Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2009


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name





McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Gerald Boodoo

Committee Member

George Worgul

Committee Member

Daniel Scheid


African Philosophy, Anthropological Theology, Kenya, Liberalism, Social Teaching, Underdevelopment


It has been commonly held that the main cause of underdevelopment is the lack of capital. This dissertation is based on the observation that underdevelopment still persists in Kenya despite billions of dollars in foreign aid from Western Europe and North America. The main focus of this dissertation is an attempt to understand an effective remedial action to such an economic situation of underdevelopment. The dissertation seeks to find the remedy for underdevelopment by the methodological means of demonstrating how a holistic understanding of human development entails integral development in Kenya.

The thesis and the overview of this dissertation are in the introduction. The claim that Kenya is still a developing nation is demonstrated in the first chapter. Chapter two seeks a holistic understanding of human development as integral development with a view to overcoming underdevelopment in the methodological light of the pre-Vatican II social teaching of the Church. Chapter three illustrates such a holistic understanding as a rights-based concept of human development. Chapter four attempts to specify the post-conciliar holistic understanding of human development as integral development with a view to overcoming underdevelopment. Chapter five seeks the remedy for underdevelopment within the conceptual framework of a rights-based understanding of human development as integral development.

The concluding chapter six seeks to contextualize the findings of the dissertation within the historical background of the nation-state of Kenya. It proposes a cross-cultural encounter between African socialism and Western liberalism. This chapter concludes with other propositions for a mutual complementation or reciprocal enrichment between the African Weltanschauung and Western thought, for example, in the interdisciplinary field of inculturated African ethics.