Remembering the dead is a topic which connects various cultures and traditions. The reception of the African tradition of ancestorship is a theological enrichment in the ecumenical discussions all over the world. In our time, the exchange of gifts plays a great role in promoting unity of the Churches. Especially the concepts of African theology with the incomparable special position of Jesus Christ as "proto ancestor" are important for the interconfessional dialogues. The veneration of the ancestors in Africa can be a help to begin ecumenical discussions in this regional context on the question of the veneration of the saints. According to African tradition the ancestors also have influence on the process of purification. Therefore, the veneration of the ancestors contributes to providing answers to the ecumenical controversies about the understanding of the eschatological purification.
Sentus Francis Dikwe SDS, born in 1980 in Morogoro, Tanzania, ordained priest of the Salvatorian Congregation. He attained doctorate in theology 2020 in Munster, Germany.