Spiritan is published four times a year.
We try to bring to life stories
of men and women in our Spiritan family
working with dedication
Fr. Tony Gittins, CSSp
Living Mission Interculturally Order Here
Fr. James Okoye, CSSp
James Chukwuma Okoye,CSSp, is the Carroll Stuhlmueller Professor of Old Testament at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. His teaching and ministry place him among people of many diverse cultures. Okoye has been Provincial of his Nigerian Congregation of Spiritans and General Assistant in the Congregation’s headquarters in Rome. He was a member of the International Theological Commission and a peritus of the 1994 First Synod of Bishops for Africa. He is currently Director of the Center for Spiritan Studies, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.
Israel and The Nations:
A Mission Theology of the Old Testament
A missional reading of the Old Testament aimed at showing how Israel became a “missionary people” by opening its Covenant with Yahweh to the nations.
James Chukwuma Okoye brilliantly applies his Nigerian background and training at Romes Biblical Institute and Oxford University to the issue of the mission of Israel among the nations and what that mission means for Christians.
In a crucial passage, Okoye observes: “Blessing in the Old Testament is primarily this-worldly… even if it entails good relationship with God. Israel never gave up her rooting in this world. Christians must learn from Israel not to over-spiritualize the blessings of her mission.”
Scripture in The Church:
The Synod on the Word of God
Who should read the Bible? What is the biblical word? How is Scripture to be interpreted? How is it to be prayed and lived? How does Scripture call forth the Church’s entire life and mission? In October 2008 the Synod on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church took place in Rome. During the synod the bishops addressed these questions on the significance of the Word in the life and mission of the church. Beginning with a helpful explanation of the synod process, James Chukwuma Okoye, CSSp, follows the synod in historical progression, highlighting important topics and issues along the way and concluding with an exposition of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, which Benedict XVI signed on September 30, 2010. Okoye emphasizes that the Synod on the Word of God was not just about Scripture’s function in the pastoral life of the church but “it was also about tradition and God?s continuing self-disclosure in history and in the religions and cultures of humankind.”
Rev. Paulinus I. Odozer, CSSp
Odozor’s scholarly interests are in Foundational issues in moral theology/Christian ethics; history of moral theology; contextual theological issues, including questions pertaining to inculturation; theology and society; African Christian theology; and the theology of marriage. His major publications include: Moral Theology in An age of Renewal: A study of the Catholic Tradition since Vatican II (Notre Dame Press, 2003); Sexuality, Marriage and Family: Readings in the Catholic Tradition (Notre Dame Press, 2001), editor; Africa: Towards Priorities of Mission (Enugu: SIST Publications, 2000), edited with Elochukwu Uzukwu; and Richard McCormick and the Renewal of Moral Theology (Notre Dame Press, 1995). His articles have appeared in journals in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Odozor is currently working on a book that will explore the question of morality and tradition from an African Christian theological perspective.
Before coming to Notre Dame in 1999, Fr. Odozor held numerous academic, administrative, and pastoral positions in Nigeria and Canada. He is currently president of the Governing Council of Spiritan International School of Theology in Enugu, Nigeria.
Morality: Truly Christian, Truly African
In “Morality Truly Christian, Truly African,” Father Odozor examines issues, some of them neuralgic, arising from the enculturation of Catholic moral discourse in a religiously pluralistic African situation. “My hope,” he writes, “is that theologizing in such an open way, as I try to do here in this book, will help to bring the church and the entire theological community into conversation about Christian ethics (moral theology) in the African context so that what goes on in that part of the Christian community will be of interest to all as a ‘Christian theological thing,’ and not just as an ‘African thing.’ I believe that what goes on in the current African church and theology should be of great interest to the theological community elsewhere, given the potential of this emerging church and its current and growing impact on the rest of the church.”
Brian Cronin is a Spiritan Missionary priest from Dublin, Ireland, who was ordained in 1970 and sent to mission in Kenya in 1972. After eight years of pastoral and mission work in the Archdiocese of Nairobi, he was asked to teach philosophy at the diocesan seminary in Moshi, Tanzania, on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. He did his doctorate in philosophy specializing in Bernard Lonergan at Boston College and returned to teach in Spiritan Missionary Seminary, Arusha, Tanzania, in 1986. There he proved that the philosophy of Bernard Lonergan is very relevant and inspirational and the students were almost enthusiastic about the project of understanding “understanding”. Since 2011 he has been teaching philosophy in a quite different cultural milieu at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.
One of the clichés of our students here in Duquesne is that we cannot know objective reality. This view probably has its origins in Kant, but seems to suit the mood of the present moment, which favors skepticism about knowledge, philosophy, meta-narratives, moral norms, and unpleasant things like that. To validate our knowledge of objective reality you must start at the beginning, namely, the human ability to question, to understand what we experience, to express this clearly in words or definitions, to reflect on whether it is correct on the basis of sufficient evidence, and to affirm the conclusion as verified. The book leads the reader simply through these steps so that she appropriates her capacity to know and understand correctly and that is the real and only meaning of objective truth. It is a readable summary of Bernard Lonergan’s little book, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding.
