AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

The IBIBIO concept of peace and its implications for preaching: a practical theological study within the AKWA Synod of the Presbyterian church of Nigeria

by Ivan Ekong

Institution: Stellenbosch University
Department: Practical Theology and Missiology
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Keywords: Practical Theology and Missiology
Record ID: 1475826
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86584


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The topic of this research is the Ibibio concept of peace and its implications for preaching: A practical theological study within the Akwa Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria (PCN). Conflict and violence are phenomena that are common to every human society. It would not be an overstatement to say that conflicts, war and various forms of violence are clear indications of a lack of peace in any given society. Numerous studies have been done by scholars of peace and international relations as well as social anthropologists political scientists, etcetera on themes related to peace-making, peace negotiation, peace-building, conflict resolution, and conflict transformation, especially in terms of national and international peace. International organizations, various nations, non-governmental organizations, as well as faith-based organizations have invested so much in the way of resources and energy in the search for peace, yet, the attainment of peace in our human society remains a mirage. On a daily basis, media reports indicate that, all over the world, violence is on the increase, sending thousands of innocent people to early graves. In Africa, the story is even worse. Different approaches towards achieving peace have failed to yield the needed positive peace. Yet, little or nothing has been done in terms of searching for peace within the indigenous African context. In other words, indigenous initiatives, ideas and approaches towards peace and peace-building have been ignored in the field of scholarship. The question is: What could be the role of the Church, its theology as well as its preaching towards the development of peace initiatives that are both theological and indigenous to the Ibibio people of Nigeria, given the volume of different forms of violent conflict that the people experience daily. This study is based on the assumption that, if the Church critically examines indigenous Ibibio peace approaches, it may discover a missing link that could make this become effective in preaching peace among the Ibibio people who live in pain, hurts and poverty as a result of violence, thereby closing a gap in knowledge. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine critically whether the PCN’s Akwa Synod and its leaders do in fact understand the Ibibio concept of peace, or not, and what the Church could draw from indigenous peace initiatives in order to make its preaching, as well as its peace-building practice, effective and relevant within the Ibibio social context. Indigenous Ibibio people, both Church and community leaders and lay members of three congregations of the PCN’s Akwa Synod were included as respondents. Using a mixed method approach, through a questionnaire, focus groups and individual interview; data under review were obtained for the study. The interdisciplinary nature of this study informed the use of both theoretical and methodological triangulation. The empirical findings of this research reveal: Firstly, Ibibio people understand peace as the…