Symposium Introduction


Rebekah Eklund

J. Kameron Carter

Mary Nyangweso

Duncan Reyburn

Bella Mukonyora



There is no more urgent theological task than to provide an account of hope in Africa, given its endless cycles of violence, war, poverty, and displacement. So claims Emmanuel Katongole, an innovative theological voice from Africa.

In the midst of suffering, Katongole says, hope takes the form of “arguing” and “wrestling” with God. Such lament is not merely a cry of pain—it is a way of mourning, protesting, and appealing to God. As he unpacks the rich theological and social dimensions of the practice of lament in Africa, Katongole tells the stories of courageous Christian activists working for change in East Africa and invites readers to enter into lament along with them.


“What an extraordinary gift! Emmanuel Katongole helps us see how God and the everyday, lament and hope, Scripture and prayer, church and public life all hold together. Born from Lament is about Africa, yet it speaks to the world. This is a landmark work by one of the most remarkable and transformational theological leaders of our time.” Mark R. Gornik— City Seminary of New York

“Katongole in this book redefines the method for doing public theology in Africa and the world church by giving voice to those on the margins. He argues that hope in Africa should be presented not simply as a wish or pious claims but as a light that one can discover in Africa by following stories of faith, courage, and the practice of hopeful living among many African Christians.” Stan Chu Ilo — DePaul University

“A rich ethnographic and theological analysis. . . . Born from Lament is a refreshing political theology grounded in human practices rather than the sovereignty of the state and its rulers. This compelling invitation to rethink the theology of hope should be on everyone’s reading list.” Elias Kifon Bongmba— Rice University

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