Culture, Inculturation, and Theologians: A Postmodern Critique

Overview

""The split between the Gospel and culture is without doubt the drama of our time," wrote Paul VI in 1975. Since that time there has been an increasingly urgent awareness that inculturation is an indispensable task of the church. But inculturation, the dialogue between church and cultures, demands first of all that we who would enter into the dialogue understand what "culture" itself means and what dialogue entails. To that end, cultural anthropologist Fr. Gerald Arbuckle gives us this important volume." "Combining his immense learning in

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Overview

""The split between the Gospel and culture is without doubt the drama of our time," wrote Paul VI in 1975. Since that time there has been an increasingly urgent awareness that inculturation is an indispensable task of the church. But inculturation, the dialogue between church and cultures, demands first of all that we who would enter into the dialogue understand what "culture" itself means and what dialogue entails. To that end, cultural anthropologist Fr. Gerald Arbuckle gives us this important volume." "Combining his immense learning in anthropolgy and theology with his deep concern for the Christian faith Arbuckle again puts all of us scholars and church leaders in his debt with this splendid volume. With his characteristically limpid prose and thought-provoking insights our prolific author forces us to rethink entirely the relation between faith and culture in our postmodern age. This is a landmark book, and the future of Christianity and Christian mission may well depend on how its proposals are taken seriously and put into practice."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Inculturation, the dialogue between church and cultures, demands first of all that we who would enter into the dialogue understand what ‘culture’ itself means and what dialogue entails. To that end, cultural anthropologist Father Gerald Arbuckle gives us this important volume. . . . With a sense of prophetic hope, Arbuckle seeks to help us bridge the lamentable split between Gospel and culture, the drama that continues to unfold in our time.
Comboniane.org, website of the Comboni Missionary Sisters

The question that underlies everything in this superb book, accordingly, is: What use can churches make of the welter of conflicting anthropological insights? And beneath that: What is the Gospel? . . . . In Arbuckle’s view, the church’s role is one of helping human beings embrace the paschal mystery of death and life as Christ did, not to struggle to restore or create an imaginary, pristine Eden. God’s call is into an increasing intercultural drama and being light in darkness.
International Bulletin for Mission Research

Combining his immense learning in anthropology and theology with his deep concern for the Christian faith Arbuckle again puts all of us scholars and church leaders in his debt with this splendid volume. With his characteristically limpid prose and thought-provoking insights our prolific author forces us to rethink entirely the relation between faith and culture in our postmodern age. This is a landmark book and the future of Christianity and Christian mission may well depend on how its proposals are taken seriously and put into practice.
Dr. Peter C. Phan The Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought Theology Department, Georgetown University

Only a master could write a book like this. Gerald Arbuckle brings together his vast pastoral experience, expertise as an anthropologist, and theological savvy in a way that is an absolute MUST read for pastors, theologians, and ministerial students. This book could bring efforts of inculturation to a new level.
Steve Bevans, SVD Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD Professor of Mission and Culture Catholic Theological Union, Chicago

Gerald Arbuckle has done theologians a great service by bringing together a comprehensive picture of where the discussion now is on understandings of culture and cultural processes. This will greatly aid the theological task of inculturation that still lies ahead of us as efforts continue to engage theology and cultures in a world church.
Robert Schreiter, CPPS Author of Constructing Local Theologies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814654583
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author


Gerald A. Arbuckle, SM, is codirector of Refounding and Pastoral Development, a research ministry, in Sydney, Australia. He is internationally known for his expertise in helping church leaders minister effectively in a postmodern world. In 2011 he presented the Martin D'Arcy, SJ, Lectures at Oxford University. He is the author of many books, including Violence, Society, and the Church; Laughing with God; and Culture, Inculturation, and Theologians, all from Liturgical Press.
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Table of Contents

Foreword

Introduction

Chapter 1 Cultures as Anthropologists See Them: An Overview 1

Chapter 2 Cultures as Webs of Symbols and Myths 19

Chapter 3 Cultures as "Not Dirt," "Pure," and Power Reservoirs 37

Chapter 4 Cultures as Stigmatizing Patterns of Social Exclusion 49

Chapter 5 Cultures as Narratives Negotiating Identities 63

Chapter 6 Cultures as Processes of Ritualizing Life 81

Chapter 7 Cultures as Multicultural Processes 99

Chapter 8 Cultures as Patterns of Religious Symbols 121

Chapter 9 Culture(s) in Ecclesial Documents and Theologians 138

Chapter 10 Jesus Christ, Social Dramas, and Inculturation: Lessons 152

Chapter 11 Cultures as Challenges to Inculturation 166

Bibliography 189

Index 199

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