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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53569
Doc. No:TL23523
Call number:‭NR49885‬
Main Entry:Clement O. G. Onwunata
Title & Author:Towards an inculturated African communal model of ecclesia: Clergy-laity collaborative ministry in Igboland of southern NigeriaClement O. G. Onwunata
College:Universite de Montreal (Canada)
Date:2008
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2008
Page No:517
Abstract:The project of this dissertation is based on poor collaborative ministry that exists among the agents of evangelization (clergy and laity respectively) in Igboland of Nigeria that puts a question mark on the exercise of power and authority in the Catholic Christian communities. This lack of effective collaboration or the spirit of dialogue has affected adversely the people's faith-commitment and the active participation of the Catholic laity in the Church's activities. Hence, we notice that, today in Igboland, many of the Catholic Christian communities: dioceses, parishes, religious congregations of men and women, natural families, etc., are still living in the Pre-Vatican II conception of ecclesiology where those on top lord it over the rest. In practice, what is experienced is a type of Church that is alienated from the true life of the people due to, perhaps, the nature of the early missionary evangelization that suppressed African culture and planted "European Superior Culture" syndrome, capitalizing on the use of authoritarian power of administration and supremacy at all levels, even in our houses of seminary formation. Thus, to handle this problem of collaboration, we used a praxiological method that involved: observation (description, analysis), interpretation, intervention and prospective. Following this method, we handled the observation under two main chapters. The first chapter, based on our own inquiry, treated the dynamic internal structures under three perspectives: diocese, parish, and seminary formation. The second chapter was consecrated to the presentation of substantial literature texts on the same issue of poor collaboration, as a complement to the observation done in the first chapter. On the aspect of interpretation, we resorted to various disciplines for our reflection on the analysed problem of collaboration that concerned with poor inculturation, poor method of seminary formation and poor faith-commitment. We made use of current theories on collaboration, dialogue and inculturation, as well as of anthropological (religious worldview of the Africans before Christianity), missiological, (how and under what ecclesiology the early missionaries planted the faith) and theological perspectives (embracing biblical insight, references to the early Christian collaboration before and after the clergy-laity division, to the Councils of Trent and Vatican II, Magisterial documents and to the blending voice of an Igbo theologian) on clergy-laity relation. With these insights, we discovered, not only through our observation but also, through Pope John Paul II pastoral addresses to Africans and in the light of African Synod of 1994, that African Church needed a reconstruction, an ecclesiastical renewal, in order to be faithful to the Gospel message. Following this trend of thought, we proposed a new ecclesia model for the Igbos, umunna communal ecclesia as a specific Igbo response to the perspective of Church-as-family of God put forward by the African Synod Fathers, instead of the clericalized type that put many of the faithful at the periphery among the people of the God. This proposed ecclesiology of Church as a family of God has its origin in the Blessed Trinity at the depths of which the Holy Spirit is the bond of communion. Moreover, at the cultural level, this model of ecclesiology has its root in the Igbo extended family system of umunna, (the spirit of communalism). Consequently, it seems to have a cultural advantage over other contemporary and historical models of Church. At the third step, that of intervention in view of the new proposed ecclesia, we presented a more relevant pedagogy of education, the pertinent roles of agents of evangelization (local bishop, parish pastor and the laity) and suggestible application of inculturation in the liturgical and catechetical aspects of evangelization that would help to ensure effective collaboration and encouragement of faith-commitment among the people. It is important that the new model of ecclesia fits well with the cultural life of the Igbo people of Nigeria in particular and Africans in general. Prospective, the last aspect of our praxiological method, was not treated as a specific entity, but integrated within the general conclusion as it contained more of the suggestive relevant proposals for a new way of being a Church in the Igbo context. The dynamism within the diocese, the parish and the seminary community would be strengthened through new organized collaborative work as a team and where the leaders see their work as service to the rest of the faithful. Following the fundamental cause of the problem, the students on seminary formation must be trained to appreciate their culture as they would be exposed to the available inculturated material values of the culture and challenged to be creative by making their own adaptations to the concrete contexts where they would be working in collaboration with the laity later in mission.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Igboland; Ecclesia; Collaborative ministry; Nigeria; Clergy-laity ministry; Clerical studies; Theology; 0319:Clerical studies; 0469:Theology
Added Entry:Universite de Montreal (Canada)