Everybody nowadays talks constantly about values, but nobody knows what they are talking about. Mostly values are considered as arbitrary preferences or feelings and that we can never challenge the choices, values and life style of others. We have tried natural law ethics and virtue ethics but this text presents a complementary third way of value ethics. Let us invite persons to appropriate that innate ability to make objective value judgments and to carry them out responsibly. We do have an innate ability not only to know the truth but also to know values. We are evaluating all the time and for the most part we do it well. The text analyzes how to make good judgments of value, using our intellect to understand, our desire for good as the affective driving force, our will as the efficient cause of free deciding, all understood in the context of an integrated, growing, moral person.
Elochukwu Uzukwu C.S.Sp. is Associate Professor of Theology at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. He is the editor of Bulletin of Ecumenical Theology, and author of Liturgy, Truly Christian, Truly African (1982); A Listening Church: Autonomy and Communion in African Churches/ (1996; 2006); Worship as Body Language: Introduction to Christian Worship, an African Orientation (1997).
God, Spirit, and Human Wholeness:
Appropriating Faith and Culture in West African Style
The Holy Spirit provides access to relationship with and reflection on the Triune God. In West Africa, Christians approach the Triune God in a way that challenges the Jewish-Christian memory. Deeply rooted in their ancestral memory, where living is relationality, they embrace the Trinitarian faith, the economy of the relational God-Christ-Spirit, by expanding and reinventing their indigenous experience of God, deities, spirits, and ancestors. Christian faith-practice is marked by the spectacular dominance of the Holy Spirit, whose charisms reflect the operations of deities. African Initiated Churches (AICs), Protestant and Catholic charismatic movements, experience God-Spirit’s liberating and healing hand for the enhancement and realization of communal and individual destiny (what one expects from a concerned providential deity).
This book argues that the emergent West African Trinitarian imagination is in harmony with Hebrew insight into the One and Only Yahweh of the patriarchs that assumed the dimensions of Elohîm, God—experienced as a sound of sheer silence by Elijah, and proposed in utter weakness as the Only God by Deutero-Isaiah—the God that Jesus called Abba, Father. As Spirit and Life, the Holy Spirit, which is the source of all charisms (Origen), is our link to the Trinity.
Worship As Body Language:
Introduction to Christian Worship: An African Orientation
Worship sets an assembly in motion movement towards God in response to God’s movement towards humans thus creating a resilient and caring community. Worship as Body Language brings the African community’s experience of the body and its gestures together with the Christian liturgy, since worship and social action are closely related.
The “body language” or gestures of praise, adoration, contemplation, ritual dance, and care of the neighbor are meaningful to the ethnic group; African Christians tune into these body motions to express the one Christian faith. In Worship as Body Language, Father Uzukwu details how patterns of African ritual assemblies and sacred narratives have merged with Jewish, gospel, and early Church traditions to create living Christian communities and liturgies.
Using a socio-historical method, this book sheds new light on liturgical action and theology, and suggests more transition rituals. It also provides samples of emergent African Christian liturgies that emphasize intense community participation with appropriate gestures. These local liturgies attest to the patristic principle that different customs actually confirm the unity of our faith in Christ. Scholars teaching and researching the foundations of the liturgy and liturgical inculturation, graduate students, and those organizing workshops on the regional, diocesan, or parish level will find Worship as Body Language a ready handbook on the liturgy. It is also a useful textbook for introducing college students and seminarians to the anthropological, historical, and theological dimensions of the liturgy.
A Listening Church:
Autonomy and Communion in African Churches
Uzukwu briefly describes the historical development of the church in the period of colonialism.
Nevertheless, the author focuses his primary attention on how the church can respond today to African needs.
Fr. Peter is a Spiritan from Nigeria. He did missionary service in Southern Ethiopia for 9 years as a school principal, a community development agent, and as an evangelizer. From 2000 – 2005, Peter was a director of The Spiritan Postulancy, a post-high school institute where he also taught ethics, introduction to Bible, etc. He earned his M.A. and PhD. in healthcare ethics from the Center for HealthCare Ethics (CHCE), Duquesne University, from 2006-2013 while also working as a Campus Minister at Duquesne. Now, Peter teaches undergraduate healthcare ethics courses in both Theology and Philosophy departments.
African Traditional Medicine: Autonomy and Informed Consent
African Traditional medicine: Autonomy and Informed Consent
focuses on informed consent in African Traditional Medicine (ATM). ATM forms a large portion of the healthcare systems in Africa. WHO statistics show that as much as 80% of the population in Africa uses traditional medicine for primary health care. With such a large constituency, it follows that ATM and its practices should receive more attention in bioethics. By comparing the ethics of care approach with the ATM approach to Relational Autonomy In Consent (RAIC), the authors argue that the ATM focus on consent based on consensus constitutes a legitimate informed consent. This book is distinctive insofar as it employs the ethics of care as a hermeneutic to interpret ATM. The analysis examines the ethics of care movement in Western bioethics to explore its relational approach to informed consent. Additionally, this is the first known study that discusses healthcare ethics committees in ATM.
Fr. Tony Byrne, CSSp
Airlift to Biafra: Breaching the Blockade
Fr. Christy Burke, CSSp
No Longer Slaves: The Mission of Francis Libermann (1802-1852)
Fr. Henry J. Koren, CSSp
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animate Nature
To the Ends of the Earth:
A General History of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost