The Elucidation of Africanness in Christianity Through Hierarchical Monotheism and Its Redefinition of Black Theology

This paper is an elucidation of Afrocentricity in Christianity by means of a hierarchical monotheism, the theism of the Kongo religion, the Bukongo. The scientific validity of this theism, displayed through a cosmological argument, leads to the
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  The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Journal of Black Studies, 2017, Vol. 48(2) 165–189DOI: 10.1177/0021934716681153 African Indigenous Religion and Its AncientModel Reections of Kongo Hierarchical Monotheis Introduction The definition of the African indigenous religion (AIR) has always been a scientificconcerns in the studies about the Black continent !cholars ("biti# $elbourn) first pointed tothe diversity of the African cultures to conclude that one can%t speak of a uni&ue AIR# but thisview fails to account for the common spiritual elements found in African cultures Based onthese elements some scholars support the e'istence of a uni&ue AIR (Awolalu *+,)#however the fact remains that these -common elements. are not found in every Africanculture /ne of the difficulties found in the definition of the AIR is in fact the acceptance of scholastic monotheism as the universal yardstick for any appraisal of theism# this approachimpedes one to assert the hierarchical monotheism as the basic characteristic of the ancientsolar civili0ations of !umer Babylon and 1gypt which still pervades African cultures This paper seeks to improve the single AIR definition by presenting the various indigenousreligions of Africa as the devolution of the single solar religion that characteri0ed the ancientcivili0ations of !umer Babylon and 1gypt and which is kept in the 2ongo religion theBukongo 3or this purpose I will evidence the fallacy of the scholastic monotheism and willdemonstrate the hierarchical monotheism of the Bukongo to be scientificTherefore this new approach will present the advantage of proving the scientific import of the AIR by its comparative study with the Bukongo thanks to a systematic theodicy based ona cosmological argument whose conclusions can be empirically verified!ince the multi4AIR approach cannot account for the -common elements. found in theAfrican culture and seeing that these -common elements. on which the single4AIR definition  The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Journal of Black Studies, 2017, Vol. 48(2) 165–189DOI: 10.1177/0021934716681153 is based are not found in every African culture this paper will improve this last approach inorder to remedy its weakness 3or this purpose using the analysis of colonial ethnography I will establish themonotheistic nature of the Bukongo without starting from the $estern theistic presuppositions(/motoye 56 p 55) The validity of this monotheism will be established through the kemetic  cosmological argument# this will induce the necessity of proving the fallacy of thewestern monotheism 7aving demonstrated the monotheistic nature of the Bukongo I will endeavor throughcomparative study to e'plain the AIR based on the Bukongo# for this purpose I will firstestablish the theistic e&uivalence between the Bukongo and the ancient solar civili0ations of !umer Babylon and 1gypt Thus the AIR will be shown to be the devaluation of the solar religion in various forms due to devolution The first studies o the AIR The first allusions to the AIR are included in the reports of -1uropean traveler e'plorersmissionaries and colonial agents. in the 8 th  and * th  centuries (9benda nd p :#"wakabana 5665 p 5) These works were unsatisfactory (/kon 56;) and evenderogatory because they were based on false assumption of the inferiority of the Black man The study proper of the AIR by scholars was prompted by the publication of the theory of <arwin about the evolution of species in 8,* (9benda nd p :)# at that time the mainconcern of the researcher was to find an e'planation of the srcin of religion based on the newtheory!cholastic monotheism was taken as the apogee of religion# to which the Black man never had access# he was placed at the first stage of the evolution of religion considered to be5  The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Journal of Black Studies, 2017, Vol. 48(2) 165–189DOI: 10.1177/0021934716681153 fetishism or animism $estern monotheism was the yardstick with which every religion of the world was measured and found wanting (Beyers 566 p ) The hypothesis of the last stage of the evolution of religions as being monotheism began towaver when $ilhelm !chmidt argued that monotheism not fetishism nor animism is the firststage of religion 7e contended that -the earliest survival of this primitive monotheistic belief has to be found among the hunting gathering forest =autochtones> of central Africa (?) 