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.
Chapter 2. The Church in the World as Revealed in Recent Magisterial Documents
· 2 · THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD AS REVEALED IN RECENT MAGISTERIAL DOCUMENTS The document emerging from the Vatican Council II Gaudium et Spes, “the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern world” is considered among all the Council documents to be the crowning achievement of the Council because it corresponded most closely to Pope John XXIII’s original vision of a pastoral council1 Apart from its originating directly from a sug- gestion made on the floor of the council hall, it marks the first time in its 2000 year history when the Catholic Church, in an ecumenical council, at- tempted to respond to the question posed by the world: “Church of Christ, what do you say of yourself?” This, in turn, led the Catholic Church to reflect internally on how it conceived its relation to the contemporary world. Over the centuries, especially after the Age of Reason and the French Revolution, the Catholic Church has often been “uneasy” about its relation- ship with “the world” and has too often resorted to using “other- worldly” or “abstract” language when it speaks about the relationship of Christians to the world, especially when it addresses theological themes such as “salvation.” This uneasiness has not served Catholic theology or the Church well at all. Drawing from the Church’s positive disposition to the world, which is evident in Gaudium et Spes, the review in this second chapter, will reflect on how the Catholic Church understands itself in relationship to the world as this theme The...
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