MARY AFST 544:
Towards the Inculturation of Religious Community
Life in Africa
Course explores topics relevant to the inculturation of religious life
in Africa. It examines the dynamics of inculturation from the 'bottom
up'... i.e., the experience of women and men religious themselves in
defining the evolving expression of their lives as Africans.
Basic elements of course
1) Importance of bringing to consciousness areas of
lived conflict of values to free persons so that they themselves might
choose to define evolving expression of faith.
2) Consider what may be inhibiting factors in the lives of women and men
religious in the inculturation of religious life.
3) Implications of cultural context for the expression of religious
- socialization of members (religious formation/initiation)
- perception of the role of women and men
- models of social relationships in community
- role / place of the chief (superior) in group decision-making
- causes and expression of social conflict
- resolution of conflict within social group
- relationship with families
- among women, the relationship between their sense of close mutual
solidarity and the attractiveness of religious community impact on the
expression of 'common life'
- creative ritualizing... powerful language to be developed
- significance of details, such as dress, titles and markings of status
4) Identify where there are gaps between rhetoric and observed practice
which point to areas of possible growth.
5) Different problems and challenges of inculturation of religious life
as experienced in international congregations, in diocesan
Zaire, the place of the lecturer's research, will be a
major reference point, with some consideration of the historical factors
that have fostered the 'Africanisation' of religious life there. Also
some reference will be made to Nigeria for a comparative frame of
reference. However, the field research will focus on the religious
communities in the Nairobi area. The participants will be encouraged to
draw on their own experience and stimulated to reflect on their own
specific, cultural context.