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- ItemEmpty For God(Tangaza University College, 1996) Pinto, IvanIn the religious life we are often taught about detachment from all things. The reformer of my Carmelite Order, St. John of the Cross, was a doctor of detachment. In his famous philosophy of detachment, or nothingness, he says that to possess everything desire nothing. When you turn towards something you cease to cast yourself upon the all. For to go from the all to the all you must leave yourself in all. And when you come to the possession of all you must possess it without wanting anything. If I desire everything I get nothing. Added to my spirituality as a Carmelite, the culture from which I come, Indian culture, has a similar tone. In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, we find a lot of emphasis on detachment. According to these religions, desire is the cause of every evil. The book of Ecclesiastes is not very far form these ideas. While I was in Tanzania during my summer holidays last year, a Sister was supposed to go to India on the 24th. of July; some of our members went on the 20th. to give her some letters that had to be taken to India the same month. But surprisingly these people came back bringing the news that the sister was dead! She was a medical doctor by profession. It made me think that in life it is useless to be exhausted by many things. At the end we do not know what will happen to us. When death invites us we cannot refuse the invitation no matter who we are, or what we are. All learning, skill, fame, or whatever we have will go with us to the tomb. But this does not mean that we must be pessimistic about the life we live. What is needed is a detached interest in life. This is what the Book of Qoheleth says. During my study of the book of Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes) I found much similarity between the thoughts of Qoheleth, John of the Cross, Cartnelite spirituality, and the culture from where I come; all of these emphasise detachment. My daily experiences too taught me that, my life is not authentic and strong if it is not attached to the Corner Stone, the foundation life - Jesus. Jesus said if your life is not build on me, it is like building a house on the sand, when the storms of life and floods of trials come, your house, will not stand erect (Luke 6:46-49). If we build our life on pleasure, pride and possessions, they will not prevent our house falling apart when the winds of destruction blow against us. To build our life on Jesus we must let go that which is not God and hold on to that which never perishes. That is why, Our Lord himself said, 'go and sell everything' ( Luke 12:33: Matthew 19:21.) So I thought of making a further study of Qoheleth and St. John of the Cross, to get more 2 light on detachment. Many think that John of the Cross and Qoheleth are cynics or defeatists or anti life. They are not pessimists nor skeptics. Qoheleth was suspicious of possessions, pride and pleasure. His daily experiences taught him the lessons of life. Pleasure comes and goes, and leaves a person empty and void. The pride of life which takes satisfaction in domination and doing ones own will. This pride too comes to an end. And as for possessions they give tension rather than relief. St. Paul said there are only three things that last faith, love and hope (1 Cor. 13:13). John, fell in love with God the giver of life. It was in union with God that he saw how fleeting are the things of the world and how vain are our struggles to attain them. It is said there are three kinds of people who tell the truth, wise men, poets and mystics. Qoheleth is a wise man and John is a poet and mystic. John made the Wisdom of God, Jesus Christ the giver of life as his constant companion, his pleasure, pride and possession. John possessed God and God possessed John. Qoheleth and John bring out their practical knowledge from their own personal experiences. To the materialistic world of today Qoheleth and John offer a suitable answer. Some one was asked, what do you read? I read the bible and the religious constitutions was his answer. The Bible for my Christian life and the constitutions for my religious life. So I have taken Qoheleth for the scriptural part and St. John of the Cross for the religious life. The word of God finds expression in the life of the people. Religious life is one of the ways where the word of God is lived. That is the reason for taking Qoheleth and St. John of the Cross for my study of detachment. Qoheleth is not a systematic man who puts his writings on a logical basis. As he reflected on his experience, he put it on paper. Since he says so much about the futility of human life, I took only a few passages from his book. John is systematic. John wrote extensively on different things, but for me it is impossible to summarize the teachings of Qoheleth or John of the Cross. For most people life seems to consist in pleasure, pride and possessions. People dedicate the whole of their life trying to attain pleasure, pride or things (material or non-material). So I have limited my research only to these three areas. The first letter of John states that "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is the world 1 John 2:16. The world here is the one who deliberately rejects Jesus and therefore God. Pleasure belongs to the concupiscence of the flesh, possessions comes under the lust of the eyes, and pride 3 comes under the sphere of pride of life. Therefore my study will be concentrated on the detachment of pleasure, possessions and pride. I have taken very few passages form Qoheleth and St. John of the Cross in my study of detachment. Here I am not making a summary of their teaching on these subjects but how they are relevant to us today. The reason I narrow down my research and concentrate on pleasure, pride and possessions is this: religious make three vows, namely chastity, obedience and poverty. St. Thomas Aquinas said that in the vow of chastity we promise to give up goods of the body and thereby we keep ourselves free to love each and everyone. To love each and every one we have to make some sacrifices. Pleasure is one of the goods of the body. Therefore there is no room for self-centered pleasure. By the vow of obedience we give up the goods of the will i.e. the need for power; pride is put to rest. And by the vow of poverty we renounce the goods of the world i.e. the urge for possessions. Therefore the study of John of the Cross' and Qoheleth's thoughts will help us to be detached and reinforce within us our commitment to God. The goal of John of the Cross is to reach God or union with God. We attain this union through the way of faith, love and hope. This way is blocked by our attachment to the creatures of this world. Pride perverts faith, pleasure perverts love and possession perverts hope. Therefore our inordinate desire for these three "p's" has to be eliminated. These alienate us from loving union with God. For Qoheleth all things are vanity and chasing after the wind, because the enemy death comes and puts an end to all that we have and possess. But for John of the Cross total negation is necessary to empty the self form our inordinate craving for the things of the world. St. John of the Cross clearly states: Hence, we call this nakedness a night for the soul. For we are not discussing the mere lack of things; this lack will not divest the soul, if it craves for all these objects. We are dealing with the denudation of the soul' appetites and gratifications; this is what leaves it free and empty of all things, even though it possesses them. Since the things of the world cannot enter the soul. They are not in themselves an encumbrance or harm to it; rather, it is the will and appetite dwelling within it that causes the damage. (The Ascent of Mount Cannel, Book 1, Chapter 3). So Qoheleth and John of the Cross are good masters who say we get nothing by wanting every thing. I hope my research will enlighten the reader. And help every one to appreciate the thoughts of Qoheleth and St. John of the Cross, so that the people may live a life of sharing and love.
