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Title: Jesus the greatest ancestor : a typology-based theological interpretation of Hebrew's Christology in Africa
Author: Nyende, Peter T. N.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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African Theology was spawned in response to yearnings for ‘theological’ independence, and desires to theologize in dialogue with African cosmologies; these practical elements still remain today the raison d’être, and are definitive of, African theology. This background disguises a cardinal goal of African theology: to build and sustain authentic African Christian communities in faith, ethos and worship. Because the Bible is a witness to Christianity’s primal events and traditions which are considered to be definitive of the identity and self understanding of Christianity (ever since) and, consequently, integral to its faith, ethos and worship, its usage in African theology is imperative if it wishes to fulfil this goal. To show one of the ways the aforesaid could be done, this thesis uses the Bible to formulate an African theology on ancestors by interpreting a section of it theologically. Such a theology could help define the relationship between African Christianity and ancestors. More specifically, the Christology of the book of Hebrews is interpreted theologically and related to typology, with the result that Jesus is understood not only as superior to Jewish mediatorial figures of angels, Moses and the Aaronic high priests, but, also, as the definitive mediator to whom the Jewish mediatorial figures point. Subsequently, this Christology of Hebrews is ‘transferred’ to Hebrews’ contemporary context in Africa by means of a theological re-interpretation based on typology (due to the similarities between the Jewish mediatorial figures and African ones), resulting in the view that Jesus, as the definitive mediator in Africa, is the greatest ancestor. The thesis goes on to argue that when this Christology of Hebrews in Africa (‘Jesus the greatest ancestor’) is applied to African Christianity, ancestors can, firstly, be absorbed into an African Christian consciousness as a work of God pointing to Christ, i.e., as types of Christ. Secondly, ancestors can be perceived to be displaced by Jesus the definitive mediator to whom, foreshadowing as types, they must give way now. Finally, and in consequence, ancestors have to be abandoned now, specifically as objects of religious cultic practice, i.e., as mediators.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available