Ifeanyi A. Chukwudebelu, Emmanuel Ajakor (PhD)


This study explores the concept of ecclesiastical liberation in Igbo society, Nigeria, rooted in Liberation Theology principles. Emerging from the 1976 EATWOT conference, the research adopts a comprehensive methodology, combining primary and secondary sources. It employs qualitative analysis with cosmological, theological, and sociological approaches. The narrative examines the church's transformative potential in comprehensive liberation—beyond spiritual realms—addressing historical injustices like colonization, slavery, and poverty. Emphasizing the Igbo church's role in challenging oppressive systems, advocating for justice, and contributing to community liberation, the study highlights challenges, including the enduring impacts of colonialism and the slave trade. Specifically, it notes issues like socio-economic disparities, an enduring inferiority complex, and poverty. The research calls for the church's proactive role in addressing economic injustices, drawing from early Christian practices. It concludes by emphasizing the church's pivotal role as a catalyst for transformative change in Igbo society, urging a contextualized Igbo ecclesiology sensitive to local realities and an empowered clergy fostering African values. The abstract advocates for active church engagement in justice, equality, and liberation within Igbo cultural contexts.


Ecclesiastical Liberation, Liberation Theology, Historical Struggles, Church, Igbo Society.

Full Text:



Agbiji, O. M. (2012). Development-Oriented Church Leadership in Post-Military Nigeria: A Sustainable Transformational Approach (Doctoral dissertation). University of Stellenbosch.

Bediako, K. (1980). Review of the books "African Theology en route" and "Libération ou adaptation"? In K. Appiah Kubi & S. Torres (Eds.), Journal of Religion in Africa/Religion en Afrique, 11(2), 154. Leiden.

Dault, K. (2015). What Is the Preferential Option for the Poor? U.S. Catholic, 80(1), 46.

Entwistle, David N. (30 June 2015). Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity. Cascade Books. p. 148. ISBN 9781498223485.

Giclure, O. (2008). Progress in Unity? Fifty years of theology within the World Council of Churches: 1945-1995: A study guide. Peters Press. Louvain

Halperin, S. (2024). neocolonialism. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Han, Y. S. (2013). The Understanding of God in African theology: Contributions of John Samuel Mbiti and Mercy Amba Oduyoye. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Pretoria, Faculty of Theology, Department of Science of Religion and Missiology.

Hoffman, R. (2020). Alfred Adler - Individual Psychology. Simply Psychology. Retrieved July 21, 2020, from

Jimoh, A. (2004). Liberation Theology and the Nigerian Reality. In A. A. Akinwale & F. Ogunmodede (Eds.), All That They Had To Live On: Essays in Honour of Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Msgr. John Aniagwu (pp. 147-162). Stirling-Horden Pub. Nig. ISBN 9780321446.

Makowski, J. B. (2004). Low Self-Esteem as it Relates to Anxiety and Depression (Master's thesis). Grand Valley State University. Retrieved from

Mueller, J. (1991). What are they saying, Philandelphia, Fortress Press

Nwadialor, K. L., & Nweke, C. C. (2013). The Relevance of the Church in Oppressive Situations: The Praxis of Liberation Theology in Africa. Ogirisi: A New Journal of African Studies, 10(1), 5.

Nwaubani, A. T. (2020, September 14). Nigeria's slave descendants prevented from marrying who they want. The News. Retrieved.

Ocheni, S., & Nwankwo, B. C. (2012). Analysis of Colonialism and Its Impact in Africa. Cross-Cultural Communication, 8(3), 46-54.

Okure, T. (1990). 32 Articles Evaluating Inculturation of Christianity in Africa: AMECEA Gaba Publications. Kenya

Oriji, J. N. (1987). THE SLAVE TRADE, WARFARE AND ARO EXPANSION IN THE IGBO HINTERLAND. Transafrican Journal of History, 16, 151–166.

Perry, C., Eltis, D., Engerman, S. L., & Richardson, D. (Eds.). (2021). Captivity and the Slave Trade. In The Cambridge World History of Slavery (pp. 25–152). part, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pilossof, R. (2010). 'Guns don't colonise people...': the role and use of firearms in pre-colonial and colonial Africa. Kronos, 36(1), [Page numbers].

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. (1990). Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Vatican City.

Scott-Jones, G., Kamara, M. R., & PE. (2020). The Traumatic Impact of Structural Racism on African Americans. Delaware Journal of Public Health, 6(5), 80–82.

Sherman-Peter, A. M. (2022). The Legacy of Slavery in the Caribbean and the Journey towards Justice. UN Chronicle.

Uchegbue, C. (2016). The Place of the Church in the Socio-Political and Economic Liberation of Nigeria. Online Academia.

Whatley, W. (2012). The Gun-Slave Cycle in the 18th Century British Slave Trade in Africa. Munich Personal RePEc Archive. Retrieved from


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2024 Ifeanyi A. Chukwudebelu, Emmanuel Ajakor (PhD)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.










 ISSN (Print):   2695-2319

ISSN (Online): 2695-2327





Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.