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Exploring Spirituality in New Contexts

ISBN13: 9781853907623

ISBN10: 1853907626

Publisher: Veritas Publications (20 Aug. 2004)

Extent: 190 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 23.6 x 16 x 2.2 cm

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  • Today the importance of spirituality is being rediscovered. Both inside and outside the structures of organised religion there is an ever-growing interest in the subject. Ireland is gradually following the European trend of developing services that recognise the benefits of integrating spirituality as an ally rather than a foe. The articles in Lamplighters are prepared by trained professionals, who have the skills to bring spirituality into diverse social contexts.

    Many of the articles provide the reader with an introduction to the theological and biblical background to contemporary issues in spirituality. The psychological ramifications of issues are examined from a variety of theoretical perspectives and there is a strong emphasis on exploring issues for spirituality today such as suffering, aesthetic experience, ecological consciousness and gender roles. The voices of those suffering from mental illness, immigrants and victims of violence are presented in their own right.

    The contributors to Lamplighters approach their writing on spirituality from the stance of reflective practitioners, capable of offering spiritual accompaniment to others in a variety of contexts, and with a particular focus on contemporary Irish society and culture.

  • Bernadette Flanagan

    Bernadette Flanagan is Director of Research at All Hallows College (Dublin City University). She is the author of The Spirit of the City: Voices from Dublin's Liberties (Veritas, 1999) and coeditor of With Wisdom Seeking God (2008) and of Spiritual Capital (2012).

    David Kelly

    David Kelly is a lecturer in Spirituality in Milltown Institute.

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    by Dr Thomas G. Grenham SPS

    This article explores intercultural spirituality in a context of increasing cultural and religious pluralism. From a Christian standpoint, the shape of a multifaceted intercultural spiritual vision is grounded in the historical particularity of the Christian tradition. What Christians call the gospel is shaped by a specific religious tradition, which is sensitive to enrichment among diverse cultures and religious meaning perspectives. By exploring some guiding principles and outlining a process for life-giving conversation, we can learn how diverse religious and cultural perspectives enrich the Christian spiritual worldview and vice versa. I offer two examples of intercultural spirituality from my missionary experience, which illustrate the Christian missionary task of sharing a universal spiritual vision reflected in the particularity of what Christians name as gospel. The article concludes by offering some practical suggestions for developing worldwide, life-giving, intercultural spirituality.

    What is Intercultural Spirituality?
    Discerning what precisely constitutes an authentic intercultural spirituality is complex. The criteria to determine a life-giving spirituality, which transcends cultural and religious boundaries, are difficult to articulate. Such an articulation is limited to historical cultural particularities and the interpretations of various religious traditions. As I understand it, an intercultural spirituality encompasses a holistic approach to understanding deep human desires across every cultural and religious boundary. The hunger for love and belonging is grounded in specific core needs, which are essential for an integral human personhood. Such needs revolve around significant friendship, meaningful activities and a sense of an ultimate reality. Consequent upon -this understanding, a holistic spirituality envisions that every person is an embodied spirit with a bodiliness that is crucial for uncovering a life-giving sense of the sacred.

    Every person yearns for life, meaning and a sense of dignity. People everywhere search for values like fraternity, solidarity, freedom, justice, peace, reconciliation, and healing. These shared values are understood and embodied diversely within the specificity of cultural and religious traditions. An intercultural spirituality recognises the integrity of religious and non-religious traditions to transmit meaning and life, authenticity and relevance, not only for themselves, but also across religious and cultural boundaries. Such a diverse, integral spirituality has a capacity to go beyond its historical particularities to give way to a universal or shared vision. This is an evolving process which I name spiritual interculturation (1).

    Spiritual interculturation proposes that diverse cultural worldviews and religious perspectives encounter each other to be informed and enriched. Such enrichment is observed in collaborative social, political, economic, and religious interactions. These interdependent arrangements uncover and affirm spiritual gifts for the benefit of all creation. Spiritual interculturation envisions that we view truth as shared and reciprocated in the midst of religious pluralism and cultural diversity (2). Shared truth can be understood as that which is life-giving within individual persons, cultures, and religions. These life-giving aspects, including principles and ideals such as goodness, love, forgiveness, generosity, justice, knowledge, peace, compassion, healing, and beauty, form the foundations for an inclusive and transformative spirituality. Such a spirituality emanating from diverse religious and cultural contexts may reflect universal cosmic influence upon the entire world. This universal cosmic penetration can be more fully imagined and appropriated through an intercultural encounter between different cultures and religious worldviews