- ItemCommunication(Tangaza University College, 1996) Mwaniki, Esther N.As human beings we possess many skills, gifts and graces. All these originate trom who is the giver of everything. Among all these gifts and skills, communication is most significant and useful. l am mostly concerned with the efficiency with which one shaws his or her opinions, ideas and feelings with other people. Through communication we interact with others, learn about them and ieveal ourselves to them. U is through communication that our personal relationships are established, maintained and sometimes destroyed and repaired. We create relationships with people in many ways through speaking, story telling, gestures, dances, dramas and rituals. In Africa we have rich cuain41 means of communication that should be retained and promoted. Today there are new means of communication. They are available to us in the form it television, radio, books and newspapers. These are called mass media. 'They connect us vvali people all over the world. For example by telephone and tax we are instantly in coward with people who are far away, These means of comnumication are vital to us today. They affect the way we think i. feel, pray, live and look at life. The modern means of communication change our way or feeling, reacting and living often without realizing it'. In different gatherings we interact with people-solving problems, developing new id, is and sharing knowledge and experiences. All in all we live and function in a society based un communication. Without the ability to communicate i.e. to speak, write, listen and read. of us would live in isolation, set apart from our fellow human beings.
- ItemThe Problems of Street Children And Pastoral Implications(Tangaza University College, 1996-02) Savarimuthu, John PeterYoung people and children on the streets are a major concern of today's society. I am glad to undertake this paper on "Street Children", whom I love much. It is not by chance I have chosen this topic but out of love towards these children, and feeling that it is my vocation to love these children, it was the invitation and call from God to love these Children. This paper is divided into 2 main parts, in the first part it deals with the Christian perspective on human dignity and rights of human person, from which it approaches Children's needs, rights and particularly the situation of children in Kenya, especially regarding Education . The importance of African Charter is mentioned from which 2 articles on Education and Imprisoned mothers are mentioned. Because the major cause of Street children are the expensive Education to the children, and the Broken families especially due to the single mothers phenomena in Kenya. From there the paper proceeds to the main issues of Street Children , speaking, how the society look at them, and their problems, Causes for their problem, and their life experience in the street , the situation of Remand homes in Kenya is mentioned. For past 4 years I have been working with these children, so with my experience I proceed to the last chapter , in which I dedicate to their situation, and offering some practical, pastoral solutions. Adding to it I have synthesized the work we do with these children for past five years.
- ItemOption for the Poor(Tangaza University College, 1996-02) Cieslikiewicz, Krzysztof"Option for the poor" seems to be of a great importance in today's world. Much have been written on this topic in recent times. With the blossoming of the Liberation theology, "option for the poor" became also the central theme of the interest of many theologians. This paper does not go in the line of the Liberation Theology thought, but in this paper I would rather try to find out what is the meaning and understanding of the "option for the poor" presented to us in the Bible. Yet, I do not intend to show the overview of the option of the poor in the History of Salvation but rather I will concentrate on the meaning of Jesus' proclamation of the "good new to the poor" presented to us in the beginning of his ministry, in the key text from Luke 4:18-21, which includes a quotation from the Book of Isaiah, chapter 61. But in order to understand well the meaning of the option taken by Jesus we ought to refer briefly to the Old Testament notion of the "option for the poor of Yahweh," because Jesus is the One to bring about fulfilment of the promises of the Old Testament. I will start from the first encounter by Israel option for the poor undertaken by God in Egypt and then its understanding in the prophets, mainly in Isaiah to whom Jesus recalls.
- ItemThe Historical Growth and the Co-Existence Of Latin Rite and the Oriental Rites in India(Tangaza University College, 1996-02) Kainikunnel, GeorgeThe bringing together of Eastern and Western Christian tradition was one of the most urgent tasks of the time in which we were living before Vatican It, and yet even now in the aftermath of. Vatican It the co-existence of both is not as rosy as it looks. There seems to be a need for mutual understanding which has to be much deeper in order to enrich one another. An element of the very first importance in this task is a genuine meeting and reconciliation between these great Christian traditions. Through the process of history they have lived for so long in ignorance and misunderstanding of one another and they seem unfortunately so far to be continuing to live one apart from the other. It is in the Church's liturgy of worship, the official expression of her public prayer, that there is to be found the wealth of her tradition, stamped with the particular spirit of this or that civilization and history. In fact, Vatican II speaks of the Eastern churches, that, though separated from the West(Rome), they have the true Sacraments, above all because of the apostolic succession, the priesthood, and the Eucharist, which unite both in close ties, so that the relation between Eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion is somewhat obscured The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communities present themselves to everybody as true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but they differ in their mentality and go their different ways, as if Christ himself was divided(ICor. 1:13)2 For nine centuries the Churches of the East and the West went their own ways, though a brotherly communion of faith and sacramental life bound them together. When disagreements in faith and discipline arose among them, the Roman See acted by common consent as moderator) From their very origins the Churches of the East have had a treasury from which the Church of the West has drawn largely for its liturgy, spiritual tradition and jurisprudence. The heritage handed down by the apostles was received differently and in different forms, so that from the very beginning of the Church, its development varied from region to region and also because of the varying cultures, differing mentalities and ways of life, and the lack of central Church Government. Adapting the liturgy to the culture of the celebrating community was what happened in the earliest days of Christianity. And liturgy was celebrated according to the culture of the people. The various liturgical rites bear witness to this. These reasons and other plus external causes as well as the lack of charity and mutual understanding, gradually led in later centuries to divisions rather than communion. But the Second Vatican Council finally and for the first time thanks God that many Eastern children of the Catholic Church preserve this heritage and wish to express it more faithfully and completely in communion with their brethren who follow the tradition of the West. The aim of this small presentation is to be a first introduction to this little-know world as it exists mainly in South India and other parts of India, and it endeavors to give its right place to each of the liturgical traditions of the Christian East and learn from each other and enrich by one another. We all know that Christ's humanity is the instrument of salvation for every human being. The saving actions of Jesus reach us today in the visibility of the many particular Churches, especially by their liturgical celebrations. If we are receptive to God's action in the various liturgies, we can experience God and live an authentic life as disciples of Jesus in any of them. In this perspective we see that Christianity in India, particularly in South India, is entangled with the ways and means of salvation rather than the goal itself. In this paper I am first trying to present the arrival of Christianity in India which is a good thing following the command of our Master and Lord, to preach the good news of Salvation to all nations. But once this is done, the unity of all Christians is not found due to some of the external factors like rites, territory, power plays etc, which bring division. After having exposed them sufficiently, some suggestions are proposed in the light of the Second Vatican Council.
