legacy

“25 Years of Towards an African Narrative Theology (1995 to 2020)”

25 Years of Towards an African Narrative Theology (1995 to 2020)

              Here is our 25-year Timeline:

             1995: writing the book with co-author Maryknoll Father Donald Sybertz, MM who served as a Maryknoll Missionary Priest in Shinyanga, Tanzania starting in 1955. He specialized in the oral literature of the Sukuma Ethnic Group – proverbs, sayings, stories and songs.

              1996: Paulines Publications Africa (Daughters of St. Paul) Edition (Nairobi, Kenya) with a “Foreword” by Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana a‘Nzeki, the Archbishop of Nairobi.

            1997: Orbis Books Edition (Maryknoll, New York, USA) in the Faith and Culture Series (an Orbis Series on Contextualizing Gospel and Church) with a “Foreword” by American theologian Father Robert Schreiter, CPPS.

            The book reflects what traditional African proverbs, sayings, stories and songs used in Christian catechetical, liturgical, and ritual contexts reveal about Tanzania, and about all of Africa. It includes appropriations of, and interpretations of, Christianity in Africa.

               In the “Foreword” Archbishop Ndingi writes: “In particular, this book looks at the cultural riches of African Oral Literature such as proverbs, sayings and stories. I hope that these examples and reflections will help African priests, seminarians and other pastoral workers to rediscover their African roots and make connections to their preaching, teaching and evangelization.” This has been the dream of Don and myself for many years, but it is slow going. Many young East African priests and seminarians seem less interested in inculturation and don’t seem to value their cultural past.

            In reviewing the book, a senior theologian in America said that Narrative Theology is a “slippery slope” because he was viewing it from the classic propositional theology lens of Western Theology. Well-known Ugandan theologian Father John Waliggo states:

          Our [African] theological style is very concerned with narrative, expressing teachings in story. Our people listen better when you give them a story. This means using local expressions and rituals, linking the gospel to their story. Everything is brought into the story, the animals, the plants, the whole environment. It’s a way of doing theology that is almost dead in the West, but it’s very biblical.

              Sales of the Orbis edition inch along with reprints of 50 copies each time. William Burrows, the Orbis Books Theological Editor, thought that in the early years it was mainly bought by Protestant seminarians.

            The Paulines Publications Africa edition has done better and is in its 5th Major Reprint. It is required reading/background reading in some of our theological courses in Nairobi, Kenya.

             The paintings in the book are by Tanzanian artist Charles Ndege. Jesus Christ is always portrayed as an African. Examples are Jesus Sends Out Seventy Tanzanian Disciples, Washing of the Feet and The Journey to Makoko (an African version of the Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus with the two disciples being an African man and woman – probably Cleophas and his wife). One year Fathers Laurenti Magesa and Innocent Maganya invited Charles to speak in their MSUC 303 “African Theology” Course at Tangaza on “African Inculturation.” Ndege explained he recognizes the importance of the Jesus Christ of history (“historical Jesus”), but he wants to paint the Jesus Christ of his African faith (“Jesus of faith”). Ndege movingly described his feelings while painting Jesus as an African.  He said that he experiences Jesus in a deeper and more meaningful way through African culture and symbols.  In his African paintings Ndege wants to portray how Jesus Christ becomes one of us in an African context. During a vote at the end of the classes, 60% of the students liked the African Christ while 40% liked the White Jesus.

            Chapter Three on “Church as the Extended Family of God has a section on “Theology of Small Christian Communities as a New Way of Being Church” that is used in the core theology course PTC 418: “Small Christian Communities as a New Model Of Church in Africa Today.”

Rev. Joseph G. Healey, MM
Maryknoll Society
P.O. Box 43058
00100 Nairobi, Kenya

254 0723-362-993 (Safaricom, Kenya)

+ 1 973-216-4997 (AT&T, USA)

Email: JGHealey@aol.com

WhatsApp: 1+ 973-216-4997

Skype: joseph-healey

755. KUB´ISA NWILE ULABHULWA NG`HUNGU.

Ulusumo lunulo, lwandija kubhanhu abho bhalina nsadu ahakaya yabho. Abhanhu bhenabho bhadabhawilile abhazenganwa bhabho igiki alihoyi nsadu hoyi. Abhoyi bhamanaga bhunagulija bho gwib’isa kugiki abhazenganwa bhabho bhadizumana iyo ilihoyi ahenabho.