    Personal Experiences of Intercultural Spirituality
    I have chosen two examples that particularly highlight for me the nature of spiritual interculturation. Intentional or focused conversation emerges as the paradigm for meaningful transformation in these vignettes. The first example looks at intercultural spirituality evolving from within my own Irish context. I was born in Ireland and baptised soon afterwards a Roman Catholic Christian. Ireland was predominantly a mono-cultural and mono-religious country for most of my youth in the sixties and seventies. There was little personal critical reflection upon what I believed and why I believed in the Christian worldview. Not until I left Ireland around the mid-eighties did I become challenged and subsequently enriched through my ministry in a multicultural and multi-religious parish in London, England. There, in an inner-city parish, I began to explore new possibilities for my Christian faith, my cultural identity, and my sense of meaningful spirituality.

    For me, the beginning of an intercultural spiritual consciousness emerged in a specific, striking pastoral encounter with a Jamaican, Caribbean Christian woman who lived in the same parish. Requested by the parish priest to visit this woman, who complained of being tormented by the spirit of an ancestor, I responded. Jacintha (not her real name) did not attend church and I secretly wondered whether she could be Christian. I duly went to minister to Jacintha, bringing some candles, holy water, and a copy of the Christian burial ritual. The parish priest suspected that her possession might be something to do with a dead close relative. In an atmosphere of hospitality and conversation around a small table, I quickly ascertained from Jacinthas responses that her mother had died two years previously. There seemed to have been what I call some unfinished business in the relationship. There was a framed picture of her mother hanging on the wall. I asked that this picture be placed on the table. Two candles were lit and placed beside the picture. A relaxed, conducive atmosphere was created in order to pray.

    I proceeded in this candlelit atmosphere to allow Jacintha some time to talk about the life of her mother and her relationship with her. Soon it became apparent that Jacintha had a painful relationship with her mother and she regretted some things she had said and done. Jacintha seemed to find consolation in unburdening herself throughout her sharing. In the end, I suggested that we could, in our imaginations, lay her mother to final rest. So I read out loud the prayers of burial from the rite of Christian burial. I had hoped this would help, though her spiritual experience of life and death seemed different from my beliefs concerning the dead and life after death. At her request, I generously sprinkled herself and every corner of her home with holy water which visibly gave her peace of mind and considerably lowered her anxiety.

    From my understanding of Jacinthas Caribbean culture, the spirits of the dead ancestors have great power over the living members of the family. If a relationship becomes strained or there is little time to repair damage in a close relationship before someone dies, the dead ancestor can become a destructive presence in the spiritual life of the living person. I learned from this experience that the task of any intercultural spirituality is to transcend particular cultural and religious boundaries. I felt in that moment I had transcended my own mono-cultural and mono-religious Irish Catholicism. From within my own Christian vision, I discovered I had a capacity to reach out to Jacintha who was grounded in her Caribbean religious worldview. Her deep religious convictions empowered me to embrace a transcendent spirituality reflected both in the Christian and Caribbean religious worldviews. I discovered that an intercultural spirituality is not about reducing diverse religious traditions to reflect my own cultural and religious sense of authentic spirituality. Rather, the ultimate aim was to offer hope and spiritual healing within the ambit of human and divine interaction reflected through the interchange between the Christian and indigenous Caribbean culture and religion.

    My second occasion of intercultural spiritual enrichment took place in my later ministry among the Turkana nomads of north-west Kenya. This was an interreligious encounter between what I professed and practised as a Christian and the religiosity of the indigenous Turkana spiritual worldview. Within the crucible of a rich encounter between Christianity and the Turkana religion, I discovered a rich spirituality already present and active. For example the use of Christian oil for anointing the sick and dying was not particularly meaningful for the Turkana, rather, for them the generous application upon the body of precious white clay referred to as emunyen caused the release of special forces of healing. Emunyen had far more spiritual power in the healing ceremony than the oil Christians administered. Oil is not unfamiliar to the Turkana people, but it is mostly associated with beautification and not healing.

