Office: 209 Humanities Building
The Harry and Hazel Chavanne Chair in Christian
Theology and Professor of Religion
President of the African Association for the Study of Religion,
Ph.D., Joint Program at Iliff School of Theology and University
of Denver, 1995
Faculty Associate Wiess College
Managing Editor, Religious Studies Reviews
Areas of Teaching
Primary: African and African Diaspora Religions; African
Christianity/Theology Hermeneutics and Theology; Contemporary
Theology and Ethics
Secondary: 19th Century Theology and Philosophy of Religion,
African Studies; Philosophy/Ethics
Elias Bongmba combines his teaching of African religions and his
research in theology and philosophy of religion working with
African philosophical ideas and Continental philosophy. His first
book explored intersubjective relations by probing the ethics of
witchcraft using the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. He has
published other articles on ethical dimension of witchcraft in the
context of the Christian church in Africa.
His second book, The Dialectics of Transformation in
Africa, discusses the political aspects of intersubjective
relations through an analysis grounded in the human sciences.
Bongmba has also addressed current debates on the African
Renaissance. The Dialectics of Transformation in
Africa won The 2007 Franz Fanon Prize for outstanding work in
Caribbean Thought. The Prize is awarded by the Caribbean
Philosophical Association was given at its 2007 meeting at the
University of West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, June 28, 2007.
Facing a Pandemic: The African Church and the Crisis of
AIDS, is an interdisciplinary work in which he addresses the
HIV/AIDS crisis and argues that the motif, the image of God (imago
dei), challenges religious communities in Africa to scale up the
fight against HIV/AIDS at the local and national level through an
ethic of love and compassion. He calls on religious communities to
work with the global community to accelerate universal access to
health care and promote the search for a vaccine.
Professor Bongmba is editor of The Wiley Blackwell Companion to
African Religions, 2012
He is also Co-Editor of Living on the Edge: Essays in Honour
of Steve de Gruchy Activist & Theologian, eds. James R. Cochrane, Elias Bongmba,
Isabel Phiri, Des van der Water. (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa:
Cluster Publications, 2012).
He is currently writing a book on African Religions.