Semiotic Approach to the Theology of Inculturation

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Cyril Orji
  • Cambridge, England: 
    James Clarke Company
    , August
     233 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Massimo Leone forthcoming.


A Semiotic Approach to the Theology of Inculturation argues that though it is a difficult and delicate task, inculturation is still a requisite demand of a World Church and that without it the Church is unrecognisable and unsustainable. The book also suggests that the past failures of inculturation experiments in Africa can be overcome only by critically applying the science of semiotics, which can serve as an antidote to the nature of human knowing and reductionism that characterised earlier attempts to make Christianity African to the African.

Drawing from the semiotic works of C.S. Peirce, Clifford Geertz, and Bernard Lonergan, Cyril Orji shows why semiotics is best suited to an African theology of inculturation and offers ten pinpointed precepts, identified as 'Habits', which underline the attentiveness, reasonableness, and responsibility required in a semiotic approach to a theology of inculturation. The 'Habits' are also akin to the imperatives inherent in the notion of catholicity – that catholicity is not identified with uniformity but with reconciled diversity, and also that catholicity demands different forms in different places, times, and cultural settings.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Cyril Orji is associate professor of systematic theology and core integrated study at the University of Dayton. He is the author of The Catholic University and the Search for Truth (2013) and Ethnic and Religious Conflict in Africa: An Analysis of Bias and Conversion Based on the Works of Bernard Lonergan (2008).

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