    The special white clay, which comes from a particular sacred mountain in the area, can be applied during reconciliation services. The clay is powerful especially at the beginning of Lent. In constructing an intercultural spirituality for both Christians and the Turkana in this particular Kenyan and African context, the symbolic Turkana emunyen and the Christian symbol of the cross interact to reflect the need to understand suffering, to heal broken relationships, to recognise human finiteness, and to seek forgiveness. Amid the interpretation hope breaks through to cast a light upon human frailty. Using specific symbolic elements within the Turkana religious cultural experience in conjunction with Christian symbols reflects a spiritual interculturation that is life-giving for all in that context. These symbols have the power to transcend human experience through a conversational dynamic conducted between the believers of two diverse religious traditions. Such an appropriation of religious meaning is not something new in the history of Christianitys encounters with new cultures and religions. The Christian biblical tradition offers many illustrations of an intercultural spirituality.

    Biblical Foundation for an Intercultural Spirituality
    The Syrophoenician womans encounter with Jesus in the region of Tyre (Mk 7: 24-30; Mt. 15: 21-28) is one powerful episode of mutual intercultural spiritual enrichment. Having temporarily broken off his ministry in Galilee, Jesus crossed into the region of Tyre. He wanted no one to know where he was staying (Mk 7: 24). However, there must have been some Jewish people living around the city of Tyre for Jesus to be able to go there in the first place. A Syrophoenician woman who happened to hear that Jesus was in the vicinity shattered the secret nature of Jesus visit. She called out to him in public to heal her sick daughter. In an instant, the woman had crossed boundaries. Interestingly, and in contrast to Jesus encounter in Samaria On 4: 1-42), it was not he who engaged publicly with an unfamiliar culture, but the woman. The Syrophoenician took the initiative in an intercultural and interreligious process that ultimately led to the breakdown of the alleged irreconcilable differences between them.

    This extraordinary intercultural encounter exemplifies the way in which Jesus became transformed through contact with a Gentile or pagan, Syrophoenician woman. Being labelled a pagan meant she had no significant religion. Not only is Jesus Jewish religious tradition challenged, but the patriarchal structure surrounding Jesus own culture, reinforced by his religious tradition, is called into question. Jesus, described as Saviour of the world Un 4: 42). will be redefined in this encounter, as will the significance of an inclusive, non-gendered God. The Syrophoenician had no direct traditional link with Judaism unlike the Samaritan woman at the well who shared a common religious heritage. This forced the issue of whether or not the spirituality that Jesus came to share could be for others, especially non-Jews.

    Not only must Jesus overcome his cultural and religious bias in this context, he is also confronted with a gender boundary that challenged embedded assumptions regarding women and their faith experience (3) The scene reflects for the world a reality that crossing cultural and religious boundaries demands an internal capacity to engage complex issues. Intercultural encounters involve a range of interpersonal circumstances which require a particular sensitivity in order to bring about mutual respect, understanding and healing.

    Theologian Gundry-Volf points out that, there was a history of economic and political oppression of Jews by the cities of Tyre and Sidon. The Galilean back-country and rural regions around Tyre, where Jewish farmers could be found, produced most of the food for the citydwellers (4). This situation was a longstanding bone of contention for the two communities. In times of shortage the city dwellers had enough wealth to buy and store food, while the peasant Galileans experienced persistent hardships. Such a provocation may explain why Jesus, a Jew, might keep his distance and desire secrecy. Jesus hostility toward the woman only reinforces this status quo. Scripture scholar Gerd Theissen observes that,

    Jesus rejection of the woman expresses a bitterness that had built up within the relationships between Jews and Gentiles in the border regions between Tyre and Galilee. The first tellers and hearers of this story would have been familiar with the situation in this region, so that, on the basis of that familiarity, they would have felt Jesus sharp rejection of the woman seeking his help to be true to life (5).

    There was a constant threat of political expansion from the cities of Tyre and Sidon into areas around Galilee (6). Such a fear would probably have been on Jesus mind and would have reinforced his desire not to be recognised in Tyre. Though the woman must have been aware of these threats and dangers, she was courageous enough to come forward and take a considerable risk to initiate the conversation. In contrast to the Samaritan woman at Jacobs well (Jn 4:1-42), the Syrophoenician woman initiated the conversation with Jesus when she cried Sir, Son of David, have pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil (Mt 15: 22). These were not words of threat but words of pleading for help from the Jewish stranger. Her request was for compassion upon her and her sick child rather than to intimidate Jesus. Despite the Syrophoenician womans privileged city background, she was a humble woman who had suffered much stress because of her daughters illness. She may have been a Hellenist Greek who spoke the Greek language. She could hav,e belonged to the upper class in Tyre because, according to Judith Gdndry-Volf, Hellenisation had had the greatest impact among the upper class(7). Even so, this did not preclude her from engaging a Jew.

