A METAPHYSICAL ASSESSMENT OF WHAT IS A HUMAN PERSON: UNDERSTANDING CONTINUITY AND DISCONTINUITY

Ubuntu is at the core of the African philosophy, religion, and way of life, impacting every aspect of people’s well-being. In Ubuntu philosophy, life is intelligible only in the community through interaction, participation, and reciprocity. John Mbiti (African Philosophy and Religion) expresses this clearly by highlighting the continuity between life’s physical and material reality: “The physical and spiritual are but two world dimensions of the same universe.” These dimensions dovetail into each other to the extent that at times and places, one is more real than the other, but not exclusive of the other.” According to the author of Genesis, “the Lord God formed the man out of dust from the ground and breath into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Gen. 2:7). Juxtaposing Christian theological nature of a human person with Ubuntu philosophy of reality poses two questions worth considering. What is the nature of the human person’s metaphysics in Christian theology and Ubuntu philosophy? What constitutes continuity and discontinuity between Christian theology and Ubuntu metaphysics? In response to these questions, this paper will argue that there is continuity and discontinuity in Christian theological metaphysics and the Ubuntu metaphysics of the human person. The paper will be a critical and theological analysis that begins with the nature of the human person’s metaphysics in these two approaches, followed by what constitutes continuity and discontinuity between the two. Subsequently, I will critically and theologically analyze the continuity and discontinuity areas. Finally, I will make recommendations for further consideration. The article contributes to the ongoing conversation on human embodiment and complex issues of gender in Christian theological anthropology.

4 thoughts on “A METAPHYSICAL ASSESSMENT OF WHAT IS A HUMAN PERSON: UNDERSTANDING CONTINUITY AND DISCONTINUITY”

Leave a Comment