injustice, what does it offer us in terms of reframing the debate on sustainability? Here I propose reparative justice as a way of repairing the damage of slavery, colonialism and Industrial Revolution in order to have a reconciled humanity who can then build a future together in hope.

Reparative justice: the brown theology on sustainability

Returning to the conversation of how best to measure sustainability, especially in the light of the intersection between racial injustice and climate injustice, requires a new theological framing. This is where insights from an African theological perspective can be fresh and innovative. Often conversations on sustainability, such as talks around a sustainable future, focus on the future. But what about a conversation on sustainability that looks backwards into the past? This will mean understanding sustainability as the necessity of repairing the past so that we can correct the present and repair the future together. This will mean employing an African philosophy and Bantu world view of the principle of unity of life, which views the dynamic union of past, present and future. In essence, time is integrated in this principle. As articulated by the late African Catholic theologian Bishop Tharcisse Tshibangu (1933–2021), the African philosophy of the principle of unity of life affects the life of a single human, of a community, and of nature and the world. It was commonly known as a holistic vision of life. Tshibangu emphasised the principle of unity of life as an epistemological principle marking African cultures in their internal coherence.[15] Another African theologian who gives us an innovative epistemological framing on time is the late John Mbiti (1931–2019) in African Religions and Philosophy:

The most significant consequence of this is that, according to traditional concepts, time is a two-dimensional phenomenon, with a long past, a present and virtually no future. The linear concept of time in western thought, with an indefinite past, present and infinite future, is practically foreign to African thinking.[16]

In another place Mbiti talks about “history moving backwards from the Sasa period (now/period of tenses, that is the immediate) to the Zamani (a form of English past with its own past, present and future), from the moment of intense experience to the period beyond which nothing can go”.[17] In essence, African philosophy describes the integral nature of past, present and future and the concept of time as moving backwards rather than forwards, and therefore people set their minds not on future things, but chiefly on what has taken place. Another African world view that helps us in this conversation is the Twi word Sankofa, which literally means San (return), Ko (go), Fa (look, seek and take).[18] Sankofa therefore means going back for something you might have left or going back to our roots. On the one hand, it offers us a lens into digging deep into African history and tradition, and on the other it enables us to look back to repair the damage in the past so as to achieve restorative or reparative justice. Adopting such a world view will mean addressing the intersection of racial and climate injustice resulting from the past connection of enslavement, colonialism and Industrial Revolution. One way of addressing this is known as reparative justice, or in climate language, loss and damage. Climate loss and damage is, however, different from climate finance, where rich nations offer financial support to help climate-vulnerable countries meet their carbon reduction targets and adapt to climate change impacts. Reparative justice is a controversial term as it is usually associated with monetary compensation. It is often understood in terms of redistribution of wealth, so that those who are descendants of the enslaved who continue to suffer the legacies of slavery and colonialism are compensated financially. But another way of understanding reparative justice is repairing justice;[19] that is, repairing and addressing the past so that reconciliation, healing and peace can take place. This approach will be holistic, looking at reparation not only in financial terms but also through holistic healing that embraces spiritual, psychological, social and environmental restoration from a traumatic past. This understanding of repairing justice is similar to restorative justice, which seeks to rehabilitate the offender so that the victim and the offender can both experience healing. After all, society is not truly healed until the oppressed and the oppressor are healed. This notion of repairing justice will be akin to the New Testament understanding of reconciliation, which has repentance, forgiveness and restitution at its core. The story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1–10 illustrates this so beautifully because as Zacchaeus encounters Jesus and forgiveness, he, in return, out of conviction decides to go on a journey of restitution. Three key elements of repairing justice are therefore repentance (forgiveness), lament (which incorporates resistance, justice and hope) and restitution.

So where do I see a current example of a model of practice that is beginning to address racial and climate injustice? This is where the significance of the Christian Aid working group with Black Majority Church leaders, activists and theologians becomes important. To understand the context of this, Melanie Nazareth, a member of the group, has written a reflective piece.[20] The objective of the group can be summarised into two. One is to find creative ways to educate and therefore engage Black Majority Churches on the subject of climate justice and racial justice. The other is to be able to engage in some ambassadorial work that ensures that the brown community and agenda is well represented in conversations with climate activist groups and governmental policies that shape this agenda. The importance of this work is that in bringing together theologians to work on some of the discipleship resources to engage churches in the UK as well as in the Global South, it has required the collective thinking of Black theologians and African theologians, whose voices are usually marginal in climate conversations and environmental theology. It has been a joy to participate in meetings where we hear the voices of African theologians advancing African religious world views as essential thinking in tackling climate concerns and in the same space hear the voices of Black theologians framing climate justice in liberative praxis terms. Another significance of this work is that this group is helping Christian Aid to develop their campaign on climate loss and damage through the lens of reparative justice. This aspect of its work is in its early stages and the work of the group is still in progress, but I offer this as an example of what a brown theology on climate and racial justice could look like in practice.

