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INCULTURATION AS PROPHETIC DIALOGUE: ITS THEOLOGICAL BASIS, PROCESS AND EXAMPLE.

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Presentation on theme: "INCULTURATION AS PROPHETIC DIALOGUE: ITS THEOLOGICAL BASIS, PROCESS AND EXAMPLE."— Presentation transcript:

1 INCULTURATION AS PROPHETIC DIALOGUE: ITS THEOLOGICAL BASIS, PROCESS AND EXAMPLE

2 A. Theological Basis: Spiritus Domini Replevit Orbem Terrarum or The Spirit of the Lord has encompassed the whole world [Wisdom of Salomon 1,7] 2. This Spirit “that moves over the water at the beginning of the creation of the world” [Gen 1,1-25] and “participates in the creation of the first human beings” [Gen 1,26] “is being present and active universally, without being limited by space and time [Dominus Et Vivificantem 51]

3 Theological Basis: 3. The Spirit’s presence and activity affect not only individuals but also society and history, people’s culture and history [RM 28]. 4. The Spirit’s presence and activity reveals the meaning of the Seeds of the Word, scattered from the beginning, and reveals the power of the Light of Truth shining into the whole world [cf. RM 28 and 56]. 5. The Divine Word has been incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth but the scattered Seeds of the Word and the spread Light of this Word are not cancelled away because of this incarnation. They remain. And it is the Holy Spirit that preserves them [cf. RM 56].

4 Theological Basis: 6. St. Ireneus: The Divine Word and the Holy Spirit are like two hands used by God to save the world and the humanity. 7. The basic theological attitude is openness to listen to the Holy Spirit who reveals the meaning of the Word of God, [being present in everything because everything is created by the Word of God.] and who forms Jesus Christ in the people as He has formed Jesus Christ in the womb of Mary.

5 B. The Process of doing inculturation as prophetic dialogue: 1. A story: In ancient China the jade carvers dedicated much of their time to the study of the block of raw material before deciding which form to give to it, whether that of a flower, a fruit, an insect or a birth. Like the Eskimo ivory carvers, holding the raw material in their hands, they would delicately contemplate every part of it, whispering: “Who are you? Who is hidden within you? There was an attitude of respect. Instead of forcing a form into their material, they tried subconsciously to discover the structural characteristic and the pattern inherent in the material itself, and let their hands be guided by the internal structure of the material. The form of the flower or of a bird did not have to be created: it was already there from the beginning; it only needed to be liberated. (Cf. Rene Dubos, A God Within)‏

6 2. Coming to the place of our mission one has to contemplate the local reality and ask it in the attitude of respect: “Who are you? Who is hidden within you?” One has to take the initiative and ask the question in a spirit of expectation but never force an answer. One has to wait for an answer before doing anything. Inculturation here is understood as a process of creative happening coming out of an encounter, an encounter between “God within me” and “God within local reality”, or between the “Holy Spirit which guides me” and the “Holy Spirit which guides the Others”.

7 3. Passing-Over and Coming-Back [John S. Dunne] 4. Going in and New Consciousness [R. Panikkar] 5. Dis-closure: Opening up the boundaries and Jumping-in- between a new reality [David J. Krieger] 6. Crossing over the boundaries in order to go to the others and taking the mission-in-reverse approach towards them [Claude Marie Barbour]. 7. Understanding-Explanation-Comprehension [Paul Ricoeur]

8 8. Morphological-Diachronical-Diatopical Hermeneutics [R. Panikkar] 9. Internalization-Externalization-Objectivation [Peter L. Berger] 10.Attending-Assertion-Decision [James D. Whitehead and Evelyn E Whitehead] 11. “Plant the seed of the faith into a culture and let it grow and expresses itself according to the sources and genius of that culture” [Yves Congar]. This is a kind of “do-it-yourself inculturation approach” [Francis Claver]: An inculturation performed not by an elite but by the people 12. It is true that “because of the complete involvement” in the sins all cultures “are tainted by sins and some of them are diabolical” [cf. Rom 1,18-32] – but however the process of purification, strengthening, and elevation of that culture cannot be realized from outside: “Assumendo vero purificat, roborat et elevat” [LG 13, AG 9].

