The role and meaning of birth, naming, initiation, marriage and death rituals among the Logoli of Western Kenya in view of inculturating related sacrements in the Roman Catholic Church
This study examines the role and meaning of rituals of birth, naming, initiation into adulthood, marriage and death among the Logoli of Western Kenya in view of Inculturating related Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church CRCC). The study method is interdisciplinary using both anthropological and theological insights; anthropological as it investigates the role and meaning of Logoli traditional rites of birth, naming, initiation, marriage and death through oral and written sources; theological as it examines the RCC teachings on Inculturation and its pedagogy on the Sacraments alongside the traditional Logoli rituals, finally leading to more meaningful and fruitful RCC teaching on and about RCC Sacraments through Inculturation. This Six-Chapter study is motivated by the observation of the centrality and persistence of the Logoli traditional rituals of birth, naming, initiation, marriage and death alongside the RCC teachings and practices. Thus, the study is spurred on by the need to make the RCC teachings on and about Sacraments more meaningful and fruitful to the Logoli by the RCC teachings on Inculturation, which recognize the valuable elements inherent in every God-given culture and the urgent need to make theological Inculturation a reality. The study methodology is based on the explorative, descriptive and survey research design. The main location of the study is Vihiga District of Vihiga County, where the target population is composed of informants who provide social, historical, religious and cultural background of the birth, naming, marriage and death rituals among the Logoli, and RCC leaders and members. Interview method is used in the field data collection. This is augmented by secondary data gathered from various libraries and archives. The main goal of the study is to investigate the role and meaning of birth, nammg, initiation, marriage and death rituals among the Logoli community in view of Inculturating related Sacraments of the RCC. The specific objectives through which this is achieved are: To examine the role and meaning of Logoli traditional rites of birth, naming, initiation to adulthood, marriage and death;To investigate reasons for the persistence and continuity of the traditional rites of birth, naming, initiation to adulthood, marriage and death among Logoli Catholics; To scrutinize the RCC's teaching on Inculturation, birth, naming, initiation to adulthood, marriage and death; To explore ways of integrating traditional rites of birth, naming, initiation to adulthood, marriage and death in the RCC's doctrine among the Logoli through Inculturation; and to establish the relevance of the study in pastoral, catechetical and spiritual realms. The above objectives lead to the main hypothesis that there is need to Inculturate the traditional birth, naming, initiation into adulthood, marriage and death rites of the Logoli in order to come up with a fruitful and more meaningful form of Christianity. The specific hypotheses are as follows: Birth, naming, initiation into adulthood, marriage and death traditional rituals are still central to the Logoli community;Despite the penetration of the RCC among the Logoli, traditional rites of birth, naming, initiation into adulthood, marriage and death still guide and influence this community;RCC's teachings on birth, naming, initiation into adulthood, marriage and death, though of immense importance, have not played a major meaningful role among the Logoli; The Logoli traditional rites of birth, naming, initiation into adulthood, marriage and death have Christian elements which when soberly explored, critically investigated and genuinely integrated are crucial in making the RCC doctrine on related Sacraments more meaningful to the Logoli, thus playing a more fruitful role in their life; and that there are spiritual, catechetical and pastoral gains triggering invaluable recommendations and further areas of related research as a result of the study's Inculturation undertaking. To achieve the objectives and test the hypotheses enumerated above, the study is guided by the Liberation Theology'S three-mediation concept as expounded by Leonardo and Clodovis Boff in their book Introducing Liberation Theology. The socio-analytical mediation is operative in the realm of the social setting of the base culture, in this case the Logoli Culture, which is explored and the rituals of interest to the study explicated and presented in the Second Chapter. This leads to the second mediation- the hermeneutical mediation that is operative in the theological realm which is presented in the Third Chapter. This involves the exploration of the RCC teachings on Inculturation and the Initiation Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Furthermore, under this theological discourse, the study explores the RCC' s Sacrament of Holy matrimony and the Doctrine of Saints, in view of the practical mediation. Under the practical mediation, the RCC teachings and Doctrines are confronted with the Logoli teachings and spirituality underlying the selected rites leading to Inculturation, the end goal of the Study as illuminated in the Fourth Chapter. Based on the foregoing a conclusion will be drawn that the Logoli rites of birth, naming, initiation, marriage and death have a deeper meaning and playa major role in the lives of the Logoli thereby necessitating their inculturation in the RCC, for a fruitful and meaningful form of Christianity. In this way, the Logoli will be better placed to defend their RCC faith as they will own up the teachings on the Initiation Sacraments and the other related RCC doctrines. This will also go a long way in eliminating the dual religious practice as observed among the Logoli RCC faithful. As it will be highlighted, owing to the principle of interconnection of Christian mysteries, our study will necessarily shed light to the reader in view of handling the other RCC Sacraments using the way the study will handle the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist as a model. Owing to the limitations imposed in our kind of study, it has to be appreciated that the study will not explicitly handle RCC' s teachings on the other Sacraments. Nevertheless, the conviction is that what the study will come up with will be an adequate model with regard to future Inculturation of the other Sacraments. As such, it is hoped that the outcome of the study will enable the reader to handle and Inculturate the other Sacraments with ease. Additionally, the study will hopefully persuade the RCC to seriously consider incorporating the Logoli understanding of the role and meaning of birth, naming, initiation, marriage and death rituals in the light of RCC's teaching on Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist into the level of Sacramentals. This will no doubt enhance the meaningfulness, fruitfulness and relevance of these Sacraments to the Logoli in particular and other related ethnic groups in general.