A Tapestry of Global Christology: Weaving a Three Stranded Theological Cord

How should we reflect about Christ in the context of global Christianity? For example, who is Jesus Christ in a context of violence and bloodshed, such as that experienced by Christians in Northern Nigeria? This is the question at the heart of this study of global Christology. The aim, however, is not to develop a Christology that is unique to Northern Nigeria, but a Christology that is contextually and conceptually relevant to the real concerns of Nigerian Christians, while maintaining a catholic and scriptural understanding of the person of Jesus Christ.

In order to do so, this study weaves together three diverse Christological approaches, examining the intersection of contextual theology, analytic theology, and the theological interpretation of Scripture. The work interacts with two analytic theologians: Oliver Crisp and Thomas McCall in order to understand how analytic tools are deployed in the theological task. It also interacts with two Christologies that emerged in Nigeria: Guest Christology by Enyi Ben Udoh and Revealer Christology by Victor Ezigbo.

Drawing from these interactions, the study then proposes an approach to Christological discourse that is hinged on four principles: canonicity, catholicity, contextuality, and conceptuality. The study argues that these principles should order the practice of global theology as Systematic Theology. In this sense, the approach thereby presents helpful insights for theological methodology in general, and serves as an added resource to the presently growing efforts in global Christology.

Key Works:
Crisp, Oliver D. “Analytic Theology as Systematic Theology.” Open Theology 3 (2017): 156–166.

__________. God Incarnate: Explorations in Christology. London: T & T Clark International, 2009.

Ezigbo, Victor I. Re-imagining African Christologies: Conversing with the Interpretations and Appropriations of Jesus Christ in African Christianity. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2010.

McCall, Thomas H. An Invitation to Analytic Christian Theology. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2015.

__________. Forsaken: The Trinity and the Cross, and Why It Matters. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2012.

Udoh, Enyi Ben. Guest Christology: An Interpretative View of the Christological Problem in Africa. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1988.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J. “Analytics, Poetics, and the Missions of Dogmatic Discourse.” In The Task of Dogmatics: Explorations in Theological Method, edited by Oliver D. Crisp and Fred Sanders. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017.

__________. “One Rule to Rule Them All? Theological Method in an Era of World Christianity.” In Globalizing Theology: Belief and Practice in an Era of World Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006.

__________. The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.

Webster, John. “What Makes Theology Theological?” Journal of Analytic Theology 3 (May 2015): 17-28.

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