African Renaissance, a Solar Epistemological and Religious Imperative for Afrocentricity.

Author:Luyaluka, Kiatezua Lubanzadio


At the core of the Afrocentric concept is the need to remedy to the fact that Black people have been kicked off the center of their own history by Eurocentric domineering civilization. Asante puts it this way: "Afrocentricity enter the critique of European hegemony after a series of attempts by European writers to advance critical methods of the construction of reality in the context of Europe itself." [i]

However, this supremacist Western delocalizing activity against other civilizations was also the result of a materialistic epistemological view imposed on conquered populations throughout the world. Thus, to succeed in their authoritarian enterprise in Africa, the Western armada had first to deny the original epistemology in which African people where evolving; an epistemology whose foundational tenet, as seen in the history of Sumer and ancient Egypt, was the freedom of the soul from the body, freedom whose correlation is the continuity of life in the beyond. [ii]

The assault on African epistemology resulted naturally in the destruction of African traditional religion which is based on it [iii], and the introduction of scholastic Christianity, a perception of Christian religion which resulted also from the same supremacist process of the denial of the solar paradigm. This Western religion imposed the "image of a white God, male and all-powerful. [iv]

The domineering and destructive Eurocentric enterprise could not have succeeded in its delocalization of Black people in their own history, without the creation of myths to replace truths or the science of African people. In agreement with this view, Asante explains that "perhaps one of the abiding myths to sustain the European hegemony has been the Greek origin of civilization" [v]. The Eurocentric denial of the African original solar epistemology and its replacement by the "anti-spiritual and pro-material" [vi] lunar perception of science was illustrated through the history of Christianity by the passage of the Hebrews from solar epistemology to the Western lunar under the domineering influence of Grecian philosophy; a move that led to the abandonment of the original solar Christianity [vii] for the scholastic, i.e., the lunar leaning view.

The analysis made above implies the existence of two possible solutions to the African problematic, the deliberate marginalization of Black people within their own history: the creation of new myths to replace the ones introduced by the Eurocentrists, and the revision of the distorted accounts of our past in order to place African people back in history as the "subjects and agents of phenomena acting in their own cultural image and human interest". [viii]

The purpose of this paper is to provide an appraisal of the two solutions used so far for the resolution of the African problematic. The analyses is intended to demonstrate two hypotheses: the weakness of the myths creation approach which eventually may result into a reverse racism and the need to reinforce the Afrocentric revisionist approach through a solar renaissance as a means of addressing the unhandled problem of the delocalization of the African from his/er original scientific solar epistemology and of the destruction of the solar scientific religion it entails [ix]. Hence, the necessity of the advent of solar renaissance, as the recourse to African original solar epistemic paradigm prophesied by the ancients (Persians, Egyptians and Kongo prophets), and foreseen by Cheikh Anta Diop [x] as a return to a past of the cohabitation of science and religion as spirituality.

To prove the necessity of solar renaissance, this work will first show through comparative study, the nature of solar epistemology and its superiority to the Western paradigm. Next, this same methodology will be used to demonstrate the nature and superiority of solar religion as a scientific and a posteriori divine Truth used by Sumerians, ancient Egyptians, and continued in African traditional religion, especially in the Kongo religion, Bukongo. [xi]

On the practical level, the prerequisite to solar renaissance will be shown to be the revival of solar scientific religion and its initiatory educational frame. This revival of the initiation into the divine mystery will enable Black people to avail of an original solar epistemology as a powerful tool that may enable African people to successfully break epistemological obstacles (the epistemological features of a paradigm that impedes progress [xii]), to introduce cost-efficient technologies, and to attain an African cultural unity.

The Concept of African Renaissance

The concept of the renaissance is defined by the Webster New Collegiate Dictionary (1977) as a "humanistic revival of classical influence", a renewed interest in the classical art, literature and scholarship in Europe from the 14th to the 16th century. According to Mbeki, this concept was first used in connection to Africa in "an unpublished departmental paper entitled The African Renaissance a Workable Dream'". [xiii]

In the final decade of the last century, the African renaissance was publicly affirmed by former South Africa president Thabo Mbeki as happening in the political sphere and thus, expressing a "need to empower African peoples to deliver themselves from the legacy of colonialism and neocolonialism" [xiv]. And thus far, the concept has been restricted to continental Africa.

