Jesus Christ as the „Master of Initiation” – an African Christological  Model Cover Image

Jezus Chrystus jako „Mistrz Inicjacji”. Afrykański model chrystologiczny
Jesus Christ as the „Master of Initiation” – an African Christological Model

Author(s): Zbigniew Majcher
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion
Published by: Towarzystwo Naukowe Franciszka Salezego (TNFS)

Summary/Abstract: Christology is probably the most developed area of African theology, and in this work African theologians have toiled in developing inculturated expressions of Jesus Christ. The revelation of God in Jesus Christ carries with it a narrative of contextual, historical events. Christological reflection situated within the living transmission of an African Church is always a historical and cultural event. The example of Jesus in his life corresponds in a certain way to the criteria of an African traditional master of initiation, who is designated to become the model of how human life should be lived in the majority of African cultures. The uniqueness of Jesus as saviour must enter the fullness of the African people’s everyday life. There are three motives, which speak for this African Christological title. Firstly, Jesus was born into a particular Jewish tradition, through which as a member of the whole human family, he entered into different traditions of human societies. Secondly, Jesus leads all members of different traditions to unity. Through them who present such a variety, he reveals what they desire – the secret of the Kingdom of God, which cannot be conquered but given. Thirdly, Christ introduces into an ephemeral and fragmentary structure of human life’s pedagogy a decisive and everlasting amendment – the mystery that is achievable through simple acts and rites of daily life, which are signs of Jesus’ gift of life and of his own presence. Therefore Jesus has to be granted thrice the title of „Master of Initiation”: because of who he is or culturally becomes for Africans; due to what he makes out of initiation traditions; and due to what he undertakes on the way of Christian pedagogy in order to give Africans a chance of knowing him.

  • Issue Year: 2004
  • Issue No: 20
  • Page Range: 95-109
  • Page Count: 15