Appropriating Historical Jesus Research in Africa

In: Religion and Theology
Pieter F. Craffert Department of New Testament University of South Africa P O Box 392, Pretoria, 0003 Republic of South Africa

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This study starts with a brief overview of the variety of images of Jesus found in African Christianity. African Christianity (like Christianity all over the world) has many ingenious and creative ways of going about the figure of Jesus, of which the quest for what Jesus can do for Africans and the inculturation of Jesus in African images represent the main trends. Although historical Jesus research receives almost no attention in African scholarship, it is argued that a historical understanding of Jesus within his own cultural setting can pick up many clues from the study of religious specialists in African traditional religions (ATRs). From such an approach, Jesus as historical figure can not only be described as similar to typical religious practitioners in many ATRs, but it offers a new avenue for inter-religious dialogue in Africa.

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