McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Cosmotheandrism, Dialogical Dialogue, Exclusivism, Inclusivism, Pluralism, Supersessionism
The Middle-belt and Northern Nigeria are notoriously known as the epicenter for ethnic and religious warfare. The hostility between the two dominant religions—Islam and Christianity—has a beginning that pre-dates the British colonial occupation in 1903. Islamic opposition to British cultural imperialism and religious superiority continues in its outright rejection of Christian supersessionism and the formation of fundamentalist sects. Though not denying the importance of addressing the economic, ethnic, and political context of the problem of violence, this work focuses on exclusivist Christology and its hermeneutical use in framing the dialogue between Christians and Muslims in Jos Plateau.
We analyze the nature of absolute claims emanating from Christian supersessionism and evaluate how these have served as triggers to violence, provoked by the slightest religious misunderstanding. Such an exclusive Christological definition lends to religious extremism, and it raises serious ethical and theological questions for Christianity as a religion that preaches love and hospitality for neighbors, especially the stranger. In this sense, Christian supersessionism poses grave ethical danger to the virtue of hospitality in that it reduces the horizon of Christian compassion, making it accessible only to members of the Christian faith community.
By applying Raimon Panikkar’s non-dualistic method and his post-colonial critique of Western theological imperatives, this works seeks to liberate exclusivist Christology from its totalizing tendencies. It is our intention to develop an alternative dialogical pneumatology of charity and hospitality that is necessary for the interreligious encounter and mutual coexistence between Christians and Muslims. This investigation shows that Panikkar’s cosmotheandric vision of reality which promotes “individuality, irreducibility and reciprocity,” remains the sine qua non for interreligious peace in a pluralistic setting. Cosmotheandrism offers a deep complementarity of perspectives, insights, and approaches. In sum, cosmotheandrism within the context of interreligious dialogues argues that there is no “one religion” that can be imposed on the “many,” and there are no “many” that can be reduced to the “one.”Thus, we contend that Panikkar’s concept of dialogical dialogue, which draws from the cosmotheandric vision, remains an effective method for formulating both the theoretical and hermeneutical principles required for addressing Christian exclusivism.
Ahiaba, M. (2016). Christian Supersessionism and the Dilemma of Dialogue in Jos Nigeria: Exploring Panikkar’s Dialogical Dialogue as a Paradigm for Interreligious Dialogue (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/59