Contextual Scriptural Reasoning

A Model for Inter-religious Peacebuilding in African Contexts


  • Dr. Judy Wang'ombe Africa International University
  • Fatma Hussein Mohammed Africa International University


Mihadhara (public debates), contextual, scriptural reasoning, Ubuntu, hospitality, peacebuilding, inter-religious dialogue


The religious landscape of sub-Saharan Africa in the twenty-first century has witnessed
drastic changes that include the spread of both Christianity and Islam. A further dimension to
this scenario is the inter-religious mingling of adherents from the two religions as people
migrate between regions and access to technology makes new information available. These
religious encounters have tended to be violent in pockets of the African continent. Such
violence has been propagated by ideological precepts that are based on religious texts and
their varied interpretations. Additionally, there have arisen different models used for interreligious
dialogues as adherents of the two religions find themselves neighbouring each other.
A popular model has been the public debates (mihadhara in Kiswahili), which have generally
been characterized by ambivalent relations between Muslims and Christians in Kenya, where
this paper is situated. The mihadhara concept is basically steeped in polemical engagements
which aim at outshining the other in the religious debates. Different scholars have studied the
phenomenon of mihadhara in Kenya, and there is a consensus that the competitive nature of
the debates is more confrontational than peacebuilding. This study offers an alternative model
of inter-religious engageme contextual nt that enhances socio-religious peace. The model is called Scriptural Reasoning (SR), which aims at offering religious hospitality. The
African context is no stranger to the virtue of hospitality. The Ubuntu philosophy buttresses
the need for African Muslims and Christians to offer each other religious hospitality. The
Ubuntu philosophy and the African hospitality virtue serve as bedrocks underlying the
contextual SR model. The essence of the model is to “listen” to each other’s scriptural basis
of common themes found in both the Bible and the Qur’an. It is not about agreeing on
contentious scriptural issues, instead it is about striving, even when the parties disagree, to
encounter the other in an amicable and peaceful way. In so doing, the premise aligns with the
theme of promoting contextual peacebuilding within the African context.




How to Cite

Wang’ombe, J., & Mohammed, F. H. (2024). Contextual Scriptural Reasoning: A Model for Inter-religious Peacebuilding in African Contexts. Impact: Journal of Transformation, 7(1), 1–29. Retrieved from