- ItemThere Is a Changing Attitude In The Use of Sexuality Which Is A Crisis to Society in Kenya(Tangaza University College, 1996-02) Makwali, SilvesterI do not believe that it is possible to keep families together any more with expanding urbanization. Many people are flowing into urban centres and when I look at the living conditions there, I realise that it is hard from the economic point of view to think in terms of full families staying together. When I consider the social bonds in urban centres, I realise that they are very weak. Given this state of affairs, I feel that serious attention must be given to formation of small Christian communities in order to strengthen people's social bonds. I propose that preachers of the word of God get in touch with the social situation of God's people and use the word to change their attitude and involve other people to alleviate the situation where possible. Let preachers of the Good News help single fathers in migrant labour realise what they are doing to their families and other peoples' families by spending their money on dogo dogo. I also propose that parents in rural areas be helped by the church not to allow their under-age children, especially girls, to just escape into urban centres. I further propose that both chruch and government become more open to conscientization of people in urban centres about the dangers of easy socialization with sex. The offering of courses in family ministry in seminaries can be very helpful. Finally by going to the roots of the problem in this paper, I hope that it will be helpful to other pastoral workers to advance more proposals.
- ItemHuman Dignity And The Signs of The Times The Church as a Prophetic Witness(Tangaza University College, 1996-02) D'souza, JosephToday the human person is viewed more in terms of freedom than in terms of reason. Indeed freedom is the loftiest of all the gifts the human person is endowed with, as the Vatican Council II humbly but courageously proclaimed: "The people of our time prize freedom very highly and strive eagerly for it. In this they are right."' It is only in freedom that humans can turn themselves towards what is good. "Human dignity therefore requires them to act out of a conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in themselves or by mere external constraint. Humans gain such dignity when they press forward towards their goal by freely choosing what is good, and, by their diligence and skill, effectively secure for themselves the means suited to this end."2 In other words, we are unfinished products, and by virtue of freedom we determine to be humans. This is the point I have attempted to make in the first chapter. Humans can choose good only from what is basically good. The Scripture reveals that God created everything good (cf. Gen 1:31), and entrusted all things to the benefit and care of human beings. The good creation is believed to acquire "an added dignity from its relation with the human person, for whose use it has been created. And then, too, God has willed to gather together all that was natural, all that was supernatural, into a single whole in Christ, 'so that in everything he would have the primacy' (Col 1:18). Far from depriving the temporal order of its autonomy, of its specific ends, of its own laws and resources, or its importance for human well-being, this design, on the contrary, increases its energy and excellence, raising it at the same time to the level of the human person's integral vocation here below."3 This theme will bridge the first and the second chapters. The dignity of human persons is based on their creation in the image of God. They are unique among all other creatures because of their freedom, but an accountable and responsible freedom. Through freedom we are invited to grow and become like God himself. "For God willed that humans should be left in the hands of their own counsel, so that they might of their own accord seek their creator and freely attain their full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him."4 That is to say, we work out our salvation by the faculties we are endowed with. One of the areas in which humans have exercised their freedom, and shown their creativity is in the field of technology and science. The Church acknowledges that "By the work of their hands and with the aid of technical means humans till the earth to bring forth fruit and to make it a dwelling place fit for all mankind; . . . in so doing they are realizing the design, which God revealed at the beginning of time, to subdue the earth, and perfect the work of creation, and at the same time they are improving their own person: they are also observing the command of Christ to devote themselves to the service of their fellow humans."5 By this it is implied that for all our creativities Jesus is our guide and model. Strangely and painfully, a lopsided exercise of this mandate to dominate has distorted the very purpose of our creation. Instead of transforming the face of the earth, and restoring the original purpose of creation, humans have managed to widened the gap between one another. Plainly put, due to manipulative technological advancement, there is a deterioration of human dignity. Science and technology have totally abandoned the spiritual dimension of the universe. It is easy to discern this reality if we consider attentively the world of today, which is so busy with politics and controversies in the economic order that it does not find time to attend to the care of spiritual reality. The human person has become a victim of materialistic ideology. As the signs of the times disclose, human beings have almost become machines, and machines have become gods to humans. There is less worship of God, as humans have begun worshipping wealth and riches. God created humans in his image, but humans have created God in the image of machines. The golden calf is back but now in the form of computers, complicated machines, jet fighters and nuclear weapons, threatening the existence of humanity, and questioning the relevance of God for the modern world. Hopefully, this will be clear at the end of the second chapter. The earth was given as a gratuitous gift offered for the use of all. But today it is no more a gift. Instead, it is misused and abused, and treated like private property by some people. Earth's resources have been used as a means to dominate others. Human beings have been treated as objects everywhere. The freedom of some has forced others into bondage. Despite the material advancement there are widespread discriminations spreading everywhere. The progress in some places does not mean the same in other places. You will discover some of these aspects in the third chapter. However, I have focussed on just three predominant areas of injustices and harm the modern progress has done to humanity and the rest of God's creation. These are the urgent issues that make the headlines of the story - "The Signs of the Times". There are many signs of the times which I have not included in my survey, but I hope, the listed ones will give incentive to the readers to include their own, as these signs keep on varying depending on situations and circumstances. At this juncture the Church reminds humans that "the future is here in the urgent appeal to the peoples of the world for more justice, in their will for peace, in their conscious or unconscious thirst for a higher life, that life precisely which the Church of Christ can and wishes to give them."6 The Church of Christ seems to read the signs of the times and voice concern for God's creation, for we belong to God and all creation belongs to God, and to God alone! This is the message of the fourth chapter. I have only attempted to present the teaching of the Church on some justice and peace issues of a particular time. However, today we are encircled by the 'structures of sin', which make any simplistic remedy unworkable. For Christians the mission is vast and wide. As you go through the pages, discern for yourselves if you too can come up with some resolutions!
