Morality Truly Christian, Truly African
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210 pages

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Given the largely Eurocentric nature of moral theology in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, what will it take to invest the theological community in the history and moral challenges of the Church in other parts of the world, especially Africa? What is to be gained for the whole Church when this happens in a deep and lasting way? In this timely and important study, Paulinus Ikechukwu Odozor brings greater theological clarity to the issue of the relationship between Christianity and African tradition in the area of ethical foundations. He also provides a constructive example of what fundamental moral theology done from an African and Christian (especially Catholic) moral theological point of view could look like.

Following a brief history of the development of African Christian theology, Odozor examines responses of African theologians to African tradition and Christian responses to the reality of non-Christian religions. In a context where the African religious experience and heritage are powerful sources of meaning and identity, Christian evangelization raises questions both about the African primal religions and about Christianity itself and its claims. Odozor takes up the subject of moral reasoning in an African Christian theological ethics and concludes with case studies that show how the African Church has tried to inculturate moral discourse on a religiously pluralistic continent and relate the healing gospel message to African situations. Students and scholars of moral theology and ethics and church leaders will profit from the issues raised in Morality Truly Christian, Truly African.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 novembre 2014
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780268088675
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

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Morality Truly Christian, Truly African
Morality Truly Christian, Truly African
Foundational, Methodological, and Theological Considerations
Paulinus Ikechukwu Odozor, C.S.Sp.
University of Notre Dame Press
Notre Dame, Indiana
Copyright © 2014 by University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 -->
All Rights Reserved Manufactured in the United States of America -->
The Press gratefully acknowledges the support of the institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, University of Notre Dame, in the publication of this book. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Odozor, Paulinus Ikechukwu, author. Morality truly Christian, truly African : foundational, methodological, and theological considerations / Paulinus Ikechukwu Odozor, C.S.Sp. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-268-03738-3 (pbk. : alk. paper) — ISBN 0-268-03738-8 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Christian ethics—Africa. 2. Afrocentrism—Religious aspects—Christianity. 3. Christianity and culture—Africa. I. Title. BJ1201.O36 2014 241'.0426—dc23 2014033016 ∞ The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources. -->
E-ISBN: 978-0-268-08867-5
This e-Book was converted from the original source file by a third-party vendor. Readers who notice any formatting, textual, or readability issues are encouraged to contact the publisher at
To my teachers both in the classroom and on the path of life

John Cardinal O. Onaiyekan
Bela Somfai, S.J.
Joseph Boyle, Ph.D.
Elochukwu E. Uzukwu, C.S.Sp.; James C. Okoye, C.S.Sp.
Innocent C. Ekwem, M.D.; Alexander U. Ekechukwu, C.S.Sp.
Michael O. Onwuemelie, C.S.Sp.; Luke N. Mbefo, C.S.Sp.
John C. Cavadini, Ph.D.
Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah
Bishop Augustine T. Ukwuoma
Livinus N. Odozor, Ph.D.; Bernadette A. Anwuluorah, I.H.M.
Jude C. Ogbenna, C.S.Sp.; Elizabeth (Odozor) Agwu
In Eternal Gratitude
And to my sisters

