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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52804
Doc. No:TL22758
Call number:‭3166411‬
Main Entry:Roy C. McIntyre
Title & Author:Using ceremonies to disciple oral learners among the tribal people in BangladeshRoy C. McIntyre
College:Asbury Theological Seminary
Date:2005
Degree:D.Miss.
student score:2005
Page No:292
Abstract:Despite the remote, isolated location of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), the tribal inhabitants of this corner of Bangladesh are beginning to embrace Christianity. Western discipling methods dependent on literacy have limited effectiveness with these tribals who are largely oral people. If Christianity is to become indigenous in this region, ministry including disciple-making must be contextualized. From their former religious practices it is evident that CHT tribal ceremonies are both indigenous to the culture as well as appropriate for oral learners. This dissertation, is a case study of using a ceremony as a discipling event. Following bibliographic surveys of literature on orality, ceremony, and discipleship, I made field observations in the CHT and conducted interviews with tribal people in Bangladesh. Having this information, a local hermeneutical community was formed to construct, implement, and evaluate a discipling event. Sixty participants from different tribal areas representing various tribal groups participated in and gave their impressions of the discipling event. In the initial part of the field research, ceremonies were observed and religious leaders were interviewed. The ceremonies observed included Buddhist ceremonies from the Chakma tribe, Hindu pujas (worship) from the Tripura tribe, and animist rituals from the Mru tribe. From these observations and interviews three main characteristics of oral learning emerged. First, we found that symbols enhance and deepen the understanding of and emotional connection to the event. Second, listening to, memorizing, and chanting mantras internalize particular teachings. Third, drama adds an enjoyable and participatory element and reinforces the learning. With this information from the village ceremonies and leaders, the Hermeneutical Community began to plan the discipling event. This group also considered the spiritual condition of the tribal Christian community, and chose appropriate biblical teaching. A five-part event was constructed including dramatizations of biblical stories, memorizing a Christian mantra, and a symbolic candle-lighting commitment service. The entire event was guided by the Hermeneutical Community, but every participant was very involved and participated in each aspect of the event. Two such discipling events took place with 30 participants each time. The participants were divided into focus groups of ten people, and the focus groups were interviewed before and after the event. Both strengths and weaknesses of the event were identified by the focus groups. Over-all both the participants and the Hermeneutical Community found that Christianized symbols, scriptural mantras, and biblical drama all giving Christian teaching were an appropriate form of discipling for oral, tribal people. If discipling is to be effective for the oral masses of the world's population, it will look very different from the literate, Western discipleship programs we usually find. Oral people learn much of their religious teaching through symbols, mantras, drama, and ceremonies. We can use these same forms, infuse them with Christian teaching, and create discipling ceremonies. The use of such ceremonies has been found to be an appropriate discipling method for oral learners.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Education; Bangladesh; Ceremonies; Disciple; Oral learners; Tribal; Religion; Cultural anthropology; Adult education; Continuing education; 0326:Cultural anthropology; 0516:Adult education; 0516:Continuing education; 0318:Religion
Added Entry:T. C. Muck
Added Entry:Asbury Theological Seminary