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Title: The local church and incarnation theology : the convergence of inculturation and liberation in two Roman Catholic dioceses - Zomba (Malawi) and Infanta
Author: Marriage, S. B.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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Since Vatican II, Roman Catholic Theologians from the Third World have been arguing for the creation of their own indigenous or local theology. Traditionally this has taken one of two forms, liberation or inculturation theology. The first concentrates on a political or economic analysis of society and addresses it with the message of freedom from oppression in the Bible; the second considers the "colonialism of the mind", reinterpreting western Christianity in the framework of other cultures and religions. Both forms of theology emphasise the importance of the grassroots Christians owning and determining the local manifestation of the church. This thesis takes the people as its starting point. It uses sociological methods of data collection and qualitative analysis to examine closely the local expressions of what it means to be church in two Third World countries. Through interviews with the local congregations and an investigation of the activities of the local church it paints portraits of these churches. The two dioceses chosen for investigation were the diocese of Zomba in Malawi and the Prelature of Infanta in the Philippines. Both are "post-revolutionary" countries where the Catholic hierarchy took a significant role politically and they were chosen to discover how this has affected faith at the grassroots. The thesis investigates to what extent inculturation and liberation have occurred in the two situations, suggesting that the old division between inculturation and liberation is no longer valid in real-life circumstances. In place of this dualism, which could be seen as a further legacy of Western colonialism, the case studies suggest that inculturation and liberation are part of the same process, and can be expressed by Vatican II's understanding of "Incarnation Theology". This refers not only to a past event but interprets incarnation as an ongoing process which gives a new understanding and value to history. From the portraits, the analysis that follows examines models of incarnation, taking the issues presented by the case studies to suggest three themes that are important in the process towards a local church. Through the voices of the congregations of these diverse churches, the thesis discusses the position of history in faith, the emphasis on the liturgy of life in addition to the liturgy of the church, and the new models of church emerging in the Third World.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available