Igwebuikology as an Igbo-African Philosophy for Catholic-Pentecostal Relations
By 1950, and even before the advent of Pentecostalism to Nigeria, Catholicism and Protestantism were already in existence. While the emergence of Pentecostalism was accepted by many who yearned for something different, many kept their distance, fearing that the Pentecostal experience which is at the heart of Pentecostalism could not have solid spiritual and doctrinal foundation. There was a struggle for supremacy, which was supported by enough antagonism. These struggle and antagonism were based on the differences in cosmological perspectives, which generated different interpretations of the Holy Scripture and thus the Christian life. A cursory glance at the recent happenings in Nigeria precisely, reveals that there still exist clashes in the area of mission between Catholic and Pentecostal missions. Aggression and diffidence have frequently been at the root of their relations. While Pentecostals identify Rome with Babylon and have difficulty recognizing the saving value of the Catholic Church, many Catholics view with suspicion the proliferation of divine interventions as forms of proselytism. While acknowledging this aggression and diffidence, this piece has the burden of proffering a solution to the differences between African Catholics and Pentecostals. It argues that the differences can be bridged through Igwebuikology, an Igbo-African philosophy which can enhance Catholic-Pentecostal relations.
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