ECCLESIASTICAL LIBERATION IN IGBO SOCIETY: NAVIGATING HISTORICAL STRUGGLES AND BUILDING A LIBERATING CHURCH

Ifeanyi A. Chukwudebelu, Emmanuel Ajakor (PhD)

Abstract


This study explores the concept of ecclesiastical liberation in Igbo society, Nigeria, rooted in Liberation Theology principles. Emerging from the 1976 EATWOT conference, the research adopts a comprehensive methodology, combining primary and secondary sources. It employs qualitative analysis with cosmological, theological, and sociological approaches. The narrative examines the church's transformative potential in comprehensive liberation—beyond spiritual realms—addressing historical injustices like colonization, slavery, and poverty. Emphasizing the Igbo church's role in challenging oppressive systems, advocating for justice, and contributing to community liberation, the study highlights challenges, including the enduring impacts of colonialism and the slave trade. Specifically, it notes issues like socio-economic disparities, an enduring inferiority complex, and poverty. The research calls for the church's proactive role in addressing economic injustices, drawing from early Christian practices. It concludes by emphasizing the church's pivotal role as a catalyst for transformative change in Igbo society, urging a contextualized Igbo ecclesiology sensitive to local realities and an empowered clergy fostering African values. The abstract advocates for active church engagement in justice, equality, and liberation within Igbo cultural contexts.


Keywords


Ecclesiastical Liberation, Liberation Theology, Historical Struggles, Church, Igbo Society.

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