Inculturation: A strategy towards effective and relevant evangelization of Kasozi Deanery in Masaka Catholic Diocese
Ssenyonjo, John Mary Vianney
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Kasozi deanery is one of the areas that were first evangelised by the missionaries in Uganda. As early as 1894, the missionaries arrived in the area. Since then, the Church has been in existence in this area. It gives great joy to note that most of the people in the area are Catholics. However, it is ridiculous to note that the gospel has not entirely liberated most of these Catholics from the Traditional Religion. That is why in our research findings, we found out that there is a high level of religious dualism in this area and superstition is quite high. Christianity has not become the religion of the people. They still perceive it as a foreign religion, a new fashion of life that was introduced by the white men and quite divergent from them. However, they have embraced it because it is good but not fully theirs. That is why they put one leg at the side of Christianity and the other at the side of African Traditional Religion. Such a situation cannot escape our attention whatsoever. There must be questions asked as to why such an area that has had a long contact with Christianity is still in such a situation. According to our research findings, it has been found out that Christianity has not penetrated the lives of the people because of the dogmatic approach that was predominantly used by the initial evangelizers of the area. The faith was not well inculturated. It was brought and presented before the people as something that had no seeds of existence among, them, and, therefore, had to discard off every other thing and embrace it. Sincerely speaking, this is impossible. Culture has nurtured these people since they existed and therefore impossible for them to be convinced that it is bad. Our study basically concentrated on underlining inculturation as the best means through which the gospel can be spread convincingly among the peoples so that it becomes part and partial of their lives. With inculturation, the people are not detached from their culture but rather their culture becomes the fertile ground for their transformation because it is God who created their culture and all that He created is good. Inculturation as a strategy intends to marry Christianity with culture. Christianity becomes the animating principle by upholding the good values in culture, purifying those that are redeemable and discarding those that are irredeemable. To sum it all, our study has revealed that it is inculturation that will bring about a concrete community of Christians in Kasozi deanery. It will help the people understand the doctrine from their own culture and thus will find it good and useful for their spiritual growth. The study has had a wide scope of historical approach because we wanted to find the problem from its root cause and scrutinize the process through which Christianity has progressed in the area since 1894. Therefore, qualitative inquiries were majorly used to delve into the quality of Christianity in Kasozi deanery though to a smaller extent quantitative inquiries were also employed in matters that were quantifiable as elucidated in the third chapter. We cannot conclude that the situation is irredeemable. It is actually much more redeemable than it was at its initial stages because at least, now the people have had a big test of Christianity. Moreover, we cannot also say that all the Christians are practicing double loyalty. This would be fallacious for it was discovered that there are a good number of Christians who are totally convinced of the Christian faith even though they do not understand a good number of doctrines. However, majority leave a lot to be desired. Therefore, the necessity of inculturation as a remedy is upheld as an urgent one.