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Secularization in Igboland

Socio-religious Change and its Challenges to the Church Among the Igbo


Charles Chikezie Agu

Secularization is often presumed to be a phenomenon that is exclusive to the industrialized and technologically advanced countries. After a comprehensive survey of how secularization is understood and evaluated in various fields of knowledge, this study demonstrates that it has since become a feature of Igbo society. While colonialism and missionary activity initiated it, cultural, social, and ideological influences from Europe and North America now foster it. Generally, secularization challenges the Church and Christians to bear qualitative and culturally relevant witness to the gospel. In the Igbo context, this challenge includes the urgent necessity of incarnating the gospel into the people's culture.
Contents: The meanings of secularization - Its evaluations in the sociology of religion and in theology - The Magisterium and secularization: Vatican II and after - The Igbo: their traditional political and religious culture - Their psychology - Process of secularization in Igboland - Incarnation of the gospel into Igbo culture.