7ealso claimed that the !upreme Being of the pastoral =ethnics> of 1ast African represented thefullest survival of the srcinal monotheisms concept. (9benda nd p *4*)!chmidt propositions were of no advantage as far the Black man was concerned In fact thereal problem was not the evolution of religion but the very concept of scholastic monotheismwhich up to now is taken by various scholars even Africans as a yardstick for the appraisal of all the other religions To &uestion this monotheism is one of the re&uest of a newunderstanding of the religions of Africa and of the world The monotheism o the Bukongo It appeared to the early missionaries that the notion of a supreme being is inseparable fromthe Bukongo Van $ing (*,* p ;6,) wrote@ -0ambi is uni&ue apart from everything elseinvisible and yet living acting in sovereignty independent elusive and inaccessible yetleading men and things closely and with absolute efficiency.orroborating Van $ing Bittremieu' (*;: p ;;) eschews any connotation of  polytheism in regard to the notion of 0ambi Ampungu Tulendo@ -C0Dmbi can not havee&ual 7e is not even I would say the E  primus inter pares . or the term of an animistevolution a polytheist one or another but the /ne the Inaccessible the 9reat hief whofrom his empyrean dominates everything. ;  The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Journal of Black Studies, 2017, Vol. 48(2) 165–189DOI: 10.1177/0021934716681153 Though these authors are unanimous about the uni&ueness of 0ambi Ampungu Tulemndoand reFect any connotation of polytheism they never mention the Bukongo as beingmonotheistic# the reason for this reluctance is that the theism of Bukongo is not identical tothe scholastic notion which is defined as the belief in one 9od creator and supreme The hierarchy o the Bukongo !peaking of the invisible world Gemba4"asiala (566+ p ,;) argues that it is that%s of -thespiritual beings such as angels  zimbasi  ancestors bakulu  and of the !upreme Being =0ambiAmpHngu>.# which implies a hierarchy of divine beings This hierarchy is clarified by the prayer offered in a forest of "ban0a4sanda (<emocratic Republic of ongo) by the great2ongo prophet !imon 2imbangu during the clandestine phase of his mission in *5 Though being a Baptist catechist 2imbangu e'presses a complete immersion in theBukongo tradition in this prayer showing that his involvement in the hristian church didn%timpede him from e'pressing and living his indigenous spiritual convictions The opening part of this important prayer as reported by Band0ou0i (5665 pp *4*;)goes as follow@ -rayer to you the angels of the celestial throne source of our e'istenceJ -rayer to you the seven angels who throne at the court of 9od the "ost4high =0ambiAmpungu>J-rayer where the !un rises and where the !un setsJ-rayer to the east and to the west-rayer to you our creator solar 9od ("bumba Gowa)-rayer to you our 9od governor of humanity ("pina 0a)-rayer to you all the angels of the earth and the airJ-rayer to you all the angels who govern the waters and the fireJK  The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Journal of Black Studies, 2017, Vol. 48(2) 165–189DOI: 10.1177/0021934716681153 -rayer to you the 9reat !pirit 2ongoJ.$e learn from this prayer the nature of the 2ongo divine hierarchy as including@  A !upreme Being 0ambi Ampungu Tulendo who is said to be the  source  of alle'istence  The solar creator   "bumba Gowa  The 9od governor called "pna 0a  2ongo the primeval ancestors of the 2ongo people It is note worthy that !imon 2imbangu distinguishes the creative causation and the fact of  being the source As the  source  0ambi Ampungu Tulendo coe'ist with the heavenly realm ina synchronic causation# while the creation  of the "bumba Gowa is diachronic# this shows thatcontrary to what some scholars contend the notion of the !upreme Being is not an -ideaimported. (BewaFi **8 p 5) from hristina religion (1keke nd p ;) Hierarchy of divinities of some African ethnics 1thniccountry2ongoongoL2inshasa"boshiongoLBra00aville!ongyeongoL2inshasaBagandaMgandaThe "ost47igh0Dmbi AmpHngu TulNndo0ambe 0ambe 0ambe!hakahanga9guluThe creator"bHmba Gowa0ambe Iko4Gatsenge1vile "bula2atondaThe Verb or Gogos"pina 0a(the governor) 0ambe 2ene(the Oudge)1vile "buwa(the Fudge)"uhanga(9od of order)rimeval ancestor2ongo0ambe "wene1vile "ukulu Validity o the monotheism o the Bukongo 3or long time the Black was thought to be unable of a -rational causal e'planation.(Mdefi 56K p ;) If AIR is a revealed religion I esteem then there must be a possibilityof e'pressing its basic convictions in a scientific way because its inspirers are then theilluminated heavenly beings The kemetic  cosmological argument I will state here is called facto4deductive because likethe e'perimental sciences it starts from an empirical fact and like the formal sciences itfollows a deductive approach In a formal manner it can be uttered as follows@ ,


Sep 10, 2019
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