- ItemItinerary of Education to Faith(Tangaza University College, 1996-02) Fulvio, OrnatoIn this essay I want to suggest another line of action that, I believe is more in line with the need of the young people, more effective in the pastoral activity, and more closer to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. 'The first thing that is expected of all human education and true communication is that they facilitate and stimulate interior activity in the recipients. ...the pedagogy which requires an active response from the recipients is in accord with the Christian life in general. For Christians respond actively to the gift of God by prayer, by participation in the sacraments and the sacred liturgy, by taking on tasks in the Church and civil life and by the practice of charity."I In the document to the lay catholics in schools we read: "An educative process involves a methodology, whose principles and techniques form together a consistent pedagogy. A variety of pedagogical theories exist; the choice of the Catholic educator, based on a Christian concept of the human person, should be the practice of a pedagogy which gives special emphasis to direct and personal contact with the students. If the educator undertakes this conlacl with lhe conviction that students have a fundamental active role in their own education, this will lead to a dialogue which will pave the way for a witness of faith offered by the teacher's personal lit a"2 The Emmaus event of the Gospel can be the flag of our educative system. Let us consider the way the risen Christ approached and started to walk with the two disciples: at first without a word, listening and accompanying them as they were going. (They were moving away from Jerusalem and this has a special meaning for Luke). Secondly, asking them and letting them express all the knowledge, feelings, experiences they had about the events of the previous days. Together with them Jesus in their journey helped them to discover the truth. He moved them to accept God's plan and to be enlightened with joy. The result of this educative process is the metanoia. The disciples changed life and after having discovered the truth, turned back to Jerusalem to bring the good news and become witness of Jesus' resurrection. This is what should happen in our educative process. The text of the Emmaus event is a good insight in the style of education that I want to make present in our work. To educate for me means, "to share lovingly in the growth of individuals and in the building of their future".3 To opt for an educative journey with the youth means to put into question first of all our ownselves as —tors. It means to walk with them in a journey of growth, accepting to be what we are with our own past experiences but with the openness to learn and change with them. By: "to educate" I understand there is a dynamic process: those who don't want to start to journey, those who have no interest for the adventure and tile curiosity of traveling with young people will not be able to educate according to our own parameters.
- ItemKamba Concept of God and Christianity(Tangaza University College, 1996-02) Musyoka, WasswaIn my life as a student. I have done several courses on African studies. The first time I dealt with this course in school was when I was in secondary school. The course at this time was treated under the title 'African heritage'. In my training as a priest,I did this course in philosophy and again in my first year in theology. I have also done an elective course under the title "African theology" During these periods I have come to realise that many books, articles, and papers have been written on the issues related to african heritage. The key theme on this course has always been "African Traditional religion". Whatever the topic being treated about african these three words have always dominated the discussions. A wide research on african traditional religions has been done by scholars both africans and foreigners alike.From this wide complex field they have come out with different titles on their works. Such titles are like African Theology,Black Theology. African Christian Theology etc. Whatever names they entitle their works, they have a common and central theme namely, to try to dig deep into the african culture. The way of thinking, the way of doing things, religious practices and the perception of God by the at The aim of these works is to find a way of evangelizing the African people so that christianity can be received well in the minds and hearts of the people. The reason why such efforts have been made is that many people have come to realize that something must have gone wrong somewhere when christianity was preached to africans in the beginning.The missionaries and other European writers on african traditional religions bladed it as animism, ancestral worship,full of superstition which was incompatible with christianity. It had therefore to be done away with. This was a big mistake which dealt a terrible blow to christianity for although the Africans embraced christian faith they remained deeply Africans in their. These people who write on this topic try to correct the mistake by trying to understand the African mind and to construct a systematic kind of an idea which makes the african mind understandable and to find a right and effective method which can be used in evangelization. My aim in writing this paper is not to try to do something different from what they have done. It is the same thing but done on specific people of a particular area where I have experienced the same problem. My aim is therefore to try and penetrate deep into the religious beliefs of the Kamba people especially their notion of God with the purpose of discovering some positive values in their beliefs with a purpose of making christian faith more rooted and planted in the minds of this people. The ultimate purpose therefore is pastoral hence the paper is pastorally oriented. It aims at showing the possibility of intermarrying the African traditional religions with christianity.
- ItemRelevance of Christian Baptism In Kibera(Tangaza University College, 1996-02-02) Caporal, Jeronimo PerezSince XV Century Christians had made a lot effort to convert Africa into Christianity, but for various reasons had failed (Islamise influenced, lack of methodology on inculturation, the ambiguous an inadequate sort of trend on development, the purpose of evangelizers, and so on). Despite of that Christians have not given up their mission " spreading the Good News" to all peoples. It has almost one hundred years that Christianity has been offered the Christian message and has been accepted by African. But here arise some questions which make us to think and oblige as to do an evaluation. Does Christian message has penetrated into African culture and has it influenced the African way of live? Is there something to be changed? or, Is there something to be implemented? How much does Christian Baptism has been relevant and which is its impact in ordinary life of people? Through this essay I would like to carry out the answer of those questions. For that I divided this issue in four parts: Part I) a bit of history of Kibera settlement, as well as, r the analysis of social economical political and religious situation of people. Taking into account the environmental influence on the behaviour of Christians in which they live. Part II) My concern is more on the understanding of Baptism and its relevance to Christians. To do so,I went around doing an informal interviews to my friends, to the Jumuiyas (individually and in group), and to other Christian denominations members, and even to non-Christians people. Part III) I focus my attention on how people respond to their Christian Baptism and the great desired for building up and transforming the community. They have realised that it is only possible, by taking conscious of our responsibilities with courage.
