Spiritual Dialogue with the Bantu

(2nd and revised edition by Piet Korse mhm)

In this publication I invite you to find divine traces in the African culture as I explored and found it in both Congo and Uganda.

In this second edition of Spiritual Dialogue with the Bantu I have added what I consider four more significant chapters, namely on the signs of the time, the omnipresent shaman, homosexuality in Uganda and ritual sexual abstinence as it is, in my opinion, related to the church’s rule of celibacy for priests.

What is our missionary task? Is it just to give the sacraments to as many people as possible? Or do we want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and look for God’s presence around us?  For this we need to be imbibed in the local culture; that’s the holy ground where people pray, live, relate and work. It is only there that they will meet God. ‘The human being is the son and father of the culture in which he has been submerged.’ (Joy of the Gospel no 122).

Jesus himself was open to God’s presence in other religions and cultures. Did he not exclaim from time to time in evident surprise: ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this’ (Mt. 8, 10)?  And he did not hesitate to add: ‘And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven; but the subjects of the kingdom will be turned out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth’ (Mt. 8, 11). Jesus entered into a dialogue with Samaritans (John 4, 5-42), prostitutes, tax collectors, children (Mt.19, 13-15), the disabled (John 5, 3-14), the sick and with strangers (Mt. 7, 25-30; Mt. 8, 5-13).

Through the whole of this publication I invite you to a dialogue. This dialogue is not about doctrines, dogmas or tenets of faith but about life, about one’s outlook on life. For the missionary, the most important first step is opening up his mind to the movements of God’s Spirit in other cultures, especially in religions and social fabrics, as the prophet Isaiah said: ‘You will be suckled on the milk of nations’ (Is. 60, 16). Only if and when the missionary has this mind-set, he can start his own discovery of the presence of God in the culture of the people to whom he has been sent. Once the missionary has made this discovery, he will be able to point out his own insights and thank God for His/Her presence. Only then he can take the following step: invite people to search together for the holy ground on which they dwell. Together with people from other religious backgrounds he can reflect on the following questions: What does it take to be a good human being? What does it take to be a good member of society?  The African teachings of the ancestors together with the writings of the prophets and the Jesus stories can help us to focus together on the question: how God’s Spirit wants us to be in these given circumstances? How to contact Her?

I present you an African treasure of rituals, symbols, resurrection stories, fables, myths, proverbs and riddles. It will make you aware that the Traditional African Religion has a right to figure among the world’s main religions. I present African treasures from the past and the present. I do hope that they will open our eyes and make us aware of similar divine treasures in people of other religions, especially in the Traditional African Religion. Jesus promised us God’s Spirit. We have only to open our eyes so as to surmise and see Her Presence.

Pope Francis tells us: ‘Through inculturation the Church leads the peoples with their cultures into the Church, because every culture proposes values and positive models, which enrich us with how the Gospel is preached, understood and lived’ (Joy of the Gospel, 116).

 

To be obtained at:

Piet Korse, Johannahoeve 2,

6861 WJ,

Oosterbeek (Netherlands).

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

at 20 €.

(136 pages, A4).

Courtesy of The Mill Hill Missionaries

 

 

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