Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Educated Young People as Inculturation Agents of Worship in Tiv Culture: A Practical Theological Investigation of Cultural Symbols
by Iorliam, Clement Terseer, Ph.D., St. Thomas University, 2015, 267; 3701155
Abstract (Summary)

Faith and culture enjoy a harmonious relationship. In the past centuries of Catholicism, evangelization did not take into cognizance the culture of a people. The translation and adaptation approaches were the dominant models missionaries often used in the context of evangelization. Sadly, these approaches failed to create adequate contact with the local cultures where the faith was transplanted. The distance between faith and culture has caused the Catholic faith to be foreign in many cultures across the globe including, North African countries and Japan. In Tiv society of central Nigeria too, Catholicism is yet to take concrete root.

Building on the worship experiences of educated emerging adult Catholics in institutions of higher education in Tivland, this dissertation uses the circle method and other related contextual approaches to contextualize Catholicism in Tiv culture. The data gathered from participant observation, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups discussions was narrowed to what most connects emerging adults with Catholic worship, and what the Catholic Church needs to know about them. The data revealed a constantly recurring notion of unappealing worship and inadequate catechesis on core doctrines. One way to connect their experiences of worship is by synthesizing cultural symbols with Catholic worship symbols.

Community formations, intensive catechesis, and service to the church are the three practical strategies that can synthesize faith and culture and ground the Catholic Church in Tiv culture. Pious organizations that bring emerging adults together as community will serve as forum to adequately catechize them by synthesizing Catholic symbols with cultural texts that are already familiar to them. This leads to a mutual enrichment of both Tiv cultural practices and Catholic worship symbols ultimately making emerging adults community theologians who can effectively articulating the faith to others including, those in rural communities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Froehle, Bryan T.
Commitee: Holland, Joe, Waren, Mary C.
School: St. Thomas University
Department: Practical Theology
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African Studies, Religious history, Religion, Philosophy, Asian Studies, Theology
Keywords: Catholicism, Cultural symbols, Inculturation agents, Theological investigation, Worship
Publication Number: 3701155
ISBN: 978-1-321-71638-2
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