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Expanding the Frontiers of Pastoral Leadership in a Changing Society

Festschrift for Peter Damian Akpunonu on the Occasion of His Priestly Golden Jubilee

Edited By Hyacinth E. Ichoku and Martin Joe U. Ibeh

Providing effective leadership in Church and society is one of the most difficult human endeavors. It influences the dynamics and quality of social and spiritual life. The Church in the developing countries needs more than ever charismatic and prophetic leaders. Peter Damian Akpunonu – ordained a Catholic priest in 1966 at the young age of 23 – is one of the most outstanding seminary formators and influential Biblical scholars in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. His priestly golden jubilee provides occasion to reflect on his sterling qualities as a leader, an administrator and a pastor. This Festschrift also examines a wide spectrum of leadership models from biblical, historical and cultural perspectives. Seminary formation today needs urgent reform. Contemporary social challenges, including the potential retirement welfare crises for priests in Africa, are also crucial issues the Church has to address.
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The Biblical and African Orientations to Leadership

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1.  Preamble

It is my heartfelt pleasure to write this brief overview on the concept of leadership in the Old Testament. Not only is it my favourite topic, but also because I am writing it in honour of a person who is dear to me. My former Rector and Lecturer, the Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Peter Damian Akpunonu. He is also a person who is personally versed in Old Testament Studies and has attained the academic rank of Professor of Old Testament. He has equally shown himself to be an accomplished leader. For instance, he was a long-lasting Rector of a national institution; the Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, Nigeria and also an international one; the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and he exhibited very high leadership qualities in both of them. I am elated to dedicate this study to him as he marks his sacerdotal Golden Jubilee.

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