The Christological perspectives contained in African Gospel music are often more intimately connected with the socio-cultural and economic realities of Africans than the academic Christology taught in seminaries on the continent. These perspectives are shaped by and shape experiences of what it means to be a Christian in contemporary Africa. Whether he is sung as “best friend”, “general”, “daddy”, “solution”, “doctor” or under any other title, Christ’s faces express people’s unique relationship to him, grounded in their circumstances.
Unfortunately, not much attention seems granted to these Christological perspectives in academic theology. This project seeks to fill this gap. Through a study of the lyrics, the melody, video clips, etc. of several songs, it aims at unearthing the Christological perspectives extant in African Gospel music. What can they teach us about how Christ is experienced and communicated in Africa?
Nougoutna Norbert Litoing is a Jesuit priest. He is a lecturer at CERAP Jesuit University and Institut de Théologie de la Compagnie de Jésus (Jesuit School of Theology) both based in Abidjan (Ivory Coast).