Preaching in the context of ethic violence : a practical theological study within the Calabar synod of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria

Ekong, Ivan (2011-03)

Thesis (MTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis is a practical theological endeavour that evaluates church preaching as a means of changing the paradigms relating to communal and ethnic violence in Nigeria. The study critically examines the phenomenon of ethnic conflict and violence to show the magnitude of its impact on Nigerians. The impact is evident in the number of violent conflicts recorded in the Calabar area in the last few years. The interdisciplinary approach employed in the study helps to locate the causes of violent conflict and its impact on the people of Calabar, on the one hand, and investigating the perception of church preaching and its impact on congregants, on the other hand. In particular, the historical method is employed in the process of investigating, analysing and recovering materials on the causes of violent conflict in the area. Practical theological methods are employed to evaluate the purpose of preaching. However, a sociological approach is adopted in structuring questionnaires and interviews while using critical analysis to evaluate and interpret both the qualitative and the quantitative data. In the first place, the data has proved that economic factors are the main causes of violence; other contributing factors are described as ethnic, political, demographic and social factors. It is noted that victims of violence have suffered physically, psychologically, economically and socially. Secondly, data has also shown that, if re-evaluated, preaching can be used to change paradigms relating to ethnic violence and to inspire concrete congregational change and societal action against ethnic violence. Since this thesis presents views of people at the grassroots, people who are victims of ethnic violence, it has contributed, therefore, to a deeper understanding of the impact of violent conflicts on Africans, and especially on Nigerians. The most important contribution of this research to knowledge seems to be the provision of a model of transformative preaching, which can be explored further by the church. This research effort consists of five chapters. The first chapter is the introduction while the second chapter provides a brief historical survey of the Presbyterian Church in Calabar and the history of violent conflicts in Nigeria. Chapter Three focuses on biblical perspectives on violence, theories on violence, and data analysis of violence in the Calabar area. Chapter Four is concerned with data analysis and the evaluation of contemporary preaching in the context of violence in the Calabar Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria. A transformative model is proposed as a way forward. Chapter Five, which is the final chapter, presents the summary and conclusion, as well as the contribution of the research to knowledge, recommendations and suggestions on areas for future research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis is ʼn prakties-teologiese studie oor die rol van Christelike prediking as ʼn medium om samelewings- en etniese paradigmas aangaande geweld in Nigerië te verander. Die studie kyk krities na die fenomeen van etniese konflik en geweld in ʼn poging om die omvang van die effek daarvan op Nigeriërs aan te dui. Dit blyk onder andere uit die aantal gewelddadige konflikte binne die Calabar-area gedurende die afgelope aantal jare. Die studie volg ʼn interdissiplinêre benadering ten einde die redes vir geweld en die uitwerking daarvan op die mense van Calabar aan die een kant te ondersoek, maar aan die ander kant ook die persepsies oor prediking en die impak daarvan op gemeentes. Die historiese metode is gebruik om materiaal in verband met die oorsake van geweld in die area op te spoor en te analiseer. Die betekenis van prediking is prakties-teologies ontleed, terwyl die sosiologiese metode asook kritiese analise ingespan is om beide kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe data te evalueer en te interpreteer. Bogenoemde data het eerstens getoon dat ekonomiese redes die hoof-oorsaak is van geweld. Ander bydraende faktore is etnies, polities, demografies en sosiaal van aard. As gevolg van geweld het slagoffers fisies, psigologies, ekonomies en sosiaal gely. Die data toon egter ook tweedens aan dat prediking, indien dit herinterpreteer word, ʼn medium van verandering van paradigmas insake geweld kan wees, en dat dit daadwerklike gemeentelike verandering en sosiale aksie teen etniese geweld kan bewerkstellig. Hierdie tesis verteenwoordig die stemme van mense op grondvlak, veral diegene wat slagoffers van geweld was of is, en dit bied ʼn model vir transformatiewe prediking wat verder deur die kerk in Nigerië ontwikkel kan word. Die vyf hoofstukke verloop breedweg as volg: Hoofstuk een is die Inleiding; Hoofstuk twee handel oor historiese agtergronde van die Presbiteriaanse Kerk en geweld in Nigerië; Hoofstuk drie gee ʼn oorsig oor Bybelse perspektiewe op geweld, teorieë oor geweld asook ʼn analise van die data aangaande geweld in die Calabar-streek; Hoofstuk vier gee ʼn blik op die moontlike rol van kontemporêre prediking in ʼn konteks van geweld in die Presbiteriaanse Kerk in Nigerië, en bied ook ʼn model vir transformatiewe prediking vir die toekoms aan; Hoofstuk vyf bevat opsommende konklusies, asook suggesties vir verdere studie en die implementering van sommige van die bevindinge van die tesis.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6661
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