9 C. An example: Inculturation undergone by Aloisius Pieris in Sri Lanka: 1. Inculturation is a process started by Pieris with realizing the so-called “ecclesiological revolution for Churches in Asia”, i.e., letting oneself to be baptized in Jordan of Asian Religions and on Calvary of Asian poverty. Letting one self to be baptized here means being involved in the liberative dimension of Asian religions and in the cosmic religiosity of Asian poor and open to learn form within that involvement.

10 2. Asian religions underline the importance of detachment of heart and voluntary poverty, and the Asian poor indicate the importance of openness, sharing, equality, struggle for life here and now, justice, and fully trust in the Divine. Pieris involved himself in these two baptisms and learn from both, and by doing this comes out the so-called “the inculturation of life”.

11 3.With this linculturation of life come out other inculturations, such as inculturation of liturgy, inculturation of theology, inculturation of Christology, and inculturation of the structure of the Church Inculturation of Liturgy Pieris celebrated the first “inculturated mass” in Sri Lanka in January 1968, which was named later “Pilimatalawa experiment” because it was celebrated in Theological College of Pilimatalawa Another inculturated mass was called “the worker mass”, which was celebrated in ceramic fabric at Periyamula in December 1976.

12 3.2. Inculturation of theology Both of the inculturated masses mentioned above, came out of Pieris’s baptism: The first mass came out of Pieris’ baptism in the Jordan of Asian religions and the second mass came out of Pieris’s baptism on the Calvary of Asian poverty. These two kinds of baptism, interrelated one another, have given birth to inculturated theology which can be named “indigenous theology” that showing up the Church as a readable sign of salvation, and a credible instrument of salvation, and also as sign and instrument of salvation that are able to work with other signs and instruments of salvation, used by God besides the Church for the salvation of the world and the humanity.

13 3.3. Inculturation of Christology Inculturated Christologies also have come out of both baptisms mentioned above. We can read these Christologies in the Tulana Centre of Research and Study, in Gonawala-Kelanya, the place in Sri Lanka, where Aloysius Pieris is living. Pieris has asked the Buddhist artists, who lived out the liberative dimension of their religion, to answer the question, “Who is Jesus according to you?”, in forms of pictures or paintings. From the pictures and the paintings found in that Tulana center Jesus appears 1) as “the one who washed his disciples feet: the disciples consisted of man and woman and from high class and low class” 2) as “the asylum or the protecting place of the little and persecuted ones” 3) as “the one questioned about the meaning of shedding out his blood or his murder”

14 4) as “the one who sends out his disciples one by one, with finger indicating towards the place below” 5) as “corpse lying upon the womb of his mother which is the symbol of so many young people murdered in their struggle for justice in Sri Lanka” 6) as “twelve years old child in the temple of Jerusalem, with his right hand showing up or indicating towards the figures representatives of humankind’s tradition in order to learn from and to question about that tradition, while his left hand stopping the moving forward of Mother Mary, the symbol of institutional Church, so that she does not enter the jurisdiction of Jesus”

15 4.2. Besides those pictures found in the Tulana center that indicate the inculturated Christologies, Pieris has also given some inculturated titles for Jesus of Nazareth, based on the both baptisms he has undergone. Those titles are 1) Mahapurusa [Great Man] 2) Satyagrahin [the Suffering servant of the Truth] 3) Taraka [pronounced Tareke] 4) Poor Monk; 5) Religious Peasant/Worker.

16 5. Inculturation of the Structure of the Church Baptism forming an inculturation of life that has given birth to the inculturative mass, inculturative theology and inculturative Christology as described above, has taken place, one can say, in a structure of Church that is inculturative as well. And that inculturative structure of the Church is called ”basic human community”.


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