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Dancing to the Post-Modern Tune

The Future of the Sacrament of Reconciliation among the Igbo People


Tobias Okoro

Is post-modern society devoid of sacramentality or a sense of the sacred? This question is central to the challenges posed by revolutionary post-modern sensibilities that tend to render the rites for the celebration of the sacraments obsolete and irrelevant. To address this issue, the author applies the post-modern emphasis on plurality and radical particularity to the communal dimension of traditional societies exemplified in the worldview of the Igbo people of Southeast Nigeria to shed light on the liturgical celebration of reconciliation in the Church today. The contention is that the sacraments are multi-vocal symbols that cannot command the same meaning in different contexts. In this connection, this book provides a clear notion of the theological foundation, principle and framework of the sacrament of reconciliation and offers a practical guide for its authentic liturgical celebration in a plural context. Its argument is that all are being summoned to interpersonal encounter through dialogue, or a relationship founded on mutual recognition and respect for difference. On this basis, the book proposes possible reconciliation rites drawn from the Igbo communal existence that have the capacity to accommodate people with other faith perspectives in a common liturgical celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation.
Contents: Raising the Issues in Sacramental Celebration – Understanding Sacramental Celebration in Roman Catholic Tradition – Celebrating Reconciliation in the Pre-Christian Igbo Society of Nigeria – Dealing with the New Faith: Reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the Igbo Context – Unfolding the complexities in the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation – Evolution of the practice of sacramental reconciliation in roman catholicism – Vatican II revision and renewal of the sacrament of reconciliation – Sacramental experience in a post-modern context – A fulfilling practice: re-contextualizing the sacrament of reconciliation in the Igbo church.