Title: Imago Dei, Imago Trinitatis, the Person in Community – a Divine Reality and Human Inspiration
Using the work of B. Lonergan and H.U. von Balthasar to enhance our understanding of the individual within the community, I argue that the African notion of Ubuntu enriches our understanding of humanity through recognizing the role and importance of community. I use Lonergan to show that awareness of another’s humanity leads to a deeper awareness of one’s own and that the ultimate form of being-in-relationship is a being-in-love which requires authenticity and self-transcendence. I argue that Ubuntu is another way of naming self-transcendence from an African perspective. Drawing on the works of Balthasar, theologically this recognition of community not only enhances our understanding of humanity but alludes to the profound theological recognition that the Imago Dei in the other is most profoundly an Imago Trinitatis. Since God cannot be God out of relationship with God, human persons require community, and the ecclesial community to be most fully human persons.