Rev. Emmanuel Katongole

Kellogg Faculty Fellow Rev. Emmanuel Katongole, professor of theology and peace studies, has published a book with the University of Notre Dame Press and is the recipient of a 2022 Sabbatical Grant for Researchers through the Louisville Institute.

His book Who Are My People? Love, Violence, and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa was published in late spring. It examines what it means to be both an African and a Christian in a continent that is often riddled with violence.

The first part of the book 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. 

The Sabbatical Grant for Researchers (SGR) enables grantees to conduct a major study that addresses Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and adaptive challenges confronting religious institutions. Katongole will use his grant to work on his project titled “Sowing Hope: Integral Ecology and Theological Peacebuilding.”

The project will involve spending time working at Bethany Land Institute (BLI) in Uganda, a nonprofit organization he co-founded that provides Uganda's rural poor with an integrated education program in creation care, sustainable land use, economic entrepreneurship, and eco spirituality. 

While at BLI, Katongole will investigate three broad research questions about the concept of “integral ecology” as proposed by Pope Francis in Laudato Sí.  

  1. What is integral ecology?
  2. As a mindset, a lifestyle and a spirituality, can integral ecology be cultivated, learned or taught?
  3. What is the impact and effectiveness of BLI's program in integral ecology?

“Clarifying these theoretical and practical questions relating to integral ecology is important to the church in America in its search for solutions and models to respond to the urgent social and ecological crises of our time,” said Katongole. 

The Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment Inc. and based at Louisville (Kentucky) Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Portions of this article were adapted from one at kroc.nd.edu.

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