The Catholic University of America

Joseph Okech Adhunga, A.J. Defense

Final Examination of Joseph Okech Adhunga, A.J.

For the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology

Friday, April 20, 2012 1:15 p.m., Caldwell Room 125

Director

Rev. Brian V. Johnstone, C.SS.R., S.T.D.

Abstract

Woman as Mother and Wife in the African Context of the Family in the Light of John Paul II’s Anthropological and Theological Foundation: The Case reflected within the Bantu and Nilotic Tribes of Kenya

This study examines the theological and anthropological foundations of the understanding of the dignity and vocation of woman as a mother and wife, gifts given by God that expresses the riches of the African concept of family.

There are two approaches to inculturation theology in Africa, namely, that which attempts to construct African theology by starting from the biblical ecclesial teachings and find from them what features of African culture are relevant to the Christian theological and anthropological values, and the other one which takes the African cultural background as the point of departure.

The first section examines the cultural concept of woman as a mother and wife in the African context of the family, focusing mainly on the Bantu and Nilotic tribes of Kenya. This presentation examines African creation myths, oral stories, some key concepts, namely life, family, clan and community, the views of African theologians and bishops, focusing mainly on the “the Church as Family.”

The second section examines the theological anthropology of John Paul II focusing mainly on his Theology of the Body and Mulieris Dignitatem. The third section presents the theology of inculturation, examines the African theological anthropological values and compares the Pope’s teachings in understanding the woman as mother and wife within the African family and draws a conclusion and a synthesis.

According to John Paul II, the dignity and vocation of woman is “something more universal, based on the very fact of her being a woman within all the interpersonal relationships, which, in the most varied ways, shape society and structure the interaction between all persons,” (Mulieris Dignitatem no. 29). This “concerns each and every woman, independent of the cultural context in which she lives and independently of her spiritual, psychological and physical characteristics, as for example, age, education, health, work, and whether she is married or single,” (Mulieris Dignitatem, no. 29).

The theology of inculturation as presented in this dissertation opens the way for the integration of the theological anthropological teachings of John Paul II in understanding African woman as mother and wife.