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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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Doing the Will of God on Earth as It Is in Heaven This work makes a call on the Catholic Church in Nigeria to rediscover its identity and mission as a sacrament of liberation. The identity and mission necessarily invites the Church to work for liberation from unjust structures and the creation of new structures that foster dignity and freedom as con- stitutive of the Church’s mission of reconciliation, justice, and peace. To be able to do this effectively, this work calls the Church to re- examine its self- understanding regarding active witness in society. From time immemo- rial, Christian thinkers have struggled with two complementary aspects of the mystery of the Godhead— the transcendence of God and the immanence of God. Beginning with the Jewish roots of Christianity through to this day, humanity has exhibited the general tendency to emphasize one aspect of this mystery to the neglect or the diminution of the other. Indeed, many religious traditions are in a schema, which holds at one extreme the transcendence of God without His immanence, and at the opposite extreme the immanence of God to the neglect of His transcendence. Conclusion 186 THE DUAL REALITY OF SALVATION AND THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA A swinging motion has occurred between the two ideologies throughout the history of the Catholic Church, in terms of our understanding of Church governance, the magisterium, worship, the understanding of grace, and the nature of the Christian community. At the source of this movement is our understanding of...

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