- ItemJesus as a Model of Social Change for Kenya(Tangaza University College, 1996-02-21) Kashangaki, DavidAfrican Theology seems to have been dominated by its quest to find a historical justification for it. History, say many African theologians, is the cornerstone for the development of and understanding in theological terms. It is through an historical approach that African theology finds its agenda. Looking at the past provides the framework for giving Christianity its deeper intellectual roots. However, while history is important to developing a fully fledged theology that can interpret the message of Christ for Africans, it does seem that it focuses too much on the past, to the extent that it ignores the present, and presents a skewed African Theology that seems mostly an attempt to blame and to justify, rather than to explain and to understand. African Theology seems to be one that essentially tries to bring back and glorify the past. This past is rapidly loosing it's relevance to the present. The search for elements of African Christian theology that can be incorporated into Christianity; the time spent exploring colonialism, and saying that it is the cause of all Africa's current problems, without an equal look at post - colonial independent Africa, has left African theology virtually irrelevant to modern day Africa. This seems to be creating a crisis for modern day African theological studies. If African Theology is to move forward into the 21st Century, it seems that it will need to begin to get a grip on the question," What is African Reality ? " Is African Reality the Past? Is it the continued effects of Colonialism and Western Imperialism on African Society? Is it the impact of the diversity of cultures thatmake up the African Continent ? Is it the unity expressed by the people's in their traditional ways of life, a unity that combined the humanity and spirituality of the person into one single act of living? Is African Reality the Present 7 Is it an Africa moving into the 21st Century with a 19th Century mentality? Is it a reality that is flexible and prepared to change 7 Is it a reality that is prepared to face the present and deal with it effectively? Is the African theological reality one that is able to acknowledge that quite possibly Jesus Christ and his message of salvation and the Kingdom of God are not time and space bound, but transcendent and universal 7 If Jesus 'message is transcendent, can it be relevant to a complex Africa moving towards the 21st Century, without having to address a past that seems more and more at loose ends with the present 7 If African theology is going to find an agenda that will incorporate Jesus Christ, then it seems that this will more likely come from a look at the present. This Present provides conflict and tension between the reality and Jesus Christ. The Past, on the other hand, does not seems to have any notion of Jesus Christ, but dwelt largely on the level of humanity, Ancestors and the Supreme Being. Those are time and space bound concepts that suited a pre - Christian era . Christianity has introduced Jesus Christ into the African Religious sphere. He did not exist in pre - Christian Africa. Therefore, an African theology that seems to spend most of its energies and efforts on trying to bring Jesus into its past, pre - Christian era seems to be loosing a lot of time. My point of departure with much of current African theology will be to focus on the Present and try to find out if Jesus Christ is relevant to present day socio - economic and political realities of Africa. This examination will lay more specific emphasis on what seems to be the Africa of the 21st Century - namely a complex, multi - cultural and very urban Africa. To do this, I will focus largely on the situation that I know best; living and growing up in Nairobi, and with an experience of Nairobi in its extremes, To find out if Jesus was relevant, one would have to look at what his socio - economic and political messages were, and to see what kind of impact these had on his society, and compare this with the socio - economic and political situation of present day Kenya, and offer up Jesus as a rebuke of this situation. This kind of analysis assumes that Urbanization is one of the ways Africa is going as She heads into the 21st Century. This does seems to be a fair assumption to make as we shall discover later in the analysis. If this is a major direction, then it surely deserves the guidelines that can be offered up by some theological reflection. This is not to ignore the fact that a large portion of the African population lives in the country - side. It does, however, stress that urbanization is a relatively new phenomenon on the African Continent, and besides being a situation that is likely to persist well into the future, urbanization offers a situation of tension, conflict and change - vital ingredients to help an evolving theology. The African social reality and the African theological reality need to find a meeting point, and it seems that this meeting point could be found in what has come to be called "the anthropological pauperization of the African person. " 21n a quote taken from the "African Report " presented at the Second General Assembly of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT), at Oaxtepe,c, Mexico, the authors express the reality of this anthropological pauperization of the African person. They say,If one takes an historical perspective of this understanding then one gets bogged down in the anthropological aspect which inevitably deals with the past, at the expense of the " becoming or making poor "aspect, which seems to deal more with the present. Theologically, we need to deal with the pauperization of Africa, and particularly as it makes itself evident in our urban centres. Poverty is probably the greatest challenge facing African society today, especially as it seems to be increasing unabatedly, and manifesting itself in a variety of serious social problems, as will be seen in an indepth look at the political ,social and economic situation of present day Kenya in a later chapter. What I hope that this paper will achieve is the beginning of a redirection and refocussing on the African Reality that takes into more account the present, so that theologically, as Africa moves into the 21st Century, there is a beginning of an understanding of the 20th Century, and not this stagnation in the 19th Century pre-Christian Africa that seems so dominant in current African theology.
- ItemDreams in the Judeo-Christian Tradition Compared With Elements of Bantu and Modern Culture(Tangaza University College, 1996-02-21) Tambala, GeorgeDreams have always been with us as far back as history can recall. The part they play in human life has been the focus of study for scientists, sages and religious leaders of all societies. To understand better the scope of this study we will consider in addition to biblical sources some elements of dreams from the Ancient Near Eastern world. God has always spoken to people of all ages in many ways as the author of the letter to the Hebrews tells us (Hebrews 1, 1-3). However God's self communication to people has always been mediated through many persons and events. It is in this context that dreams from the Ancient Near East will be studied in this paper. When we come to these extra-biblical sources we see that even in the Ancient Near East dreams have not gone unnoticed but have a very strong importance given to them. For these people dreams are not just the product of an uncontrolled mind in sleep but have a big influence in their religious and secular lives. These two are seen as being inseparable. In the paper I will study dreams as they are found in the Judaeo-Christian scriptures and in traditional Africa. The passages examined are what I consider as key texts however there are many other incidences of dreams in the Bible which will go unmentioned but this only means that they are not extensive in their treatment of dreams.The proposals for pastoral counselling on dreams in Africa serve as reminders that no matter how good the scriptures are they have to be contextualized in order for them to serve their purpose. Dreams will always be central to peoples' lives and as such they deserve our attention. More research in dreams is needed and this paper is providing only part of the tip of this iceberg which is the study and living out of dreams in our life.
