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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


MUDYIWA, Misheck  y  MOKGOATSANA, Sekgothe. Revisiting the Mystery of Life in the Hereafter: Reflections of Fr Augustine Urayai of Zimbabwe. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2021, vol.47, n.1, pp.1-18. ISSN 2412-4265.

The quest for knowledge regarding life after death is indispensable and paramount to most cultures and religions, including African spiritualties and mystery cults. Fr Augustine Urayai was a Roman Catholic priest and exorcist and this paper critically examines his theological reflections on death and life after death, particularly his idea of the "liminal/transitional phase" in the upward movement of spirits from earth to heaven for restoration and re-unification with God. The compulsory "liminal phase" or "zones" (magedhe) where all spirits pass through before their fate is ascertained comprises the resting, treatment, judgment, and feasting respectively. The article first examines the milieu in which Fr Urayai's theology emerged and developed. As a way of analysis, it explores the age-old question of the immortality of the soul and its link with other religions, cultural and philosophical traditions. As it probes deeper, the article critically examines the ramifications and impact of Fr Urayai's new theology on the Zimbabwe Christian landscape. The main argument developed in this article is that, even though Fr Urayai's theory of life in the hereafter appears to be a breakaway from celebrated mainstream theological formulations, it has the potential to hatch useful insights into possible new areas of theological reflection in the ongoing discourses on the link between Christian anthropology and different African spiritualties.

Palabras clave : death; life in the hereafter; zones; Fr Augustine Urayai; Catholic theology; African spirituality; Zimbabwe.

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