Mercy Amba Oduyoye has long been active in the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians. Since her return to Ghana, she has been a leader in the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians. In this edifying collection of essays, Oduyoye delivers keen insights into African wisdom, especially as it relates to community and neighborliness. "Because we Africans have our roots in the same soil, drink from the same river, or recognize the same divinity, a bond is created that one does not dream of breaking; it imposes a responsibility to each other that all endeavour to fulfill. Unity of life, therefore, is the cohesive principle in the African community. We human beings, with all created things, participate in life whose source is the One God."

Sadly enough, many forces are pulling apart this sense of unity. One is the patriarchal view espoused by many male Christians, Muslims, and tribal cultures where women are viewed as subservient to men, considered so inferior that they are reduced to objects of possession and exploited in cruel and inhumane ways. The oppression that African women suffer must be fought, and Oduyoye suggests some ways this can be done.

Another obstacle to unity has come to Africa with westernization. Here class consciousness destroys the threads of community and segregates neighbor from neighbor. Another obstacle to the African ideal of community is religious chauvinism where one religion is touted as superior to others. Oduyoye advocates sharing spirituality across religious boundaries.

The essays in this paperback are well worth savoring given that many of these same challenges face communities around the world.