By James Chege, librarian at Maryknoll Institute for African Studies in Nairobi, Kenya
Second Pastoral Reflection: Old vs. New
Students and field assistants of the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies in Nairobi (an affiliate of Saint Mary’s University) gathered for the final pastoral reflection of the semester to share their field experiences and get to know what students are learning in other courses taken at the institute.
The Justice and Peace in East Africa class presented a skit depicting the modern method of administering justice in conflict with the traditional one in the matter of a land dispute.
Students from the Toward the Inculturation of Religious Life in Africa class were next on stage and presented a skit on the conflicts that occur when novices try to practice traditional African hospitality in religious houses when two needy men appear at a convent in dire need of help.
The third class, African Marriage and Family: Challenge and Change, prepared a lively skit that showed how changing roles of partners affect African marriages where a wife, who had a well-paying job, provides for the family, leading to the husband feeling he was not being treated properly.
Last, the class on Moral Teaching and Practices of African Traditional Religion posed questions to elders on moral formation. Their responses showed that traditional modes of moral formation were good and were central in moulding the young and are still relevant and applicable today.
After the presentations, discussions groups debated the issues and then made reports on their findings to the re-assembled participants.