Lushugu lumo, unsadu ng’wunuyo agalemelwa uzumalika mpaga nabho bhandya gulila ng’hungu. Abhazenganwa aho bhajigwa ing’hungu jinijo, huna bhudebha igiki gashinaga olihoyi nsadu aha kaya yiniyo. Hunagwene bhagayomba giki, “gub’isa nlwile ulabhulwa ng’hungu.”

Ulusumo lunulo, lugalenganijiyagwa kubhanhu abho bhagikalaga na makoye bho nduhu ugubhawila abhanhu abho bhagikalaga nabho, umukikalile kabho. Amakoye genayo, gagamanaga gukula bho gubhaminya mpaga gabhalabhula na gumanyika ukubhanhu abho bhabhab’isa.  Abhoyi bhagapondagwa soni na makoye genayo ulu bhagamana abhangi.

Abhanhu bhenabho, bhagikolaga nabho bhagamisa unlwile obho mpaga uzumalika, kunguno nabho bhagagabhisaga amakoye gabho mpaga gabhalabhula na gumanyika ukubhazenganwa bhabho. Hunagwene abhanhu bhenabho bhagabhawilaga giki, “gub’isa nlwile ulabhulwa ng’hungu.”

Ulusumo lunulo, lolanga bhanhu higulya ya kuleta nhungwa ja gubhisa makoye gabho ayo galikihamo na sata, kugiki bhadule gwiyambilija uguginja haho gatali ugwenha makoye matale gagubhaminya, umuwikaji bhobho.

Luka 13:3-5.

1 Wakorintho 11:29-30.

KISWAHILI: KUFICHA MGONJWA UTAFICHULIWA KILIO.

Methali hiyo ilianzia kwa watu waliokuwa na mgonjwa nyumbani kwao. Watu hao hawakuwaambia majirani zao juu ya uwepo wa mgonjwa huyo. Wao waliendelea kujaribu kumtibu kwa kujificha ili majirani wasifahamu kuwa kuna mjonjwa.

Siku moja mgonjwa alizidiwa akafariki na wao wakaanza kulia. Majirani waliposikia vilio hivyo, wakatambua kuwa kumbe watu hao walimficha mgonjwa wao. Ndiyo maana walisema kwamba, “kuficha mjonjwa utafichuliwa kilio.”

Methali hiyo, hulinganishwa kwa watu wanaoficha matatizo yao bila kuwaambia wenzao wanaoishi pamoja nao, katika maisha yao. Matatizo hayo, huendelea kuwa makubwa yanayowaumiza watu hao, mpaka mwishowe hushindikana kutatuliwa hali ambao huwapa nafasi majirani yao kuyafahamu. Watu hao huumbuliwa na matokeo mabaya ya kuyaficha matatizo hayo.

Watu hao hufanana na wale walioficha mgonjwa wao wakafichuliwa na kilio baada ya kufariki kwa mgonjwa huyo, kwa sababu nao pia huyaficha matatizo yao mpaka yanakuwa makuwa kiasi cha kuwafanya majirani wafahamu juu ya uwepo wa matatizo yao. Ndiyo maana majirani hao husema, “kuficha mjonjwa utafichuliwa kilio.”

Methali hiyo, huwafundisha watu juu ya kuacha tabia ya kuficha matatizo yao yakiwemo yale ya ugonjwa, ili waweze kusaidiana kuyatatua matatizo hayo, kabla ya hayajaleta madhara, katika maisha yao.

Luka 13:3-5. “La hasha! Ninyi nanyi msipotubu, mtaangamia vivyo hivyo. Au wale watu kumi na wanane waliokufa walipoangukiwa na mnara huko Siloamu, mnadhani wao walikuwa waovu kuliko watu wote waliokuwa wanaishi Yerusalemu? Nawaambia, la hasha! Ninyi nanyi msipotubu, wote mtaangamia vivyo hivyo.””

1 Wakorintho 11:29-30. “Kwa maana mtu ye yote alaye na kunywa pasipo kuutambua mwili wa Bwana, anajiletea hukumu juu yake mwenyewe. Hii ndiyo sababu wengi miongoni mwenu ni wagonjwa na dhaifu na wengine wenu hata wamekufa.”

