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The Dual Reality of Salvation and the Church in Nigeria

Gabriel T. Wankar

This book proposes an approach to the connection between salvation theory and ecclesial spirituality in Nigeria, indicating how the factors of economic, political, and religious co-existence are related, with implications for a deeper understanding of salvation. Considering African Synods I and II, the author proposes a paradigm shift toward a new pastoral option for the Church in Nigeria in the program for seminary formation, which prioritizes strengthening of ecumenical/interreligious structures of dialogue and collaboration as a process of rapprochement to enable an emancipatory praxis to come to existence for the Church’s ministry and witnessing to "become flesh" in the reality of people’s lives. This entails a deeper spiritual and practical understanding of religion, couched in terms of dialogue that translates into alliances and cooperation for the common good based on ties common to all religions and, most importantly, the possibility of forming synergies with civil society organizations in pursuit of the common good.

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Table of Contents

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Acknowledgments xi Introduction 1 Theology of Historical Reality? 1 Chapter 1. State of the Question: The Historical Reality of Nigeria and the Need for Salvation 13 An Overview of Nigerian Historical Reality 14 Specific Traditional and Social Factors 15 Corruption, Injustice, and Unrest 19 The First Republic: 1960–1966 19 The Second Republic: 1979–1983 21 The Fourth Republic: 1999–2007 23 The Fourth Republic: 2007–2010 23 The Fourth Republic: 2010–2015 24 The Nigerian Church 26 Colonial Antecedents and the Origins of the Catholic Church in Nigeria 27 Numerical Growth of the Catholic Church in Nigeria and the Need for Salvation 32 An Overview of Seminary Formation in Nigeria 35 Table of Contents viii THE DUAL REALITY OF SALVATION AND THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA Chapter 2. The Church in the World as Revealed in Recent Magisterial Documents 47 Biblical and Patristic Background to the Relationship Between the Church and the World 50 God’s Relationship to the People of God in the Old Testament 51 The Church as the “Continuation of the Mission of Jesus” in the New Testament 54 The Church’s Mission in the World: Patristic Developments 57 The Church Retreats From the World: Post- Enlightenment and Post- French Revolution Developments 60 Recent Developments in Papal Teachings: From Leo XIII to Francis 63 Leo XIII 63 Post Leo/Pre- Vatican II 64 The Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope), 1965 67 Post Gaudium et Spes: Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis 71 What...

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