- ItemUrbanization in Africa(Tangaza University College, 1996-02-21) Moscheti, DanieleIn September 1995, the Pope John Paul II came to Africa to celebrate the African Synod on African soil and bring us the fruits of that Synod in the Apostolic Exhortation "The Church in Africa". He told all Christians in Africa: "The Synod is over, the Synod has just begun". And it is very true! Now, our great challenge is to study and reflect upon the teaching of the Synod, to discuss the important issues in our Christian communities in order to transform our personal lives and our communities in the spirit of the Synod. My personal attention and study have been dedicated to one of the great phenomenon mentioned in the document: Urbanization in Africa as a challenge for the African Church. In fact in "The Church in Africa" we read: "..All the preparatory documents of the Synod, as well as the discussions in the Assembly, clearly showed that issues in Africa such as increasing poverty, urbanization, the international debt... .figure among the fundamental challenges addressed by the Synod"(51). The need to apply the Gospel to concrete life is felt strongly in Africa. How could one proclaim Christ in this immense Continent while forgetting that it is one of the world's poorest regions? And again, during this year we shall assist to one of the most important world appointment: "The city summit" Habitat II UN Conference on Human Settlements which will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 1996, twenty years after the first UN Conference on human settlement held in Vancouver, Canada. Habitat II will deepen understanding of urban challenges and opportunities so that realistic steps can be taken at city, country and international levels to overcome the grave deterioration of living conditions and social problems and enrich the potentials of urban life. In 1996, the International Community is celebrating also "The United Nations Year for the Eradication of Poverty" Despite advances in human welfare and technology, there is today a growing polarisation between rich and poor and a failure of political will to address the silent emergency of those people who cannot make ends meet. And in Africa poverty, this most ruthless killer, is on the increase! Poverty and Urbanization go hand in hand, especially in the cities! Not by chance they figure among the first two challenges pointed out by the Apostolic Exhortation. They are "privileged" of a World Conference and a UN year celebration! John Paul II, previously, in Redemptoris hifissio, had already pointed out the necessity for a further reflection on the rapid and profound transformations which characterize today's world "..especially in the southern hemisphere, are having a powerful effect on the overall missionary picture... urbanization and massive growth of cities, especially where the demographic pressure is greatest..."(RM 39b). Hence, he invited the whole Church and the missionaries also to rethink the image of Missio ad Gentes "...today the image of missio ad gentes is perhaps changing: efforts should be concentrated on the big cities, where new customs and styles of living arise together with new forms of culture and communication which then influence the wider population..."(RM 39b) This new phenomenon and new missionary situation, here in Africa, call us to reflect, to interpret, to deepen our efforts and vision for a new missionary presence and ministry among the city and slum-dwellers of our Continent. I have lived my pastoral experience here in Nairobi, for several years, ministering among slumdwellers of the city. This experience has convinced me that the Church has insufficiently paid attention to a missionary/pastoral reflection, presence and action for an effective urban ministry not only here in Nairobi but even in our African cities. For this reason, I have chosen Nairobi as a paradigm of an African city. It represents a religious centre but also a mission field like many other African capitals and secondary cities. In my approach to this long-essay, I tried to be interdisciplinary and to face the phenomenon of urbanization in Africa from different angles: social, demographically, biblical, theological, ecclesiological and missionary-pastoral. In the first chapter, the phenomenon is put within the frame of the overall picture of the world situation which involves the trends of population and urbanization world-wide. The second chapter is dedicated entirely to the trends of this spectacular circumstances which are in Africa: from the historical background of the African cities to the present period of city growth with the increase of poverty and slum areas in its surroundings within the context of the whole Continent at the dawn of the 213` century. In the third chapter, I present how in the Bible and in Church history, the city has always been a concern and challenge for the Plan of God: through his Ministries, Prophets, Jesus, Paul, the Church etc. My personal research on the urbanization in the Church's documents complete the biblical-theological vision. In the last chapter, I dare propose a contribution and reflection for a newly emerging missionary vision and praxis for urban ministry in Africa. A new experience of Church is developing and new models of presence and action are necessary to renew, to change structures, methodologies and being able to answer co-operatively to the different and variegated needs of the city and slum-dwellers of our time& And the answers can not be only spiritual! The annexes, maps and statistics enclosed will help the essay to be more comprehensive and allowing the reader, I hope, to have a broader understanding of the challenge ahead! Of course, the reader has to keep in mind that this long essay is based and dependent upon projections which could change at any time for unexpected factors. In any case, the tendency of this phenomenon of urbanization is irreversible: a complete new world in gestation!
- ItemTowards an African Christian Job(Tangaza University College, 1996-02-21) Ammoti, MungerezaSince the third phase of Africa's systematic evangelization begun in the nineteenth century,a lot of work has been done by missionaries and promoters of the African mission. However we must point out that much emphasis was put on Sacramentalization other than in depth evangelization. And so we have ended up with massts of nominal Christians baptised but not efficiently evangelised. On the other hand,Africa is experiencing many and diverse problems,famine,drought,ethnic conflicts,economic dependence,political turmoil,disease and solutions do not appear on the horizon. Many of the Baptised Christians,having failed to find answers of their struggle and suffering,slide back to their traditional beliefs which apparently seem to offer some help and consolation. As a missionary,having grown up among my people,the Batagwenda,1 have shared in their struggles of life in situations of suffering. In my theological training,' was amazed to discover that Job of the Old Testament was as well struggling with his own suffering but does not seem to offer us a meaningful answer. It is clear to me that many people in Africa can identify themselves with Job of the Old Testament. As Job needed Christ to give him a meaningful answer to his sufferings,my people also and indeed many Africans should look up to Jesus to give them meaningful consolation in their sufferings. As Missionaries,' started asking myself during my theological training what we could offer to the majority of the people suffering in Africa. Which consolation do we give and how do we preach to them? Many have been confused by the traditional beliefs and now how do we correct them and how do we bring them back to the faith?. This paper is a long reflection on the whole question of suffering. My conviction is that even amidst suffering,we are able to remain faithfill to our faith. However this does not mean that we passively suffer,but where possible we should denounce situations that bring suffering and always actively promote life.
