Investigation of Kipsigis worldview items towards understanding the catholic doctrine of salvation through acculturation approach: a case of Kericho sub-county
This study investigates Kipsigis Worldview items for better understanding of the Catholic doctrine of salvation in Kericho Sub-County using inculturation approach. The problem that led to the study is that even though there has been a deliberate effort by the Roman Catholic Church (henceforth RCC) to inculturate Kipsigis cultural values, the Kipsigis Worldview items have been neglected yet they are very important in Kipsigis philosophy of life. Admitedly, songs, dances and prayers have been inculturated in popular liturgy and catechesis leaving out the other fundamental items. Thus for a more effective ministry to the Kipsigis, the RCC ought to inculturate the main Worldview items to better propagate Good News of salvation thereby assisting the community or communities to own it. This is among the issues the study strives to address. The study also sought to contribute to knowledge by perusing the impact of Kipsigis Worldview items on a beneficial explanation of the doctrine of salvation. The main goal of this study, therefore, is to investigate Kipsigis Worldview items in Kericho Sub-County so as to enhance a better understanding of the Catholic doctrine of salvation using inculturation approach as a model for other ethnic communities. This is achieved through the following specific objectives: to examine Kipsigis Worldview items that enhance a better understanding of the RCC doctrine of salvation by means of inculturation; to explore RCC‘s teachings and theologians‘ reflections on inculturation; to confront emerging insights from Kipsigis Worldview items with RCC‘s and theologians‘ explanation of salvation eventually drawing out the emerging implications of the study areas for further research. The main hypothesis of the study is that the Kipsigis Worldview items when properly investigated and critically analyzed contribute to a better understanding and propagation of the RCC doctrine of salvation.This is specifically hypothesized as follows: critically examined, employing inculturation approach, the Kipsigis Worldview items enhance better understanding and elaboration of the RCC doctrine of salvation; the RCC and theologians pragmatically advocate for the need to inculturate the aforementioned Christian doctrine thereby providing invaluable teachings concerning inculturation; the doctrine of salvation as expounded by RCC and theologians is invaluable but not sufficient for African world-view; Kipsigis Worldview items vis-a-vis RCC together with theologians‘ insights are invaluable in comprehending and elaborating the doctrine of salvation. On the basis of this, far reaching implications and emerging recommendations can be usefully drawn herewith. The theoretical framework comprises four complementary theories that guided the study, namely: Congar‘s general revelation theory; Boffs‘ mediation theory; redaction criticism theory as propagated by scholars like Käsemann, Marxsen, Conzelmann, Fuchs and Bornkamm; and Nyamiti‘s nexus mysteriorum theory. Boffs‘ theory supported this study methodologically by giving the three important stages of doing research namely: social analysis which involves inserting oneself into the base community (in our case Kipsigis of Kericho Sub-County) to find out the state of affairs; the second stage is that of hermeneutical mediation which involves finding the will of God found in the Scriptures and genuine Christian Tradition on the issue at hand; and finally that of praxis which involves drawing out invaluable transforming recommendations. Redaction criticism theory advises on the need to treat scriptural texts as unified literally units allowing Biblical passages‘ analysis at scholarly level thereby enabling us to source scientifically from the Scriptures. Congar‘s general revelation theory legitimized our effort by arguing that all ethnic groups, including Kipsigis, are endowed with Godly characteristics and means of salvation for it members, which challenged the study to find out the salvation elements vital in understanding the RCC doctrine of salvation. Nyamiti‘s nexus mysteriorum theory enables us to relate our opted for doctrine to other Christian doctrines instructing on essential interconnection of Christian mysteries. In attaining its goal the study adopted a case study complemented with eclectic approach research design. This enabled the study to investigate and describe Kipsigis Worldview items in detail in context and in totality. The study targeted fifty respondents twenty of whom were Kipsigis traditionalists while the other thirty were members of the RCC in Kericho Sub-County. Snowball sampling technique was used to identify twenty Kipsigis traditionalists; non-probability purposive sampling technique was used to identify leaders and members of the RCC. Data collection instruments used included; questionnaires, indepth interviews, and focus group discussions. Data analysis was done at both literal and interpretive level; Charles Nyamiti‘s methodological approach also played a very key role in data analysis. In its findings and analysis, the study revealed that the Kipsigis Worldview items are rich with salvation items of anthropocentrism, vitality, dynamism, sacredness and communality. These were drawn from its rites of passage, items that relate to day to day activities and Kipsigis religious aspects. It further emerged that the RCC not only teaches but also instructs on the need and urgency of inculturating the Gospel to enable fit into particular cultural contexts. The insights emerged from various magisterial directives of the Church and theologians‘ reflections thus encouraging us to undertake the study. It also emerged that the RCC‘s theologians‘ reflections particularly the Western ones are still useful but insufficient for our African worldview. On this foundation, the need to inculturate the aforementioned doctrine among the Kipsigis of Kericho Sub-County and others was shown to be indispensable. Among other recommendations, the study recommended that, so as to make the doctrine of salvation be more relevant and meaningful among the Kipsigis in Kericho SubCounty, there was not only need to utilize Kipsigis items in catechesis. It is also important to propagate salvation as the fundamental way of life utilizing Kipsigis perception of salvation as elevated by the RCC‘s teachings and theologians‘ reflections on it. The study further triggers important areas for more research. One of these is that, by virtue of the theory of nexus mysteriorum, other Christian mysteries like Christology, Pneumatology, Ecclesiology and Eschatology can be explored using our case study as a humble model. Another area for further study is that of inculturating the doctrine we opted for from the point of view of other ethnic groups since the theory of general revelation discloses that all communities, and not just that of the Kipsigis, are gratutitously gifted with salvation characteristics that may be usefully exploited for a more useful evangelization.