754. GUB´ISA MOTO UKUBHULWA LYOCHI.

Alihoyi munhu umo uyo agaja gujulomba moto habhuzenganwa aliyomba, “nalilomba moto nagazuge.” Unzenganwa ng’wiye agashosha, “nadina moto unene.” Aliyo lulu, aho lyakula ilikanza, lyuyufuma lyochi aha numba yiniyo aho wandya uguzuga ijiliwa, mpaka nose abhanhu bhudebha igiki alina moto. Hunagwene abhanhu bhenabho bhagang’wila giki, “gub’isa moto ukubhulwa lyochi.”

Ulusumo lunulo, lugalenganijiyagwa kuli munhu ming´holo uyo adahayile gufunya jikolo jakwe gubhangi, umukikalile kakwe. Umunhu ng’wunuyo, agabhimhaga abhiye ulu bhanomba ijikolo jakwe, kunguno ya wimimholo bhokwe. Uweyi agikalaga wimanile weyi duhu.

Umunhu ng’wunuyo, agikolaga nu uyo agang’wima moto unzenganwa okwe, kunguno nuweyi alimimholo ukubhiye, umukikalile kakwe. Giko lulu nuweyi agab´isaga ginhu ijo jidikomile ugub´iswa guti moto. Aliyo ilyochi hi ng´hanila yakwe. Hunagwene abhanhu bhagang’wilaga giki, “gub’isa moto ukubhulwa lyochi.”

Ulusumo lunulo, lolanga bhanhu higulya ya guleka nhungwa ja wiminholo, umukikalile kabho, kugiki bhadule gwiyambilija chiza ijinaguitumama imilimo yabho. Igelelilwe bhabhize na witogwi bho gwidilila chiza, umuwikaji bhobho.

Yohana 3:20.

Warumi 2:16.

Mithali 28:13.

Zaburi 44:21.

KISWAHILI: KUFICHA MOTO UTAFICHULIWA MOSHI.

Alikuwemo mtu mmoja ambaye alienda kuomba moto kwa jirani yake akisema, “naomba moto nikapike.” Jirani yake alijibu, “mimi sina moto.” Lakini baada ya kupita muda, moshi ukaanza kutoka kwenye nyumba hiyo walipoonza kupika, mpaka watu wakaelewa kwamba, mwenye nyumba hiyo ana moto. Ndiyo maana wakaanza kumwambia kwamba, “kuficha moto utafichuliwa moshi.”

Methali hiyo, hulinganishwa kwa mtu yule ambaye ni mchoyo, katika maisha yake. Mtu huyo hataki kutoa mali zake kwa wengine. Yeye huwakatalia wale wanaomuomba msaada kwa sababu ya uchoyo wake huo, wa kujijali yeye mwenyewe tu katika maisha yake.

Mtu huyo, hufanana na yule aliyemnyima moto jirani yake, kwa sababu naye huwanyima wale wanaoomba msaada wake. Hivyo basi, naye huficha hata kile kisichofichika kwa watu kama moto, kwa sababu ya uchoyo wake ambao hufichuliwa na moshi. Ndiyo maana watu humwambia kwamba, “kuficha moto utafichuliwa moshi.”

Methali hiyo hufundisha watu juu ya kuachana na tabia ya uchoyo katika maisha yao, ili waweze kusaidiana vizuri katika kuyatekeleza majukumu yao. Wanatakiwa kuwa na upendo wa kuwajali wenzao vizuri katika maisha yao.

Yohana 3:20. “Kwa kuwa kila atendaye maovu huchukia nuru, wala haji kwenye nuru ili matendo yake maovu yasifichuliwe.”

Warumi 2:16. “Hili litatukia siku hiyo Mungu atakapozihukumu siri za mioyo ya wanadamu kwa njia ya Yesu Kristo, kama isemavyo Injili yangu.”

Mithali 28:13. “Yeye afichaye dhambi zake hatafanikiwa, bali ye yote aziungamaye na kuziacha hupata rehema.”

Zaburi 44:21. “je,Mungu hangaligundua hili, kwa kuwa anazijua siri za moyo?”

