Church and Inculturation: A Missiology in Search of Practice

Klink, Peter J. (1982) Church and Inculturation: A Missiology in Search of Practice. Masters thesis, The Jesuit School of Theology - Berkeley.

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“In Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, who died and rose from the dead, salvation is offered to all people as a gift of God’s grace and mercy”. To perceive the message of Jesus Christ as a gift and to offer His revelation as a gift is a challenge. The essence of gift-giving is freedom … the freedom to give, the freedom to lose the given, the freedom to allow the gift to be truly received in the style of the receiver, the freedom to allow the gift to be used as the possession of the receiver. Is our missionary life pervaded by this sense of empowering others with the gift of faith and hope in the revelation of Jesus? What string are attached? And, perhaps more importantly, whose strings are they? In the course of my experience as a missionary among an American Indian tribe, the problem of the above has haunted me. The Church, particularly since the Second Vatican Council, has addressed its mission as one of “inculturation”. Accordingly, we recognize that our faith must be shared and in the process given, that is, allowed to root itself and rooted in the culture and life of the local people. Although this may sound simple enough, my experience has brought to light for me some of the difficulties involved. On the one hand, there is life of the practitioner, the “missionary in the field.” Since Vatican II, which is the most common historical event perceived as the foundation of inculturation missiology, the missionary sees himself or herself in what seems to be an entirely new world. Where before the attitude was that of saving souls, regarding the clear depositum fidei of Roman Catholicism, today the missionary is urged to become a part of the local culture, respect the religious tradition and legitimate revelation of the native religion, and to be a witness to the hope available in the revelation of Jesus Christ. The content of the message is less clear and so are the tasks that flow from it.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Church, Inculturation, Missiology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
Divisions: Comparative
Depositing User: Mr Christopher Mapunda
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2015 12:38
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2018 13:56

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