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Anthropology of CatholicismA Reader$
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Kristin Norget, Valentina Napolitano, and Maya Mayblin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288423

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288423.001.0001

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Experiments of Inculturation in a Catholic Charismatic Movement in Cameroon

Experiments of Inculturation in a Catholic Charismatic Movement in Cameroon

(p.227) 17 Experiments of Inculturation in a Catholic Charismatic Movement in Cameroon
Anthropology of Catholicism

Ludovic Lado

University of California Press

This chapter looks at a particular instance of the local production of Catholicism in Cameroon by focusing on the agency of a ritual specialist and promoter of inculturation, Father Hebga, a Jesuit charismatic priest, who negotiates the related contradictions through ambiguous processes of religious and cultural hybridization. The leading pastoral concern at the heart of his praxis is the satisfaction of the needs of the faithful searching for healing in the framework of the catholic charismatic renewal. As one of the pioneers of Catholic charismatic renewal in Sub-Saharan Africa, Hebga’s agency mediates between the institutional constraints of the church hierarchy and the religious needs of the masses. The wider ideological framework is the discourse of Inculturation which has dominated theological debates in Africa Catholicism since the 1970s. In this context we see how Father Hebga operates as a cultural broker of postcolonial discourses, vying to restore the dignity of Africans violated by symbolic violence associated with the slave trade, colonization and Christian missionization.

Keywords:   Catholicism, Africa, Father Hebga, charismatic, Inculturation, Cameroon, Colonialism

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