Healing and reconciliation in a dysfunctional relationship : towards inter-religious functional relationship in Northern Nigeria

Tuduks, Oholiabs Danladi (2019-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch Univesity, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Christians and Muslims in Northern Nigeria experience dysfunctional relationship responsible for the recurrent inter-religious crises that creates a deep-rooted trauma with the adherents co-existing with anger, fear and suspicion. As a result of the volatile relationship, the two religious groups live with encapsulated mind-set that spurs the practices of exclusion, discrimination and marginalization. The study through healing and reconciliation from a pastoral care perspective addressed the dysfunctional relationship among Christians and Muslims in Northern Nigeria. As a theory seeking research, the study first conducted the empirical investigation for understanding the in-depth context of dysfunctional relationship before embarking on normative and pragmatic contributions. In view of this, the research was guided by the methodology of practical theological interpretation of Richard Osmer’s four tasks. The descriptive-empirical task investigated the context of Christian/Muslim dysfunctional relationship from both theoretical and empirical studies where the findings reveal the prevalence of religious crises, exclusion and discriminations. To understand the reasons behind the occurrence of the dysfunctional relationship, the interpretive task explored the context of British colonial era and its influence on the religious groups. In addressing the normative task, healing and reconciliation were discussed through pastoral hermeneutical process for setting a norm in approaching dysfunctional relationship. Furthermore, the examples of Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed in their inter-religious encounters and the theological discussions on the ‘charter of compassion’, ‘a common word between us and you’, ‘the Marrakesh declaration’ and inter-religious dialogue were argued as practices for healing and reconciliation processes. As a pragmatic task, the hermeneutical process advocated for a critical engagement with the past inter-religious relationship to transform it in the present and the future. In response to the colonially motivated discriminations, decoloniality was stressed as means of breaking the hierarchical structures that promotes the superiority/inferiority complex. To facilitate the processes of healing and reconciliation, transformational relationship was argued through the theories of inter-pathy, entanglement and wasatia for moderating and protecting the inter-religious relationship. The use of local proverbs was also argued as ways of communicating messages of healing and reconciliation. As a hermeneutically motivated research which was not based on cause and effect, the study presented the findings, contributions, and recommendations for necessary implementation by the relevant authorities in Northern Nigeria.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Christene en Moslems in Noord-Nigerië ervaar disfunksionele verhoudings wat verantwoordelik is vir die herhalende inter-religieuse krisisse wat diep-gewortelde trauma veroorsaak, met die betrokkenes wat saamleef in woede, vrees en agterdog. As gevolg van die plofbare verhouding leef die twee godsdienstige groepe met ʼn afgeslote ingesteldheid wat die praktyke van uitsluiting, diskriminasie en marginalisering bevorder. Die studie wil die disfunksionele verhouding tussen Christene en Moslems in Noord-Nigerië aanspreek deur genesing en versoening vanuit ʼn pastorale sorg-perspektief. Die navorsing van die teorie het eers gefokus op empiriese ondersoek om die in-diepte konteks van die disfunksionele verhouding te verstaan voordat normatiewe en pragmatiese aspekte aangedurf is. Die navorsing is gelei deur die metodologie van praktiese teologiese interpretasie volgens Richard Osmer se vier take. Die beskrywende empiriese taak het die konteks van ʼn disfunksionele Christen/Moslem-verhouding ondersoek deur teoretiese en empiriese studies waarvan die bevindings die voorkoms van godsdienstige krisisse, uitsluiting en diskriminasie onthul. Om die redes agter die voorkoms van die disfunksionele verhouding te begryp, het die interpretatiewe taak die konteks van die Britse koloniale era en die invloed daarvan op die godsdienstige groepe ondersoek. Met die normatiewe taak is genesing en versoening bespreek deur middel van 'n pastorale hermeneutiese proses om ʼn norm te stel in die aanspreek van ʼn disfunksionele verhouding. Verder is die voorbeelde van Jesus Christus en profeet Mohammed voorgehou in hul inter-religieuse ontmoetings en teologiese besprekings oor die “charter of compassion” (handves van deernis), “ʼn gemeenskaplike woord tussen ons en julle”, en die Marrakesh-verklaring is voorgehou as praktyke vir genesings- en versoeningsprosesse. As ʼn pragmatiese taak het die hermeneutiese proses gepleit vir 'n kritiese ondersoek van die inter-religieuse verhouding van die verlede om dit te transformeer in die hede en die toekoms. In reaksie op koloniaal-gemotiveerde diskriminasie, is dekolonialiteit benadruk as 'n manier om die hiërargiese strukture te verbreek wat die meerderwaardigheid/minderwaardigheids-kompleks bevorder. Om die prosesse van genesing en versoening te vergemaklik, is geargumenteer vir transformasionele verhouding deur die teorieë van inter-patie, verstrengeling en wasatia om die inter-religieuse verhouding te bestuur en te beskerm. Die gebruik van plaaslike spreekwoorde is ook voorgestel as maniere om boodskappe van genesing en versoening oor te dra. As hermeneuties-gemotiveerde navorsing wat nie op oorsaak en gevolg gebaseer is nie, bied die studie die bevindings, bydraes en aanbevelings vir die nodige implementering deur die betrokke owerhede in Noord-Nigerië aan.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107260
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