Spotlight On: Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology
by Todd Aiello/
April 07, 2023
The Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology is indexed in Atla Religion Database® (Atla RDB®), and the full text of the journal is available in AtlaSerials PLUS® (Atlas PLUS®).
On March 6, 1957, the colonial territories of Gold Coast, Ashanti, the Northern Territories, and British Togoland united as an independent dominion called Ghana, the first colony in West Africa to achieve sovereignty. That same year, the Department of Divinity at the University College of Ghana, which was the first Religious Studies program in the country and one of the oldest programs on this subject on the African continent, began publishing the Ghana Bulletin of Theology. Its purpose included not only advancing the department’s goals to promote the scientific study of religions and champion high-quality theological education, but also providing a forum for the scholarly debate of the nation-building process as Ghana worked toward becoming a fully independent country. After Ghana gained full independence from the British colonists and became a republic, the Department of Divinity changed its name to the Department for the Study of Religions to reflect its status as a public secular university committed to the academic rather than confessional approach to the study of religions. By this time the University College of Ghana had achieved full university status and adopted its current name, the University of Ghana. The department continued to publish the Ghana Bulletin of Theology until production was halted in 1976.
After many years of inactivity, an attempt was made by the Department to revive the Ghana Bulletin of Theology, led by Professors Cephas Omenyo and Abamfo Atiemo. Under the name the Ghana Bulletin of Theology (New Series), four total volumes were published in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2012. During this period, the journal adopted its current cover image, an Adinkra symbol of prayer and hope called Nyame Biribi Wo Soro, which translates to “God, there is something in the heavens; let it reach me.”
In 2016, the journal was fully relaunched as a biannual publication under the leadership of Professor George Ossom-Batsa, Head of the Department for the Study of Religions. Since that time, the journal has been published regularly, with the help of the Carnegie Corporation of New York through the University of Ghana and the Building the Next Generation of Academics in Africa (BANGA-Africa) Project, which made all University of Ghana journals accessible online.
In 2017, the name of the journal was changed to the Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology in order to broaden its scope and enhance its visibility. BANGA-Africa financed the printing of hard copy editions of the journal until 2019. As of 2020, the journal is online only. That same year, Atla added the Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology to Atla RDB. In 2022, the full text of the Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology, starting with its relaunch in 2006, was added to Atlas PLUS.
Broadly speaking, the aim of the journal is to serve as a forum for religious studies and to promote interaction between people of different faith commitments and different perspectives on religion and human existence. The vision behind the journal is a reflection of the goals of the university’s Department for the Study of Religions including: providing high-quality theological education for a just, peaceful, and humane society, enabling Ghanaians to respond creatively to the challenges presented by multicultural local and global environments, and engaging academically with African indigenous religions and cultures to make a distinctive African and, specifically, Ghanaian contribution to religious and wholistic theological studies.
The journal accepts high-quality researched papers in religious studies in all religious traditions, theological disciplines, and cognate disciplines such as theological anthropology, philosophy, and sociology of religion. In order to ensure that all content published is of sound scholarship, the journal uses a rigorous double-blind review process conducted by reviewers chosen from internationally established scholars in their respective fields. While this review process sometimes creates challenges to the production schedule as the journal relies on working with the timelines of its reviewers, it is necessary to maintain the quality of the journal’s content. The Editorial Board then completes the final selection of papers, taking into consideration comments and suggestions from their reviewers with occasional input from their International Advisory Board members, guaranteeing the quality of papers published. In addition to Professor Ossom-Batsa, who continues to serve as editor, the Editorial Board includes Professor Nicoletta Gatti, Dr. Rabiatu Deinyo Ammah, and Dr. Haruna Zagoon-Sayeed.
In the long term, the journal’s Editorial Board envisions the Ghana Journal of Religion and Theology taking its place as one of the top-tier journals in the field of religion and theology in all of Africa. A secondary goal is to increase the journal’s visibility by having it included in many more databases worldwide, which will contribute to its ability to continue to attract high-quality scholarship and publish groundbreaking papers. We are pleased to be a resource to share access to the important scholarly work of this journal and are looking forward to what the future brings for it in the years to come.
Want to suggest materials for inclusion in an Atla product? Send title information including ISSN, publisher, and contact information for the legal owner of the journal if known, to our licensing staff.
Enjoying the Atla Blog?
Subscribe to receive email alerts of new blog posts of a specific type. Members, subscribers, publishers, or anyone interested in the study of religion & theology are welcome to sign up to one or all alerts to keep up to date with the Atla community. If you or your institution are a member, the Atla Newsletter delivers a monthly curated email of top posts to your email inbox.