Domesticating a Religious ImportThe Jesuits and the Inculturation of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, 1879-1980

Domesticating a Religious ImportThe Jesuits and the Inculturation of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, 1879-1980

Nicholas M. Creary

Print publication date: 2012

ISBN: 9780823233342

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

Catholic theologians have developed the relatively new term inculturation to discuss the old problem of adapting the church universal to specific local cultures. Europeans needed a thousand years to inculturate Christianity from its Judaic roots. Africans' efforts to make the church their own followed a similar process but in less than a century. This book provides an examination of the Catholic church's pastoral mission in Zimbabwe or of African Christians' efforts to inculturate the church. Ranging over the century after Jesuit missionaries first settled in what is now Zimbabwe, this book reveals two simultaneous and intersecting processes: the Africanization of the Catholic Church by African Christians and the discourse of inculturation promulgated by the Church. With great attention to detail, it places the history of African Christianity within the broader context of the history of religion in Africa. This work aims to contribute to current debates about the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa.