Esther Acolatse

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Pastoral Theology and World Christianity
309 Gray

Duke Divinity School
Box 90968
Durham, NC 27708-0968
(919) 660-3573
Curriculum Vitae: 
PDF icon AcolatseCV2016-1.pdf

B.A. (Hons.) University of Ghana
M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School
Ph.D. Princeton Theological Seminary

Professor Acolatse’s teaching and research cover four main areas: 1) the intersection of psychology and Christian thought, with a particular interest in the gendered body and Christian experience; 2) methodological and hermeneutical issues in the practice of Christian life and the reception of Christian theology, both historical and systematic; 3) the relevance of these themes in the global expression of Christianity; and 4) the search for a common language for the expression and articulation of World Christianity. 

Her book For Freedom or Bondage: A Critique of African Pastoral Practices (Eerdmans 2014) explores the pitfalls of overvaluing the spiritual world and the language of principalities and powers in biblical interpretation and pastoral practice, themes that have been central to the global expansion of Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity. Her next book project, Fleeing from the Spirit?:Biblical Realism and the Demands of Contextual Theology, continues a much needed conversation between African and Western theological interpretations of other aspects of these themes, and presses the argument that the Christian South and its Western counterpart must both attend to the ways in which their respective worldviews fall short of a thoroughgoing biblical realism. It draws on the African theological and cultural context in ways that move us beyond certain idealized accounts of African Christianity toward more realistic contributions that African Christianity can make to the global experience and expression of Christianity.

Selected Publications
Recent Courses