- ItemDiscipleship in Mark(Tangaza University College, 1996-02-21) Gonsalves, IsraelI go to attend Mass on Saturday evening to fulfil my Sunday obligation, so that I can be free on Sunday.... The reason I attend mass on Saturday, is that Mass is short, the homily is short, there is no prolonged singing, no big crowd, and also there is always plenty of room to park my car". This was expressed to me in a conversation by a lady during my Saturday apostolate. Many people think, like this lady, that to be a Christian means to become vaguely religious. We start to go to church and do "religious" things like praying the rosary, reading the Bible and doing novenas. Although Christians do all these things, they know that being a disciple goes far beyond that. To be a follower of Jesus does not mean hiding inside the church away from the difficulties of life. Quite the opposite. Being a disciple means following Jesus in the way we live the whole of our lives. The following of Jesus is called THE WAY OF DISCIPLESHIP. And "DISCIPLESHIP" is one of the important themes in the gospel of Mark, through which Mark gives a beautiful and challenging understanding of the way of discipleship. In these pages, there are five conferences grouped under a title - "DISCIPLESHIP IN MARK". Now this title suggests that in all the five conferences I use the gospel of Mark. This is of course correct. However, since these talks are aimed at pastoral situations, I have illustrated the conferences from other sources. Finally, I am sure and convinced that through the gospel of Mark one can come to a very good understanding of what it means to be a disciple and to be a committed follower of Jesus. And these five conferences are geared to this goal.
- ItemDeveloping A Life of Prayer In An African Parish(Tangaza University College, 1996-02-21) Rodrigues, Marlon MathewThe Second Vatican Council aimed at a radical renewal of Christian life, what we would call a return to the sources, the grass roots. As Christians, Christ is the radical center of our lives and we are called to follow him in holiness. This can be achieved through prayer, since prayer touches our central relationship with God. From time immemorial great men and women travelled the path of prayer. The Scriptures provide us with ample evidence, where prayer formed part of their daily schedule, touching their life situation and circumstances. Similarly the Saints, whether religious or lay, are clear examples of people, who through prayer and their particular charisms, were able to bear witness to their call as Christians. Today, the challenge is to us, whether in this secularised world are we able to lead people to Jesus? This research conducted at Malolo has a two fold aim: First, it will serve as a model to enable priests, religious and missionaries to strive, enrich and develop the spiritual lives of their parishioners. Secondly, it will enable their parishioners to appreciate their state of life and be true images of God, through their witness in words and actions. The topics dealt herein shed light on the Biblical basis of prayer, my personal reflection, assessment of research and the recommendations/proposals for improving the life of prayer in the parish.
- ItemThe Christian Mysteries - Creation, Trinity, Incarnation Paschal Mystery And Redemption and Foundation Of Mission(Tangaza University College, 1996-02-22) Torres, CasmiroIn this paper I would like to focus on the relationship existing between the Christian Mysteries of Creation, Trinity, Incarnation, Paschal Mystery and Redemption, and the Mission. Christian Mysteries have got their origin in God. They belong to the same universal plan of salvation tat God offered to the humanity through his only son in the power of the Holy Spirit. Though each one of these mysteries has got its own specificities, they have a common goal; to lead humanity to enter in communion of love with the Triune God. Indeed each one can be fully understood in the light of the otters. Even though human person, being limited cannot grasp these mysteries in their fullness. I will try to explain and show how these mysteries are related to the mission. How they are the source and foundation of mission. How they bestow on mission its significance and value. In the first chapter. I deal with the mystery of creation as God's action and its relation to man. He has got some roles and duties to fulfill in order to preserve God's creation and bring it to fulfillment. The Church being the steward of God's mission on earth has to continue God's plan in creation. In the second chapter, I focus on the Blessed Trinity and the Divine missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then I shall link this Trinitarian mission to the mission of the Church; and how Church's mission has her origin and goal in the Blessed Trinity In chapter three, I present the Christological mysteries; Incarnation, Paschal Mystery and Redemption as foundation of mission. I will explain how the mission of the Church is rooted in the Christological mysteries and the implications they have for the Church's mission.
- ItemThe Sacrament of Initiation In The Light of the Abagisu Male Initiation To Adulthood(Tangaza University College, 1996-03-22) SSemwezi, PeterIn this paper. I wish to restrict myself to the basic facts of the male traditional initiation rites among the Abagisu culture, comparing them with the Christian initiation of adults. I do not intend to exhaust all the arguments connected with the steps and methods used in both initiations. My hope is that this study may help in some way to foster the process of "inculturation" of evangelization to the local culture and to bring about a clear understanding of the sacraments of initiation among the people, so that Christian teaching may be presented in the way readily understandable to the Abagisu people and thus have greater impact on their lives and on their society. In order to write this paper I have interviewed various people; the elders, my peer group, and some who have already undergone through the initiation who belong to the Abagisu tribe. I have also interviewed the Church leaders; some Catechists, and priests. Reading some books in particular those concerning with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults have allowed me to write this essay. With regard to the content of the paper the topic unfolds within three chapters: the first chapter is on the Abagisu male initiation to Adulthood. I have analyzed the stages that they have to pass through before and immediately after the initiation. The second chapter will attempt to study the initiation of Adults in the Catholic Church. It includes the Rites, the periods, the celebrations of the sacraments and post baptismal catechises. The third chapter will be devoted to the study of the theological reflections on the three sacraments, the current procedures used in the instructions of the catechumens in some Parishes of Tororo Diocese. The personal suggestions to the Church and tribal leaders. The conclusion will present a synthesis of biblical, liturgical and theological reflections which seem to be important background for a better understanding of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. This essay, even though it is not an exhaustive treatment on the chosen topic, has helped me to understand the profound biblical, liturgical, theological and pastoral richness of the Rites of the Christian Initiation of Adults and to realise that there is still very much to bc studied, unfolded and to put into practice.