753. GUB´ISA MHULU NA BHAYANDA UGUSANGA JAJUKULAGWA (JAFUMBULAGWA).

Ulusumo lunulo, lwingilile kubhubhisi bho mhulu ijo jigaliyagwa. Imhulu jinijo gali matwajo ga manti. Ulu munhu atogilwe jipye chiza imhulu jinijo mpaga agajifugilaga hasi. Aliyo lulu, ulu alajigifugile hasi na bhayanda bhanholile agusanga jafugulagwa aliyo nugupya jitali. Hunagwene abhanhu bhagayombaga giki, “gub’isa mhulu na bhayanda ugusanga jajukulagwa.”

Ulusumo lunulo, lugalenganijiyagwa kuli munhu uyo agahoyaga mihayo ya mbisila na bhanhu abho bhadailanhanaga imihayo yiniyo, umukikalile kabho. Abhanhu bhenabho bhagaikumuchaga sagala imihayo iyo igelelilwe isage mumbisira kunguno, yili mihayo ya nyatale. Abhoyi bhadamanile uguidimila chiza imihayo yiniyo umumioyo jabho.

Abhanhu bhenabho, bhagikolanijiyagwa na bhanigini abho bhadadimilaga mihayo ya mbisila, umumioyo jabho, kunguno nabho bhadayidimilaga imihayo yiniyo iyo iliyambisila umumioyo jabho. Hunagwene abhanhu bhagabhawilaga giki, “gub’isa mhulu na bhayanda ugusanga jajukulagwa.”

 Ulusumo lunulo, lolanga bhanhu higulya ya kuleka guyomba mihayo ya mbisila na bhanigini bhalihoyi, umukikalile kabho, kugiki bhadule kujibheja chiza ikaya jabho, umuwikaji bhobho. Gashinaga lulu, idi chiza nulu gwita mihayo ya mbisila na bhanigini bhalihoyi.

Mathayo 28:13.

Mathayo 6:18.

KUFICHA TUNDA NA VIJANA UTAKUTA LIMEFUKULIWA.

Methali hiyo, ilianzia kwenye ufichaji wa tunda la mti lijulikanalo kama ‘mhulu’ ambalo huliwa. Mtu akitaka liive vizuri tunda hilo, hulazimika kulifukia chini. Lakini basi, akilifukie tunda hilo mbele ya watoto wanaomuona akifanya hivyo, atakuta wamelifukua hata kabla halijaiva. Ndiyo maana watu husema kwamba, “kuficha tunda na vijana utakuta limefukuliwa.”

Methali hiyo, hulinganishwa kwa watu wale ambao huongea maneno ya siri kwa watu wasioweza kuficha siri, katika maisha yao. Watu hao, huitangaza kwa watu wengine siri hiyo, kila wanapomaliza kuisikia.  Wao hawafahamu kuyatunza kwa siri maneno na matendo ambayo niya kikubwa, katika mioyo yao.

Watu hao hufananishwa na watoto wasioweza kutunza siri mioyoni mwao, kwa sababu nao hawayatunzi maneno na matendo ambayo niya siri, katika mioyo yao. Ndiyo maana watu huwaambia kwamba, “kuficha tunda na vijana utakuta limefukuliwa.”

Methali hiyo, hufundisha watu juu ya kuacha kusema maneno ya siri mbele ya watoto, katika maisha yao, ili waweze kuzijenga vizuri familia zao. Kumbe basi, sio vizuri kutenda madendo ya siri mbele ya watoto.

Mathayo 28:13. “wakiwaambia, “Inawapasa mseme, ‘Wanafunzi Wake walikuja wakati wa usiku na kumwiba sisi tulipokuwa tumelala.’”

Mathayo 6:18. “ili kufunga kwenu kusionekane na watu wengine ila Baba yenu aliye sirini, naye Baba yenu aonaye sirini atawapa thawabu yenu kwa wazi.””

752. GUB´ISA GO NVA GUGAFUMBULAGWA NG`HUNGULU.

Ulusumo lunulo, lulihoyela higulya ya masala ga nva ayo gagafumbulagwa na ng’hungulu. Inva ili na masala ayo gagikolaga hadoni na ga bhanhu kunguno igabhisaga inyama ulu uyisaga. Ulu yukuga nyama yulwa yiguta mpaga yuyisaja, igajagub´isa hanhu kugiki ilize yilwe hangi ulu yutubha.

