Browsing by Author "Ekong, Ivan"
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- ItemThe IBIBIO concept of peace and its implications for preaching: a practical theological study within the AKWA Synod of the Presbyterian church of Nigeria(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-04) Ekong, Ivan; Cilliers, Johan; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The topic of this research is the Ibibio concept of peace and its implications for preaching: A practical theological study within the Akwa Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria (PCN). Conflict and violence are phenomena that are common to every human society. It would not be an overstatement to say that conflicts, war and various forms of violence are clear indications of a lack of peace in any given society. Numerous studies have been done by scholars of peace and international relations as well as social anthropologists political scientists, etcetera on themes related to peace-making, peace negotiation, peace-building, conflict resolution, and conflict transformation, especially in terms of national and international peace. International organizations, various nations, non-governmental organizations, as well as faith-based organizations have invested so much in the way of resources and energy in the search for peace, yet, the attainment of peace in our human society remains a mirage. On a daily basis, media reports indicate that, all over the world, violence is on the increase, sending thousands of innocent people to early graves. In Africa, the story is even worse. Different approaches towards achieving peace have failed to yield the needed positive peace. Yet, little or nothing has been done in terms of searching for peace within the indigenous African context. In other words, indigenous initiatives, ideas and approaches towards peace and peace-building have been ignored in the field of scholarship. The question is: What could be the role of the Church, its theology as well as its preaching towards the development of peace initiatives that are both theological and indigenous to the Ibibio people of Nigeria, given the volume of different forms of violent conflict that the people experience daily. This study is based on the assumption that, if the Church critically examines indigenous Ibibio peace approaches, it may discover a missing link that could make this become effective in preaching peace among the Ibibio people who live in pain, hurts and poverty as a result of violence, thereby closing a gap in knowledge. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine critically whether the PCN’s Akwa Synod and its leaders do in fact understand the Ibibio concept of peace, or not, and what the Church could draw from indigenous peace initiatives in order to make its preaching, as well as its peace-building practice, effective and relevant within the Ibibio social context. Indigenous Ibibio people, both Church and community leaders and lay members of three congregations of the PCN’s Akwa Synod were included as respondents. Using a mixed method approach, through a questionnaire, focus groups and individual interview; data under review were obtained for the study. The interdisciplinary nature of this study informed the use of both theoretical and methodological triangulation. The empirical findings of this research reveal: Firstly, Ibibio people understand peace as the absence of violence. Secondly, the lack of peace has physical, psychological, economic, social, as well as political consequences in people’s lives which, basically, result in deaths, suffering, injustice, poverty and the human person’s loss of dignity. Thirdly, justice and peace are significant elements for the well-being of society. Fourth, religiosity could influence the way the Ibibio people act and do things. Fifth, the leaders of the PCN’s Akwa Synod do understand the Ibibio concept of peace, even though the Church is yet to articulate a standardized peace-building procedure and training in a detailed document. Yet members and leaders, being mostly Ibibio natives, know what the Ibibio peace is all about. This study has offered suggestions on how the PCN could integrate indigenous peace initiatives in order to become more effective in preaching peace within the Ibibio context.
- ItemPreaching in the context of ethic violence : a practical theological study within the Calabar synod of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-03) Ekong, Ivan; Cilliers, Johan; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Practical Theology and Missiology.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.