Thoughts on Ubuntu: Are We Really All Connected?

A few years ago, I read ‘No Future Without Forgiveness’ by Desmond Tutu which talks about the process of reconciliation and healing after apartheid in South Africa. As I read it, I became immediately fascinated by this concept of ubuntu which seems to be a pivotal component in South Africa’s road to recovery. Here is how Tutu defined ubuntu:

“My humanity is caught up, is extricably bound up in yours.  It says that I am human because I belong.  I participate. I share.  A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she had a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed or treated as if they were less than who they are” (Tutu,30, 31).

So here are a few questions: How does this notion of ubuntu play about in the body of Christ? Is it a biblical notion with deep spiritual implications? Or is it simply a nice idea?

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