By James Chege, librarian.
The first semester of the new academic year 2013-14 began on Sept. 13 at Saint Mary’s campus in Nairobi, Kenya. Director of the Maryknoll Institute for African Studies (MIASMU) Father Michael Kirwen gave a welcoming address to the new and returning students. He urged them among other things to make use of the wonderful opportunity before them to understand better African cultures and by extension, for those who are not African, their own cultures.
This semester program marks the 24th year that the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies has been in existence. There is a 35 percent increase from the previous year’s enrollment indicating continuing growth of the institute. And, as has come to be expected, this semester’s students continue to reflect the diverse and dynamic nature of the student body with students from Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Brazil and the USA. The participants stand to learn a great deal from each other by experiencing the different cultural traditions while interacting.
The courses offered this semester include: Spirituality, Personhood and Psychotherapy in an African Context taught by the Rev. Hubert Pinto; Justice and Peace in East Africa taught by Dr. Emmanuel Manyasa; Towards the Inculturation of Religious Life taught by Sister Dr. Joan Burke; African Marriage and Family: Challenge and Change taught by Mary Getui; Moral Teachings and Practices of African Traditional Religion taught by Dr. Michael Katola and finally, Sage Philosophy: The Root of African Philosophy and Religion taught by Dr. Oriare Nyarwath.