The Christian political theology of Rt. Rev. Dr. John Henry Okullu, Bishop of the Diocese of Maseno South of the Anglican Church of Kenya (1929-1999)
This research proceeds from the premise that Okullu was a significant church leader in Kenya. His significance relates to his outspokenness on issues of social justice including the struggle for political liberation from the oppressive one party system and issues of human rights. The purpose of this dissertation is to reconstruct Okullu's Christian political theology through establishing what motivated him and the biblical basis for his socio-political activities. An attempt is made to reconstruct the socio-political environment, which gave birth and necessitated Okullu's prophetic ministry and to investigate the social and spiritual factors, which shaped him. The findings of the research reveal that Okullu spoke out of conviction. His theology of development and participation had its roots in evangelical and ecumenical perspectives emerging between the 1960's and early 1980's. For Okullu the mission of the church was the total liberation (salvation) of the whole person body, soul and spirit. Evangelism and social concern were mutually inclusive. The major sources of his theology were African socialism and the Bible. The ideals of African socialism, which he incorporated in his theology, which are in harmony with biblical principles were: the high value placed on the individual, the principle of equality and the central place of the community in development. He argued for a people-centred holistic development, which took account of the whole human person- body, soul and spirit. For Okullu, the biblical basis upon which Christians should act in a non- Christian society is the prophetic role of the church, founded upon the justice of God as illustrated in the writings of the Old Testament and continued in the concept of the 'kingdom of God' and the concept of 'God as judge in the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Although Okullu affirmed the validity of the doctrine of separation in church-state relations, the concept of separation according to him does not fully explain the relationship. The separation is only institutional but at value level the two are bound together in the realm of ethics owing to their common origin in God. It is this integrated whole that gives the church its mandate for involvement in politics. Okullu's significance is demonstrated historically, by the literary out-put containing his socio-political challenges that faced Kenyan society in his time, testimony of others expressed in condolence letters and the views of groups of persons interviewed for this work. Okullu spoke out against injustices. He fought for human rights. His most significant contribution was spearheading the multi-party debate and the repeal of the section of the constitution of Kenya, which had made Kenya a single party system. His prophetic ministry was hammered out in the public arena. He was an Amos of his time.