Naming the problem in Africa

June 25, 2006

What role does sin have as an explanation for world affairs? Back in 2003, CASE held a seminar with UK theologian, Alistair McFadyen, where he argued that the doctrine of sin has the most explanatory power in the two particular situations of child abuse and the Holocaust—it makes more sense of the facts than any other explanation.
Now, in this week’s Guardian Weekly, a Sierre Leone filmmaker, Sorious Samura, says as much to explain AIDS in Africa, without using the s-word.
“The things I said in Living With AIDS [his recent film documentary] about the African male’s sexuality are things that no white journalist can say”, he is recorded to say. In explaining why Africa is trapped in an epidemic, he says, “We should turn around and say this is happening because people are bad to the bone, people are greedy, people are selfish, people are corrupt”.
It’s personal and social sin, the two intertwined and no doubt causing each other, too. Surely the beginnings of a solution in Africa must be to deal with the problem of sin.

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