- ItemEnd time, Time in Christ Insight from the Seven Bowls in the Book of Revelation(Tangaza University College, 1997) Monsemvula, RichardIf there is an absolute certainty in one's life, it is his/her disappearance from the face of the earth one day. The problem is so existential that it affects the actual living of people. Ancient people and us today, unbelievers and believers we all experience this same existential problem. For unbelievers, their human disappearance from the earth whereby they have invested a great deal of infrastructure, and technology is fatal. This pessimistic thinking has been passed on by certain existential philosophies which sees human existence as accidental. The believers, especially Christian believers, perceive the problem differently. In fact, the beliefs of Christians about this issue is collectively known as eschatology. It includes themes such as, the end of the world, death, Parousia, the resurrection of the dead, the last judgment, and heaven and hell. All these themes appear as mysteries which cannot be understood fully once and for all. However, Christians have the advantage of understanding these mysteries through another mystery, Paschal Mystery. Thus, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the future humanity after this earthly life, the future of this world and its time become understandable. Therefore, the preoccupation of the Christian believers should be the life according to the demands of the Paschal Mystery. Life modeled on Paschal Mystery is a commitment. The frailty of human life can force us to ask the kind of questions (about the end of human life, end of world and its time) whose answers might lead to despair if one does not get satisfactory answers. The present reflection does not provide the satisfactory answers for these people; but instead, it leads an understanding of the end of time in the perceptive of Paschal Mystery-Endtime. The focus of time in Endtime is no longer on the rhythms of the cosmic universe but on the Christ-event. This perception leads to a positive and optimistic approach to the future of human life and to the future of the world. This approach provides the readers with hopeful attitude towards life. This is important in today's world whereby many people have lost hope because of the hardships and the pressures of life. Only in the death and resurrection of Jesus do our hope make us alive.
- ItemThe Beatitudes In The Sermon On The Mountain(Tangaza University College, 1997) Tsoluka, FlavienMan wants happiness, which he calls life, peace, joy, rest, blessing and salvation. All these benefits are included in different ways in the formula with which one declares someone happy or unhappy. When Jesus, in the Gospel of Saint Luke, proclaims: "Happy are the poor... unhappy the rich" (Lk 6:20.24), he does not wish to pronounce either a blessing which gives happiness or a curse which produces unhappiness; he rather wishes to exhort the people in the name of his own experience of happiness to follow the paths which lead to it. Jesus is a wise man of great experience. He is the one who lives fully the beatitudes he proposes. In the Gospels, we have two versions of the beatitudes: In Matthew's version (Mt 5:3-12), the beatitudes stand at the beginning of Jesus' inaugural discourse; they form its very soul and they show how eschatology may go hand in hand with ethics. They are eschatological and messianic: through them sounds the claim that the prophecies are fulfilled, that the Reign of God is here. What Jesus does in them is to sketch, in eight paradoxes, the spiritual portrait of the man of the Kingdom; what is not so often noticed is that the ethics of the beatitudes are ethics of grace. Founded on the grace of the Father who gives the Kingdom to the child-like, they promise blessedness to all who are content to be beggars before God and to trust him to provide all things. The beatitudes in Matthew offer the program for Christian happiness. In Luke's version, the beatitudes are coupled with declarations of unhappiness, thus extolling the superior value of certain conditions of life (Lk 6:20-26). These two versions cannot be reduced to the beatification of virtues or states of life. They complement each other; above all they only reveal their truth if they are reported in the sense that Jesus himself gave them: Jesus came on God's behalf to give a solemn "Yes" to the promises of the Old Testament. Whereas the Old Testament came to equate the beatitude and God himself, Jesus presents himself as the one who fulfills the aspirations for happiness: the Kingdom of Heaven is present in him. It is significant then that the Kingdom is promised only to those who attach themselves to Jesus' person, and that being discipled to him is equivalent to being "in the Kingdom of God" (Mk. 10: 17-31; Lk. 9:57-62). The Kingdom of God forms the theme of the beatitudes, yet somehow the person of Jesus is always there in the background. If he says "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Mt. 5:4), it is to say that He (Jesus himself) is the comforter of those who mourn. The "Comforter" was one of Messiah's names (Is. 40:1; 61:2). Jesus wished to incarnate the beatitudes by living them perfectly, by showing himself meek and humble of heart (Mt. 11:29). Two main beatitudes include all the others: first, poverty with its retinue of works of justice, humility, meekness, purity, mercy and solicitude for peace; and secondly persecution for the love of Christ. But these values in themselves are nothing without Jesus who gives them their true meaning. Plan: This long essay will be divided into three main chapters: In the First chapter, we will talk about the beatitudes before Matthew. The beatitudes in Matthew are set in the context of the sermon on the mountain, and the Sermon itself is somehow the fruit of many teaching-sessions Jesus had with his disciples. It offers a pattern for Christian life, and it was undoubtedly used in this way from the beginning. Matthew's present arrangement is a later redaction. So, in the first Chapter we will try to find out the sources Matthew used to write his beatitudes. Two main sources will attract our attention: the Q version and the Gospel according to Luke. Then in our second chapter, we will be dealing with the beatitudes according to Matthew. We will be comparing them with the ones according to Luke. Finally in the third chapter, we will apply the beatitudes in a pastoral context: what message can we get from the beatitudes for our world to-day. We will not enter into the details of each beatitude, but we will just concentrate on the beatitude on the poor. A general conclusion will end up this reflection in which we will sum up the essential meaning and the purpose of the beatitudes for our Christian life.