Inculturation: The Eucharist in Africa

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Joint Liturgical studies 7

Inculturation may seem another formidable word used by those who wish to cloud reality with a fog of incomprehensible terms. As such it can operate as a discouragement to those whose lives are directly affected each day by the problem, and can inhibit them from developing a critical awareness of their experience. But what is inculturation? Should it be looked at as a problem? Perhaps one way to understanding it is to examine the modern missionary movement and the results of this on the worship of the churches in the ‘mission field’. As my own experience and study is limited to Africa, I shall restrict my examples to that continent. Also, rather than deal with the multiplicity of rites associated with the church, I shall confine the discussion to the eucharist, the central Christian ritual.

Phillip Tovey