Jesse Mugambi and Evaristi Magoti (editors)
of pages: 341 pages
Acton Publishers, Nairobi, Kenya
P.O Box 74419-00200, Nairobi, Kenya
AUTHORS HONOR CATHOLIC PRIEST
it a rare happening!
group of theologians, including three women have published a book in honor of
Catholic priest Father Laurenti Magesa who marked his 40th
ordination anniversary of priesthood in June, 2014. Professor Magesa, currently
lecturing at Hekima College Jesuit School of Theology and Tangaza University College,
both constituent institutions of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa
(CUEA), Kenya as well as at the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies (MIAS)
is ordained for the Catholic Diocese of Musoma in Tanzania.
new book -- Endless Quest: The Vocation of an African Christian Theologian.
Essays in Honor of Laurenti Magesa contains 18 essays and was officially
launched on 9 July, 2014 in Musoma. Each of the 18 essays opens up with a quotation
from Magesa’s recent book -- What is Not
Sacred? African Spirituality (Nairobi: Acton Publishers, 2014). Published
by Acton Publishers, Nairobi, Kenya, the new book has been co-edited by
Professor Jesse N. K. Mugambi, a lecturer in the Religious Studies and
Philosophy Department of the University of Nairobi, Kenya and Dr. Evaristi
Magoti Cornelli, a lecturer in the Philosophy Department of the University of
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The book project has been sponsored in part by the
Catholic missionary society of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
an interview Professor Mugambi explained, “It’s a unique way of recognizing the
good work our colleague Professor Magesa has done for the last four decades
with particular reference to the African Christian Theology.”
the book’s Foreword, Father Alyward Shorter, Emeritus Professor of
Anthropology, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya and a member of the
Catholic missionary society of the Missionaries of Africa says Laurenti’s
communication skills transcend language and conventions of theological writing.
“This was because he always acknowledged that theology originated with the
faith community and with a life lived in love for others,” says Professor
Shorter adding that, “Not only did he address the academic community in
theological writings and lectures, but he remained in touch with ordinary
Catholics through his continuous pastoral work” (page i-ii). “He practices –it has been said -- a conversational
theology, “a palaver theology” that uses a story-telling method,” explains Shorter,
a prolific author on inculturation. Professor Shorter describes Laurenti as a prophetic
theologian. He says the Tanzanian Catholic priest uses a genuine catechetical
method, one in which his hearers are real interlocutors.
makes his theological discoveries with them. It is this theological method that
makes communication with him easy. It is the method which underlies the kind of
exchange which characterizes this book and makes it a ‘celebration of love and
friendship’ as one contributor has expressed it” (page ii), stresses Father
his essay on “The Future of Small
Christian Communities, SCCs in Africa,” Father Joseph Healey, MM quotes Magesa:
“The rise of SCCs as new way of being church has brought most powerfully to the
fore the truth of the principle that the church’s needs should determine
ministries and not ministries its [the church’s] needs…the fundamental reason
why new forms and styles of ministry should be encouraged and developed is that
this development is as much an intrinsic part of the nature of the church as it
is an appropriate response to the signs of times” (page 114).
Healey has also said Magesa has always supported and encouraged various efforts
in developing African Narrative Theology. “There is mutual illumination and
mutual enrichment when African stories and biblical stories are used together,”
contributors include: Paulinus Odozor; Peter Kanyandago; Philomena Mwaura; Paul
Gifford and Douglas Waruta.
Endless Quest can be purchased
at the Keswick Bookshop on Banda Street and at the Catholic Bookshop, both in
Nairobi City Centre.