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Patriotism and Nation Building

Perspectives from the Life and Utterances of Ephraim Amu

by Philip Laryea

The deepest and most significant aspect of the heritage of any nation lies in her people. A people’s dignity, worth and value can be measured by their human resources. More important than mineral wealth, more significant than financial capital and of more value than land and property, are the leaders of thought and character, that a communal or social group can lay claim to. Towering above the tallest buildings, reaching deeper than the roots of ancient trees, are society’s icons, doyens of a people’s life and culture. Often unrecognized in their lifetime, sometimes vilified or else silenced by political forces, these persons represent a people’s legacy and gift to humankind. Such was Dr. Ephraim Amu, native of Peki Avetile, son of West Africa’s “Gold Coast”, scholar, teacher, musician, ethicist, and preacher.

In this book, Prof. Laryea has by careful and detailed research, rendered an invaluable service to posterity in unearthing and making available the life, works and public speeches of Dr Ephraim Amu. Thoughtfully selecting over sixty of Amu’s sermons spanning a period of 50 years (1937 - 1986), Laryea enables us to more deeply enter the inner thoughts and expressions of one of Ghana’s most illustrious sons, thus allowing us into the veritable engine room of the composer of Ghana’s national song, “Yân ara asase ni”, crafted by Amu in 1929. In doing so he has also opened up and thrown light upon very significant periods in the nation’s history.

ISBN 9789988647100 | 400 pages | 229 x 152mm | 2017 | Sub-Saharan Publishers, Ghana | Paperback

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Reviews

"This book, a collection of sixty-five sermons and addresses in English, together with the studies of context, method and style which characterize them is unquestionably a national asset with international implications. It represents an excellent example of historical, sociological and theological research much needed in the restoration of dignity and value to a people in search of authenticity, one of Dr. Amu’s cherished values. I recommend it to be read by all, especially those interested in African Personhood, Christianity in Africa, African Christian Social Ethics, Preaching, Worship and Practical Theology"

Emmanuel Yartekwei Amugi Lartey L. Bevel Jones III, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

"Brilliant! highly readable, well-sectioned, rich in documentation, analytical and full of fascinating insights into the potential of Culture to inspire self-assurance, and patriotism as props for the task of nation-building. The book will resonate with all who are irked by the prevailing traumas of corruption, selfishness and greed in our society today."

Robert Addo Fening Retired Professor of History and former Head of History Department, University of Ghana, Legon

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