Anna A. Ebighi
Oluchi S. Aneke
In Memoriam
Part One. The Nature of African Theology
Chapter 1. African Christian Theology
Part Two. African Tradition and Traditional Religion as Foundational Issues in African Christian Theology and Ethics
Chapter 2. Tradition, Rationality, and Morality
Chapter 3. African Theological Evaluations of African Religion
Chapter 4. Issues in the Theology of Non-Christian Religions
Part Three. Foundations of an African Christian Theological Ethics
Chapter 5. African Moral Theology and the Challenge of Inculturation
Chapter 6. God and Morality in African Theology
Chapter 7. Anthropology in African Theological Ethics
Chapter 8. Moral Reasoning in African Theological Ethics
Chapter 9. Moral Theology Christian and African: The Ecclesial Dimension
Bibliography Index -->
Writing a book is always a long-term collaborative venture involving many people, whose efforts vary from the clearly noticeable to the unobtrusive. This book is no exception. From my student days as a seminarian, when the first seeds of this book were sown, to the present, my worldview has been immensely enriched by association with many people. In a painful act of selection, I have listed a few on my dedication page. That list deserves to be pages long, and here again I must mention only a few more who have helped me in one way or another toward the success of the present enterprise.
Many other friends and family members deserve mention and acknowledgment for their help in various ways: Cajetan Odozor; Ekwutosi Odozor; my nieces Chioma Odozor, Ezinwanne Odozor, Edo Odozor, and Uyimeabasi Udoh; and my nephews Kufre Udoh and Uzodimma Odozor. I wish to thank and acknowledge the following friends in a special way for their help in various forms: Obiageli (“Oby”) Nzenwa; Nkechi Azie; Fabian Udoh; Francesca Udoh; Nyrée McDonald; Sr. Stella Ihejeto, H.H.C.J.; Dorin (“Onyinye”) and Fitzpatrick Nwachukwu; Ichie Francis Amakwe; and Natalie Achonwa. Special thanks to my classmates and friends, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, papal nuncio to Nicaragua, and Bishop Godfrey I. Onah, bishop of Nsukka, Nigeria, with whom I have shared some of the views in this book since our days together as students at Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, Nigeria.
Within the University of Notre Dame and outside it, I have had great friends and colleagues. John Cavadini encouraged me at every step of the process to articulate more clearly the subject matter of this book and to seek external funding for the final phase of its writing from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Timothy Matovina guided me through the intricate process of applying for external grants, leading to my successfully securing an ATS/Faculty Lilly Fellowship in 2011–12. David Clairmont has been there for me all the time. Dave is not only a valued friend but an indispensable intellectual “sparring partner.” Perhaps more to him than anyone else, I owe the conception and execution of this project in its present form. He read everything I threw his way and, as is usual with him, managed to make sense out of even my most inchoate and incoherent thoughts. John, Tim, David, and Jerry McKenny all read the draft of this work in its entirety and offered very helpful suggestions, as did David O’Connor, who read chapter 8 and helped me avoid some egregious philosophical errors. I thank them all. My friend and sister, Nwando Achebe, professor of history at Michigan State University, also read portions of this book and offered me very valuable corrections, especially with the bibliography and issues related to gender in Africa.
A number of my students here at Notre Dame have been part of the making of this book in various ways over the years: Frs. Mark Enemali, C.S.Sp.; Leonce Rambau, C.S.Sp.; Mathias Alonyenu, C.S.Sp.; David Lyimo Eliaona, C.S.C.; Ebenezer Akesseh; Sr. Patricia Idoko, O.P.; and Sr. Reginald Anibueze, D.D.L. My graduate assistant for 2013–14, Alison Fitchett-Clemenhaga, offered tremendous assistance in many ways in the production of this book; she read and critiqued parts of it, and was immensely helpful with collecting and ensuring the accuracy of the references.
I have already alluded to the ATS/Faculty Lilly Fellowship I received from the Association of Theological Schools in Canada and the United States during the 2011–12 school year. Thanks to this grant, I was allowed a year of research leave by the University of Notre Dame. This leave was spent at Trinity Hall among my confreres at Duquesne University of the Holy Ghost in Pittsburgh. The year I spent there was one of my happiest and most productive years in recent times. I was welcomed to Duquesne and to Trinity Hall with the kind of hospitality only Spiritans can give one of their own. My thanks go to the then provincial superior of the Holy Ghost Congregation, USA (now the superior general of the congregation), Fr. John Fogarty, C.S.Sp.; and to the various members of Trinity Hall: Frs. Sean M. Hogan, C.S.Sp.; Sean P. Kealy, C.S.Sp.; Raymond French, C.S.Sp.; Peter Osuji, C.S.Sp.; Elochukwu Uzukwu, C.S.Sp.; Naos McCool, C.S.Sp.; Bernard Kelly, C.S.Sp.; James McCloskey, C.S.Sp.; John Sawicki, C.S.Sp.; and the Spiritan priest students at the university: Frs. Chike Anyigbo, C.S.Sp.; Emmanuel Ahua, C.S.Sp.; Lazarus Langbir, C.S.Sp.; Isidore Nkwocha, C.S.Sp. The Spiritan community simply let me be and encouraged me in whatever way necessary to do my work. In fact, without the year at Duquesne this work might still be no more than a set of ideas in my head. Thanks, Sean Hogan, for being a very kind and hospitable community superior.
Members of the Theology Department at Duquesne offered me great support and encouragement for which I am most grateful. Special thanks go to George Worgul and to Sr. Agatha Ozah, H.H.C.J., professor of musicology at Duquesne, for all their valuable help during my stay at the university.
My Spiritan confreres on the other side of the Atlantic in Nigeria were also very supportive and crucial in the production of this book. I am blessed with so many bright younger brothers in my Spiritan community in Nigeria. Many of them now teach at Spiritan International School of Theology, where I also served as president of the governing council for nine years (2005–14). My frequent visits to SIST over the years have provided me enjoyable and stimulating opportunities for very happy and serious intellectual engagements with many of these brothers: Frs. Bede Ukwuije, C.S.Sp., from whom I have learned so much about the need for and about ways of rethinking the God problem in African theology; Bonaventure Ugwu, C.S.Sp., whose work on the Holy Spirit is charting potentially new courses on the way we think about and relate to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity; and Charles Ebelebe, C.S.Sp., whose insights on mission and particularly Spiritan mission in Africa have been a source of new understandings for me. Other members of the SIST faculty have also been helpful in the writing of this book: the rector, Fr. Jude Ogbenna, C.S.Sp.; Sr. Sylvia Nwachukwu, D.D.L.; Fr. Ernest Ezeogu, C.S.Sp.; and Fr. Gregory Olikenyi, C.S.Sp.
As usual, the folks at the University of Notre Dame Press have been most helpful. This is my fourth book with the university press, but the publishing of each one has been a new experience for me. The thoroughgoing professionalism and intellectual rigor I have had the privilege of experiencing at this press is undoubtedly of the best kind possible. I acknowledge with gratitude the hel

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