Martin Bernal’s Black Athena initiated or revived theories on the so called afroasiatic roots of the Greek culture. The problem is not a book or an author, but peoples who try desperately using such theories to give themselves a sense of dignity.
These are peoples lacking (or thinking that they lack) a valuable culture – Africans, some Slavs, etc. I have made some comments on that, thinking about the case of fyrom, a slavic country that tries to elevate self-esteem by falsifying history.
Even if the whole world was willing to accept your distortion of history, you yourself would still have to live in a deception, out of which nothing great can happen, especially when you don’t love the tradition that you claim as your own!
Now I read in a Christian magazine (do they deserve a link?) an article, where the author is suddenly surprised by a brilliant thought, that the Christian roots are African, since Athanasius, Augustine and others are not Europeans but Africans! My first reaction was to just think “another fool in the neighborhood”, and skip the page. However, there is a question that needs to be answered.
In the case of Africans or the Slavs of fyrom one can see the causes of foolishness – but what is the reason of a western Christian author to identify Athanasius and Augustine as Africans? In the first place simple as that: Athanasius was bishop of Alexandria, Augustine was bishop of Hippo. Alexandria and Hippo are in Africa, therefore Athanasius and Augustine are Africans, therefore Christianity has African roots!
Terms like Africa, Europe, etc denote geographical places and cultures / languages / civilizations / histories. Christianity is not a geographical place but a culture, a religion, a faith. If we are to claim that Christianity is African, we must prove that it is rooted in a culture that is properly and particularly African. We can not assign the roots of Christianity to a geographical reality as such, because by themselves stones, trees, waters and dust are not able to have or create a culture. If this were not true, if Christianity can be considered African due to the geographical area of Africa, then Africa would be Christian today, but it is not.