The Quest for Christ in Africa: Reimagining and Reconstructing African Christology

Doctoral Dissertation


Much African theology, including reflection on Christ in Africa — that is, Christology — has long reflected traditional African cultural values. Today, however, theologians operate in settings where traditional African cultural values, epitomized in ancestral veneration, no longer operate. The rise of new practices and behaviors that affect the totality of the thinking and decision-making process, which include religious/faith behaviors and their rationalization, are a result of new social organizations of cultural differences. African cultures have been transformed under the pressure of immense social change affecting the continent. Political unrest, technological advances, and population movements have contributed to changed cultural realities in which African theology proceeds. New cultural realities in turn reshape African communities and worldviews, so that religious beliefs also undergo transformation.

In this dissertation, I will present an argument that Christology in contemporary Africa needs to change to reflect these new social and cultural circumstances in Africa. I will show by way of historical evaluation that Christology has always been a conversation within the Church among theologians, church authorities, and the living contexts of Christian believers. Every generation of Christians has been given the responsibility to bring their most current context into this conversation, to contribute their contemporary reflections on the mystery of Christ. Fieldwork among contemporary African Catholic communities generates the insights of African believers about Christ and his role in their lives, thus updating the Christological conversation in Africa. I will conclude by presenting these new Christological insights of contemporary Christians and consider how their thoughts shape African Christology today.


Attribute NameValues
Author David Eliaona Lyimo
Contributor Kevin Christiano, Committee Member
Contributor Robert Krieg, Committee Member
Contributor Rev. Emmanuel Katongole, Committee Member
Contributor Rev. Paul V. Kollman, C.S.C., Research Director
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Theology
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Banner Code

Defense Date
  • 2020-06-10

Submission Date 2020-07-12
  • African Christology

  • Tanzania

  • Catholic Church in Africa

  • African Theology

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
Catalog Record


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