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Let’s translate  spirituality into action - Rev. Prof. Asamoah-Gyadu
• Rev. Prof. J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu (left), President, Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, delivering a lecture on African Politics and the Mystical Realm

Let’s translate spirituality into action - Rev. Prof. Asamoah-Gyadu

The President of the Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, Rev. Prof. J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, has asked leaders of the country to translate their high level of spirituality into practical action to speed up development.

He explained that majority of Ghanaians identified with religion but had failed to live in accordance with the tenets of the faith in their daily lives.

Rather, he said, they had created their own versions of religion and exploited it for their own advantage.

Speaking at the 2023 J.B. Danquah Memorial Lecture last Monday in Accra, he said, “We cannot continue to rely on mystical powers and forces and not take steps to translate our prophecies into action as people of faith.”

“Ghanaians need to adopt a strategic approach to address the religious balances that had contributed to the country’s current state of underdevelopment,” Rev. Asamoah-Gyadu said.

He said such anomalies needed to be addressed through an absolute change in attitude, policies and systems for the progress of the country.

The lecture

The lecture, organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS), was designed to fit into Dr Danquah’s passion for the intellectual study of Akan religion, culture and politics, and by extension to everyday affairs including Christian citizenship.

On the theme: “African politics and the mystical realm: Religion and governance in postcolonial Ghana,” this year’s lecture examines the excessive and superfluous, as well as the destructive roles that religion plays in Ghanaian politics, governance and public life.

The three-day event (February 20-22) also seeks to proffer ways in which the importance of critical thinking and empirical approaches to national agenda would not be sacrificed on the altar of unbridled religious faith and activity.

The lecture was chaired by the President of the academy, Prof. Kofi Opoku Nti.

Participants included the Omanhene of Asante Asokore, Nana Susubribi Krobea Asante, also known as Dr S.K.B. Asante,  Tsatsu Tsikata, a legal practitioner and a former Vice- Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey.

Others included students from the Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon and the School of Theology from the Pentecost University College.

Sense of dedication

Rev. Asamoah-Gyadu said Ghanaians and largely the African sense of dedication to religion could be described superficially with little practicalisation of the core doctrine of faith.

“With the African face of religion, we see the prayers, we see the fast, the search for divine favour in decrees and declarations; we see the casting of evil, but the repentance and turning of wrong remain absent.

We are still very religious but that has not been so evident in the turning of wicked ways.

Meaning, the critical elements of repentance and work towards creating for the public good has not been visible in our public life,” he said.

Divisive politics

Rev. Asamoah-Gyadu noted that in spite of the overwhelming religious nature of Ghanaians, politics remained a divisive venture, with people being more interested in lifestyles that put parochial interest above national interest.

“Our politics has degenerated into extreme divisiveness, political differences, translating into insults and ethnocentric comments at the highest levels,” he said.

One unfortunate result of divisive partisan politics, he said, was the bastardisation of state institutions such as the Supreme Court and Electoral Commission (EC) by political actors to serve their interests.

“We cannot in the name of freedom of speech engage in verbal assaults of opponents, weaponised public office and bastardise institutions of state.

He said it was incomprehensible that Ghanaians would expect God to intervene on the country’s behalf when people and leaders failed to take decisions that would augur well for the country.

“We cannot refuse to cut down the numbers of ministerial appointments and review the clearly struggling free senior high school policy and expect divine breakthrough when we pray,” he said.

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