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African Church Fathers - Ancient and Modern: A Reading of Origen and John S. Mbiti

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Type:
      eBook.
    • Abstract:
      This critical and close reading of two African theologians, Origen (185 – 254) and Mbiti (1931 – 2019), focuses on the following areas: philosophy (African philosophy and religion and Platonic cosmology), ecclesiology and eschatology; a parallel presentation of these three themes leads to a fourth theme, that of the resurrection, where it is argued that there exists a consensus and a convergence between the two. This reading also highlights two convictions that partly have caused strong criticism: Mbiti has suggested that African philosophy and religion have a conception of time of their own, Origen that all and everything is gradually moving towards an apokatastasis, at which point all will be saved. Yet, the contention is that even more important to both Mbiti and Origen is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In order to establish the impact of the resurrection on their lives as Christians and as theologians, a contrast reading has been undertaken, i.e. texts are identified which underline the need to forge a link between the resurrection and the earthly ministry of Jesus. These texts also underwrite the conviction of Mbiti as well as Origen of the resurrection as something which must be lived in church and society, corporately as well as in personal devotion. The fact of resurrection creates a new mode of life.
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