Concluding reflection

This essay has examined the interconnection of the fragmentation of African identity, racial injustice and climate injustice. This has been investigated through considering the impacts of the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism and the Industrial Revolution on people of African descent. The paper therefore proposes a new approach to climate justice that addresses the racial injustice element in this history. This is the brown agenda, which adequately situates the conversation in addressing the ecological impact and exploitative economies on people of colour. This is different from the green agenda, which focuses on tackling conservation and the preservation of green spaces, wilderness areas and endangered species.

This approach to climate justice also gives us a new way of measuring sustainability. While western notions of sustainability are rightly often rooted in finding alternative, renewable energy for our future, a different approach considered in this article is measuring sustainability by addressing the past through climate loss and damage. This is through a reparative justice lens, which seeks to advocate for the acknowledgement of and compensation for the descendants of the enslaved who continue to suffer the legacies of slavery and colonialism and the climate crisis. I have adequately termed this repairing justice as a way of repairing the past so that reconciled, restored humanity can address the future together. One example of a group that is employing a brown agenda in their approach to climate justice is the Christian Aid working group, which centres racial justice as an important element in climate justice conversations.

Israel Olofinjana in traditional dress

About the author

Revd Dr Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is the founding director of the Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World (CMMW) and the director of the One People Commission of the Evangelical Alliance. He has written extensively and is well published in the areas of mission, African Christianity and African theology.

More from this issue


[1] Israel Oluwole Olofinjana, ed., African Voices: Towards African British Theologies (Carlisle, Cumbria:Langham Monographs, 2017). Also see Israel Oluwole Olofinjana, “Reverse Mission: Towards an African British Theology,” Transformation: An International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies 37, no. 1 (2019): 52–65.

[2] My definitions of climate justice and climate change have followed that offered by the Christian Aid Working Group, comprising Black Majority Church leaders, theologians and activists.

[3] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Summary for Policymakers,” in Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S. L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J. B. R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021, in press): 4.

[4] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change: Working Group III Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report,” IPCC, 2022,; Fiona Harvey, “IPCC report: ‘now or never’ if world is to stave off climate disaster,” The Guardian, 4 April 2022,, accessed 8 April 2022.

[5] “Take Action for the Sustainable Development Goals,” Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations,, accessed 8 April 2022.

[6] I ought to say something about the word tripartite here and how I am applying it. The word tripartite in theological circles is usually associated and used in conjunction with the doctrine of the trinity as it pertains to the nature and identity of the Godhead being one in essence, purpose and unity, but three distinct persons. It is also used in Christian anthropology to describe the composite nature of human beings in three distinct components but one: spirit, soul and body (see 1 Thess. 5:23). There are those who view and argue that human beings have two distinct natures: body and soul. I am using the word tripartite here to describe diasporic identities, firstly applying it to Hebraic/Jewish identity and then to African identity.

[7] Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (Milton Keynes: Penguin Classics, 2022), 48. This book was first published in the United States in 1944 but was not published in the UK until 1964 (and was then out of print again until now) due to some of the controversial themes the book addressed around slavery, the abolition of slavery and the Industrial Revolution.

[8] Disclaimer: The reflections on reparative justice in this section are in no way the views or position of the Evangelical Alliance on reparations. They are that of the author, who is also on a journey exploring this subject.

[9] Ps. 24:1 (NRSV).

[10] John S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy (London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, 1969). Omosade Awolalu and Adelumo Dopamu, West African Traditional Religion (Ibadan, Nigeria: Onibonoje Press and Book Industries Limited, 1979).

[11] Report on Views and Attitudes of Black British Christians on Climate Change, Christian Aid Survey Poll, 2020,

[12] Ernst Conradie, “The Environment” in African Public Theology, ed. Sunday Bobai Agang, Dion A. Forster and H. Jurgens Hendriks (Plateau State, Nigeria: Hippo Books, 2020), 159.

[13] Israel Oluwole Olofinjana, Discipleship, Suffering and Racial Justice: Mission in a Pandemic World (Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2021), 113.

[14] Conradie, “The Environment,” 159.

[15] Francis Anekwe Oborji, “Tribute to Msgr. Tharcisse Tshibangu (1933–2021): Promoter of Theology with an ‘African Color,’” Journal of African Christian Biography 1, no. 7 (2022): 12–17,, accessed 11 April 2022.

[16] Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy, 17.

[17] Ibid., 23.

[18] “Sankofa,” The Sankofa Collective,, accessed 28 May 2022.

[19] Karen Campbell, Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries for the United Reformed Church (URC), talks about repairing justice in the context of reparative justice in a webinar titled “Reparation and Economics: What Do I Get?” This webinar is part of a series of webinars organised by the Racial Justice Advocacy Forum (RJAF) in partnership with the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation and the National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF). The other two webinars are titled “I Will Repay: The Church and Reparations” and “Setting Us Free: How to Repair the Damage of Four Hundred Years of Slavery to Black Christians”. Details of these webinars are available at: “Resources,” Baptists Together,, accessed 11 April 2022.

[20] Melanie Nazareth, “Climate Justice. A Monochrome Movement?Christians on the Left, 31 March 2021,, accessed 8 April 2022.