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African Catholic Priests: Confronting an Identity Problem

Wednesday 22 December 2010, author(s)-editor(s) Jordan Nyenyembe

This is a timely book on the contemporary African priesthood. Just as in other parts of the globe, the African priesthood currently faces a serious crisis of identity. The unfolding crisis puts stress on the clerics and augments the tension with lay people. The model of the Church-as-Family of God opted for by the Church in Africa is a new milestone that puts pressure on Catholic priests to define their role in the new context. The identity and image of priests need to be specified as lay ministries render the Church active from the grassroots. Reflection about the ministry of the clergy in Africa is urgent, and indeed it is an important aspect of enculturation. Nyenyembe demonstrates an admirable capacity to situate his rich theological reflections in an African context.

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ISBN 9789956578337 | 190 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2010 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

2 Book Reviews

  • African Catholic Priests: Confronting an Identity Problem 22 December 2010 11:43, author(s)-editor(s) Dr Piet Konings

    I greatly admire the author’s courage to openly address a number of urgent and delicate problems facing African priest and his ability to offer solutions in a careful and often creative way. He also makes some valuable suggestions for reforming the formation of future priests. I strongly recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the weal and woe of the Roman Catholic Church and its priests

    Dr Piet Konings, African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

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  • African Catholic Priests: Confronting an Identity Problem 22 December 2010 11:43, author(s)-editor(s) Professor Elias Bongmba

    This is a very interesting work. The author explores important images that have been used to define the office of the priest arguing that in many cases these images have further mystified the priestly office and in a political context where political domination has been the rule, priest have ignored their prophetic office and not been effective servants of God and the people. This is a welcomed voice on the issue of church leadership at a time when Africans need to deal with concrete realities than continue to perpetuate mystifications that has distanced the clergy from their lives.

    Professor Elias Bongmba, Rice University, USA

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