The Lion, The Witch And The Cosmic Drama: An African Socio- Hermeneutic -- By: Robert D. Falconer

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 22:1 (Sep 2016)
Article: The Lion, The Witch And The Cosmic Drama: An African Socio- Hermeneutic
Author: Robert D. Falconer


The Lion, The Witch And The Cosmic Drama: An African Socio- Hermeneutic

Robert D. Falconer1

Abstract

This paper intends to make a unique contribution in our interpretation of witchcraft in Africa by providing a socio-hermeneutic that is dramatic and meaningful. African theologians have sought to understand the ontology of witchcraft and its implications, as well as witchcraft accusations and possible solutions and remedies, which are all very important. This paper, however, offers something quite different, the possibility that witchcraft might have an important part to play in African cosmology, in the African cosmic drama. By employing Kevin Vanhoozer’s work, The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical Linguistic Approach to Christian Doctrine, and superimposing features of this work onto an African context, namely, African realities, we are able to explore issues such as witchcraft in light of an African theo-drama. It is argued in this paper that witchcraft, as abominable as it is, plays an important role in God’s ‘most glorious theatre’ as the antagonist. Nevertheless, before one explores the idea of

God’s glorious theatre and the stage for Africa’s cosmic drama, witchcraft must first be understood and defined. The atonement, the sacrificial death of Christ, on the other hand, takes centre stage in this drama. Without witchcraft and without the atonement, the African cosmic drama is insipid, without great meaning or significance. Further, it is of importance to know the performing parts in Africa’s cosmic drama; these are identified and elucidated in order that we may know our part and perform it well in response to African witchcraft. Therefore, we too, together with the Triune God, have our performing parts to play in this cosmic drama.

1. Introduction

My interest here is in interpreting African realities in light of a cosmic drama thereby providing an African socio-hermeneutic which is not only fascinating, but, I believe, also helpful for the African Christian community. There are many aspects of African realities that we could consider, but in this paper I wish to focus on African witchcraft. I will begin by offering a brief overview of witchcraft, and then reflect upon God’s glorious theatre, the stage for Africa’s cosmic drama. This brings us to Africa’s cosmic drama itself, where I will provide a hermeneutic and an argument for the important, yet negative, part which witchcraft plays in Africa’s cosmic drama. Next, I shall demonstrate how the atonement of Jesus Christ is the centre stage for this cosmic drama. Lastly, the performing parts of the drama are identified and e...

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