ANCESTOR CHRISTOLOGY: A CHRISTIAN EVALUATION OF THE ANCESTRAL CULT IN THE TRADITIONAL RELIGION OF THE SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
The study of the application of the title “ancestor” to Christ permits the author to delve into the Christological reflection in Africa today through one of the principal ways. At play here is the inculturation of the faith, which cannot be fully achieved without a process of theological assimilation of the fundamental parameters in the African life. The thesis, therefore, is not only limited to a mere description of the contemporary panorama in that respect, but attempts to offer a theological evaluation of the real expressive capacity of the title, as it has been proposed. The criterion used is therefore double: In the first place, the thesis tried to show that the human and the divine natures of Jesus Christ can be maintained in such a way that there is no rupture with the great tradition of the Christological councils. In the second place, if it is capable of responding to demands of Christology “from above” and “from below”. In all this, however, the horizon of the debate is not occidental exegetical investigation well known by the author; but from the theological ambient of sub-Saharan world. The conclusion is positive, pondering the terms involved. The work can be of great use in the christoogical endeavors of contemporary Africa, as well for those who desire to delve into it.
Don Alfonso Carrasco Rouco (director of the thesis and now Bishop of the Diocese of Lugo Spain) The work of Don Cletus Chukwuemeka contains a clear description of what we may call “African traditional religiosity” as well as the theological efforts to inject Christianity into this cultural and religious tradition. The central point of these efforts revolves around the understanding of Christ. The most original aspect of this work is in the critical recourse to the figure of the ancestor or proto-ancestor to present the identity of Christ in a way that is faithful to the Church tradition, and at the same time, significant for the religious and cultural tradition of Africa.
Dr. Don Gerardo del Pozo Abejón (Censor of the thesis)