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Beyond Witnessing

A New Way of Humanising the World

Peter Chidi Okuma

The Poor and poverty-related issues and questions are in vogue. Humanitarianism is in. Yet so many mouths are hungry and poor – even «more hunger» than never. What is responsible? Aren’t there enough theories to end poverty like that of Jeffery Sachs: The End of Poverty. How we can make it happen in our Lifetime? Or those of Dambisa Moyo and others? Are resources not really enough and those directly concerned not doing enough in «doling out» help? Are we not donating enough? This author has x-rayed the theories of poverty and world poverty in particular through the purview of Jeffery Sachs. The author discovered that we need to go beyond witnessing today in order to really make true and lasting impact on the lives of humans. As he suggests through a combination of what he calls the «Christian Metannarrative hermeneutics» and the Mother Teresa of Calcutta model: «We are called to live the love of God, not to feel the love of God. We live this love through prayer and action. Our work is the fruit of our prayer, so that if our work is not going well, we must examine our prayer life. If we neglect our work or are harsh, proud, moody, and angry, then we should examine our prayer life. We will see that something has gone wrong there.»


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In my first book with Peter Lang Academic publishers, {New York, Brussels, Frankfurt am Main (2002)} titled: ‘Toward an African theology: the Igbo context in Nigeria’, under the academic series titled: Gods, Humans and Religion, edited by Gabriel Fragnière (Rector of the College of Europe Brussels, Belgium). I dealt with the term, ‘appropriation’ – the appropriation of the gospel to concrete situ- ations in the light of doing theology in a contextual situation of a people (Igbo of Nigeria), and its challenges as it finds a place in the Second Vatican Council in light of the ‘aggiornamento’ (renewal) program of the Council. In another book titled, The Vatican II. The Laity and Today’s Challenges (Peter Lang Academic Publishers, Frankfurt am Main, 2011), I took my argument from the first book on ‘appropriation’ of the gospel message in light of the Second Vatican Council to a new height. This height was the “prophetic witnessing” or what is often referred by some scholars as ‘witnessing of life’,1 or Testimonium to deploy the ‘deep-meaning-ful’ word of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium Vatican II Historian Mathijs Lamberigts2. In the above work mentioned, I argued in light of the fact that all the baptized in Christ are called to this noble role in the Church and in the World as ‘prophets’ courtesy of their baptism. This line of argumentation finds it base in the Vatican II document that “the faithful who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ, are placed in the people of God,...

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