Ing´hungulu nayo ili noni iyo ili na masala gagupadija aho yabhiyisilaga inva inyama yiniyo. Gashinaga lulu, ulu ub´isa umuna mva iyoyi igajaga yaginjaho yalila ha ng´wape, aho bhadulile nulu bhanhu bhuyibhona na gudebha igiki inva yaliyabhisa nyama. Hunagwene abhanhu bhagayombaga giki, “gub´isa go nva gugafumbulagwa ng`hungulu.”

Ulusumo lunulo, lugalenganijiyagwa kuli munhu uyo agitaga ginhu bho gwibhisa ijo jigamanyikaga aha numa yaho. Umunhu ung’wunuyo, alina nhungwa ja wiminholo ukubhiye, ijo jigampondaga soni ulu bhandebha bhiye. Uweyi agiganikaga giki alibhakelela abhangi aliyo gashinaga bhayidebhile iyo agiyitaga.

Umunhu ng’wunuyo, agikolaga nhi nhungwa ja nva ija gubhisa nyama iyo igafumbulagwa na ng’hungulu, kunguno nuweyi agabhisaga ginhu ijo jigampondaga soni ulu jagiza kumanyika ukubhiye. Hunagwene abhanhu bhagang’wilaga giki, “gub´isa go nva gugafumbulagwa ng`hungulu.”

Ulusumo lunulo, lolanga bhanhu higulya ya kuleka nhungwa ja wiminholo umuwikaji bhobho, kugiki bhadule gwiyambilija chiza umubhutumami bho milimo yabho. Igelelilwe bhiyambilije kihamo umukikalile kabho, kugiki bhadule kupandika matwajo ga gujibheja chiza ikaya jabho.

Warumi 2:16.

1Wakorintho 14:25.

KISWAHILI: KUFICHA KWA MBWA HULIFICHULIWA KUNGULU.

Methali hiyo, huongelea juu ya  akili za mbwa ambazo hufichuliwa na kungulu. Mbwa ana akili ambayo hufanana kidogo na ile ya wanadamu kwa sababu yeye huficha  nyama anayoisaza. Hivyo, akiokota nyama na kuila mpaka akaisaza, huificha sehemu ili aje aile tena baadaye akijisikia njaa.

Kungulu naye ni ndege mwenye akili za kugundua pale alipoyificha mbwa yule ile nyama. Kumbe basi, mbwa akificha yenyewe huenda kuichukua ile nyama na na kuanza kuila mahali pa wazi. Ndiyo maana watu husema kwamba, “kuficha kwa mbwa hufichuliwa na kungulu.”

Methali hiyo hulinganishwa kwa mtu yule ambaye hutenda jambo fulani kwa kujificha ambalo hujulikana baadaye kwa wale aliowaficha. Mtu huyo, ana tabia ya uchoyo kwa wenzake, ambayo humfedhehesha kutokana na aibu anayoipata mbele ya wenzake baadaye siri yake kujulikana. Yeye hufikiri kwamba anawazidi ujanja wengine kumbe wanakielewa kile anachokifanya.

Mtu huyo, hufanana na akili ya mbwa ya kuficha nyama ambao ilifichuliwa na kungulu, kwa sababu naye huficha jambo fulani ambalo humuaibisha baada ya kujulikana kwa wenzake. Ndiyo maana watu humwambia kwamba, “kuficha kwa mbwa hufichuliwa na kungulu.”

Methali hiyo, hufundisha watu juu ya kuacha tabia ya uchoyo maishani mwao, ili waweze kusaidiana vizuri katika utekelezaji wa kazi zao. Wanatakiwa kuwa  na ushirikiano wa pamoja katika kutekeleza majukumu yao ili waweze kupata mafanikio ya kuziendeleza vizuri familia zao.

Warumi 2:16. “Hili litatukia siku hiyo Mungu atakapozihukumu siri za mioyo ya wanadamu kwa njia ya Yesu Kristo, kama isemavyo Injili yangu.”

1Wakorintho 14:25. “nazo siri za moyo wake zitawekwa wazi. Kwa hiyo ataanguka chini na kumwabudu Mungu akikiri, “Kweli Mungu yuko katikati yenu!””