by Augustine Kelechi
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.
“Though the Image of God give Man His Dignity concentrates primarily on Africa, its content is relevant globally. In this work, the African man is portrayed as a victim of inter-religious and sociopolitical conflicts, causing a loss of his dignity both as a human and as a member of the African community. In Nigeria, a country of mixed religions there exist frequent inter-religious conflicts which not only claim lives, but also affect the nation’s socio-political and religious lifestyle. Around 2008 and 2009 during the secondary school years, the author came in contact with world history and the African contentment in particular.” It was during that period that Augustine discovered that Nigeria wasn’t the only country whose citizens were dehumanized, degraded and robed of their dignity, especially as this tragedy unfolded in other continents as well. Years of personal experience of the author with extensive research that tossed him into a reflective state of mind, including thoughts on how to carry out the mission of liberation. Despite his vocation to serve in the lord’s vineyard he always pondered on how to involve himself with humanitarian groups. The Image of God is a theological affirmation of man’s existence as created by God in his own image and likeness thus existing as a being with great dignity. It highlighted the preciousness of the human as a person, his life, and existence in human societies. The Image of God : Give Man His Dignity analytically evaluates the origin and existence of man as a dignified being in the society. This touches the threefold aspects of a man’s life in the African context, the social, political and religious aspect.
The book requires a deep reflection of one’s self before the individual can actualize this great call of love. This book is an easy read calls us to a deeper journey within ourselves, a journey that will hopefully enable us to put into practice the teachings contained herein- and Give Man His Dignity. This book also serves as a guide for those who wish to live fully in human society. Those who are in the departments of Humanities and Religious Studies will glean it as sound research. There were three issues that complicated the writing of the book: the switch to a new language due to his religious formation in French-speaking countries. Another problem was access to internet due to novitiate studies and the third the availability of some beneficial material and resources in the French language.
This book examines the concept of human dignity and argues against the violation of that dignity and its concomitants. Violations have been known to occur through violence political action, imposition of disadvantage, cultural and social prejudice with the inclusion of stereotypes. The book hopes to promote a society where humans will enjoy equal recognition through the law eradicating attitudes of superiority and inferiority. The author also posits that man deserves concern respect, and consideration as a member of the African society and right to be assured of his fundamental liberty. The author throughout the rest of the book discusses in detail the dignity of the human person in all aspects and considerations. It is a thoughtful and enlightening book that will help all to understand the dignity of the human person more thoroughly. It is written with sincerity and care for all.