THE ENCOUNTER BETWEEN CHRISTIAN AND TRADITIONAL AFRICAN SPIRITUALITIES IN MALAWI:
The Search for a Contextual Lomwe Christian Spirituality

Author: Masuku, Francis G.
Year:2007
Pages:396
ISBN:0-7734-5248-6
978-0-7734-5248-0
Price:239.95
This book explores the manner in which Christian spirituality encounters Lomwe traditional spirituality, in an attempt to understand the kind of spirituality the Lomwe Catholic Christians in Malawi are now living. After examining Lomwe traditional spirituality within the broader context of African spirituality, the work explores the roots of the present cultural-religious encounter by analyzing the way in which missionaries introduced Christianity in Malawi. The study then moves on to consider the present tensions between Christian and traditional spiritualities in pursuit of the possibility of an integrated ‘African Christian spirituality’. This study will appeal to those scholars who are interested in inculturation, interreligious dialogue, and the relevance of Christian spirituality among the people of different cultures in the world.

Reviews

“For me the significance of Fr. Masuku’s work seems to be two-fold: it is an implicit call and challenge to fellow African (Malawian) theologians and pastors of today to undertake the task of making up for what was lacking in the evangelizing methods of our predecessors; and second, it offers a concrete example of how to do this by establishing a dialogical method of evangelization (inculturation) that could result in a deepening of the Christian faith.” - Rt. Rev. Dr. P.A. Kalilombe, M. Afr., Associate Professor, Chancellor College, University of Malawi

“It is clear that the topic undertaken by Dr. Masuku has remained unexplored in most of the literature on religion in Malawi and indeed in the wider literature published in Europe and the United States related to the religious history and the theology of religion among the Lomwe of Malawi. Thus, Dr. Masuku successfully explores the “encounter” between an African-view of the world and Christianity understood in its European form. ... It is a first-class scholarly work and an invaluable resource for anybody studying and researching religion in Africa.” - Professor Mario I. Aguilar, Chair of Religion and Politics, Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics, University of St. Andrews

“This is an excellent socio-theological study of the complex relationship between Christianity and non-Christian cultures. ... While Masuku constantly speaks of the thesis being about an encounter between Christian spirituality and Lomwe traditional spirituality, in fact it deals with the encounter of Christianity and indigenous culture which is a wider issue of which spirituality is but an aspect. It leaves one in no doubt that a vast amount of work is required to correct the dismissive attitude that the missionaries in the past adopted towards indigenous cultures. ... This thesis adds significantly to the scholarly knowledge of the relationship between Christianity and non-Christian African cultures and merits a wide readership.” - Rev. Dr. Noel Barber, S.J., Visiting Lecturer in Education Gonzaga University