The African solar renaissance as explained in this work alludes to continental and diaporic African people; it should culminate in the recourse to a solar epistemic paradigm that characterized the civilizations of Sumer and ancient Egypt, and a brand of traditional and precolonial Africa. The prerequisite to African solar renaissance being the revival of solar scientific religion and its initiatory educational frame; hence, this renaissance will be the "spiritual liberation which frees the creative energies of society." [xv]

Solar Epistemology and Its Lunar Antithesis

One of the problems introduced by the Eurocentric cultural intrusion in Africa is the denial of the validity of the original epistemological setting of Black people and their then being mired in Western lunar epistemology. Joseph Nkata Mabika explains this situation and the consequent difficulties induced by this Eurocentric immixing:

"Until now, we have to recognize that our academic philosophical training is modeled on Western Philosophy. Our whole thought was structured by the philosophical paradigm inherent in Western Culture. It is important to emphasis because to get out of this philosophical dominant paradigm would be in itself a feat in the history of human ideas." [xvi]

In one of its recent publications [xvii], the Institut des Sciences Animiques, an Afrocentric think-tank based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, whose center of interest is the defense of African traditional spirituality and epistemology, has identified the main existence of two approaches available to the scientific community to arrive at an understanding of nature: firstly, the Western epistemological concept, now called lunar due to its focus on matter like the moon orbiting around the earth (a symbol of matter). This is an approach of the acquisition of knowledge whose main bases are the priori presuppositions that reality is material, the universe is uniform, the senses tell us the truth, and that the universe is intelligible.

Secondly, the epistemology of African indigenous knowledge, labeled solar due to its focus on the divine (the sun being the symbol of the creator in many African cultures). Though so far generally deemed as unscientific and rejected by some as superstitious, this approach has been evidenced by the Institut des Sciences Animiques to be a scientific valid perception relying on a posteriori facts that: (1) all reality is in God and is spiritual, (2) any knowledge is comprised within the knowledge of God, (3) any truth is revelation, and (4) matter is only a limited perception of spiritual reality.

While the validity of a priori bases of lunar epistemology can never be demonstrated, the validity of the foundational truths of solar epistemology has been evidenced by the use of the Kemetic cosmological argument [xviii]. This has been done through the use of a deductive reasoning, starting from the existence of individualities and particular circumstances in our temporal universe. The Kemetic cosmological argument, thanks to the law of causality, infers the nature of God, as well as the essential doctrines of solar religion, especially Bukongo.

As a systematic natural theology, the Kemetic cosmological argument arrives in a cosmology which explains logically the movements and stability of the bodies of the universe, at astronomic and subatomic levels through a single theory; hence, it is a solar holistic "theory of everything". Thus, the Kemetic cosmological argument offers a Newtonian cosmology whose conclusions are mathematically verifiable, and therefore, solar epistemology can no longer be casted away as unscientific, backward gimmick.

The lunar/solar epistemological opposition was perceived by the Persian sages, inspired from Sumerian wisdom, as the God of light and the God of darkness warring and "each in turn has the victory for a regular period of three thousand years" [xix]. Alluding to the solar phase of this cycle, the sages of ancient Egypt spoke of "the return of the Osiris from the Amenti" [xx].

From this can be deduced that the last solar phase started 4.000 B.C.E. with the birth of Sumer and ancient Egypt ended in 1.000 B.C.E. Thus, looking at the next return of the solar phase with the beginning of this new millennium, the Kongo prophet Simon Kimbangu said "the Black man will become White, and the White man will become Black", [xxi] implying a shift from a lunar to a solar epistemology.

This same solar renaissance was also prospectively predicted by Cheikh Anta Diop as an epistemological view...

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