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African Catholic Priests

Confronting an Identity Problem

Jordan Nyenyembe

Publication Year: 2010

This is a timely book on the contemporary African priesthood. Just as in other parts of the globe, the African priesthood currently faces a serious crisis of identity. The unfolding crisis puts stress on the clerics and augments the tension with lay people. The model of the Church-as-Family of God opted for by the Church in Africa is a new milestone that puts pressure on Catholic priests to define their role in the new context. The identity and image of priests need to be specified as lay ministries render the Church active from the grassroots. Reflection about the ministry of the clergy in Africa is urgent, and indeed it is an important aspect of enculturation. Nyenyembe demonstrates an admirable capacity to situate his rich theological reflections in an African context.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Content

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List of Abbreviations

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pp. v

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pp. vii

The reflections of this book are motivated by two events: the Year of Priests promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI (June 2009 - June 2010) and the Golden Jubilee of Likonde Seminary in Mbinga -Tanzania (August 2009 - 3 September 2010). My Bishop Dr. Emmanuel Alex...

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pp. ix-xxi

The 5 May 2001 edition of the English Catholic periodical, The Tablet, editorialised on the priesthood, with these proposals: ‘Ultimately, it will be necessary to hold a council on the issue of the identity of the priest for today and tomorrow, and the means to train clergy and...


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1. Royals without Royal Privileges

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pp. 3-59

At Likonde Seminary (Diocese of Mbinga in Tanzania), there is a long tradition which has been kept to this day. Every Sunday after attending Holy mass, seminarians line up on the assembly ground to sing a song dedicated to Jesus Christ the King. God’s providence...

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2. Fathers in Fatherless Society

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pp. 61-88

The Christian community which recognize itself as Family of God lives its commitment with the understanding of God Himself as its Father. This idea is crucial, especially in the African continent which has in the past seen the shedding of blood on basis of ethnic rivalries...

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3. Spiritual Guides to Dispirited Flock

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pp. 89-103

The hunger for spirituality has become a common feature among believers in all religions today. In Europe especially, the Eastern methods of spirituality like yoga and other Buddhist forms of meditation for attaining interior peace are attracting many people...


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4. Prophets in Hostile Politics

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pp. 107-133

The African continent is breathing a new era, an era of democracy. To come to a stage where justice can be exercised in different social segments, it demands that the people listen to the voice of prophets sent to them. In every part of the continent now there is urgency for...

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5. Servants to People who Hate Servitude

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pp. 135-148

Christianity among the World Religions is distinguished by her insistence on the love of God and neighbour in the spirit of service. It is centred on the four pillars namely the witness “martyria,” the worship “litourgia,” the proclamation “kerygma” and service...

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6. Concluding Reflections: Can Catholic Priests Learn from Priests of African “Traditional” Religions?

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pp. 149-159

We began the first chapter of this book with the emphasis on the fact that we should take seriously the fact of our sharing in the kingship of Christ. We indicated that there is yet no serious reflection on the kingship character of the baptized. Endowed with democratic ideas...


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pp. 161-165

E-ISBN-13: 9789956579860
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956578337

Page Count: 190
Publication Year: 2010