    In Matthews account, when the woman begs Jesus to have pity on her he ignores her completely, not saying a word (Mt 15: 23). Jesus disciples have to urge him to respond to the womans plea. Jesus explains his reticence by replying with I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt 15:24). Such a response indicates that Jesus had considerable difficulty moving beyond the confines of his own religious tradition. He must have thought that his ministry was primarily among his own people. Was Jesus thinking that true salvation only came from the Jews and therefore this foreign woman could not be saved?

    The relational inequality of Jesus harsh words when he said The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the childrens food and throw it to the house-dogs (Mk 7:27) leaves a lot to be desired. Dogs enjoyed little respect in the Jewish culture. Jesus had discriminated against the womans cultural background because she was not of the same ethnic culture and religious tradition. The conversation should have ended right there with this egregious insult to her personal dignity, but it did not. Instead, the conversation continues with the womans intuitive, and perhaps witty, response, but the housedogs under the table can eat the childrens scraps (Mk 7:28). In this way the Syrophoenician makes something clear to Jesus about his own limited cultural and religious context. Through her response, she opens a window for universal spiritual transcendence.

    The Syrophoenician womans inner capacity to allow Jesus space to recover from his rash judgement and regain his equilibrium was amazing. The good news already present and active in her became a lightning rod for Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus must have grown in his own faith because of this womans authentic spiritual perseverance. The woman had tremendous insight into herself and her religious perspective and was thus empowered to teach Jesus something about himself.s Jesus had become a student who had to learn about resolving his own embedded prejudice in order to reach out to heal and save beyond the specificity of his religious tradition (9). Theissen notes:

    The Syrophoenician woman accomplishes something that for us today seems at least as marvellous as the miracle itself: she takes a cynical image and restructures it in such a way that it permits a new view of the situation and breaks through walls that divide people, walls that are strengthened by prejudice(10).

    This biblical encounter between Jesus and this foreign woman facilitated an intercultural engagement that served to enhance and give witness to the universality of Gods gospel. A life-giving spirituality emerged that healed people despite cultural and religious divisions. 11 How is such an intercultural spirituality awakened? How do people perceive the interconnectedness of this spirituality within a contextual web of interdependent human relationships?

    An Intercultural Spiritual Awakening
    The answers to these questions are grounded in the work and writings of well-known Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. He posits that cultural empowerment revolves around a principle that people are conscientised, or awakened, to the reality of who and how they belong within their own unique history (12) This wakefulness is foundational for shaping participants in specific cultures toward mutual and reciprocal spiritual interculturation (13). Participants in cultures must be empowered to maintain and integrate the uniqueness of their historical particularities as well as learn how to go beyond them for the benefit of all creation.

    Conscientizacao was the nucleus of Freires educational worldview in reaching personal and communal freedom (14). It became a form of learning that critically reflected upon the social, political, religious, and economic paradoxes and privileges that oppress, alienate, limit, and marginalise (15). Anthony Gittins offers an insightful definition of conscientisation in relation to the spirituality of Christian mission. He contends that

    conscientisation, the process by which our boundaries are shaken and our sensibilities shocked, is catalytic for further change within ourselves. It is therefore a potential step to conversion. Conscientisation is the softening up of our hardened perceptions or philosophical positions; it is the breaking down of obsolete and unnecessary defences (16).

    For Christians a new cultural and religious awakening began with the reforms of Vatican II. A fresh openness to other religious world views and their spiritualities emerged. The document Nostra Aetate began a process of seeing a ray of truth in other religions (17). The momentum initiated by the Second Vatican Council continues and much progress is being made with dialogue and conversation among the religions of the world. An effective intercultural spirituality in an age of religious and cultural pluralism demands an openness and an inner personal and communal capacity to collaborate. In light of my missionary experiences, I propose six guiding principles for Christians pursuing an intercultural spirituality.

    Principles for an Intercultural Spirituality
    1. It is crucial that the pastora1.agentlreligious educator/spiritual director maintains a conviction regarding his or her own religious tradition within every context. That is to say, understanding ones own cultural and religious history and roots is important and necessary.
    2. Mutual respect and collaborative partnerships are essential ingredients for sharing spiritual values. This means agents of the Christian gospel need to recogniselife-giving elements contained in any culture and religious worldview, such as the emunyen in the Turkana religious culture and the role of spirits in the Caribbean religious world view. Such a life-giving and life-receiving partnership can enrich the transcendent spirituality of all.
    3. Listening and providing a compassionate advocacy with those who endure great social economic and political injustices, can create a space where the poor can feel empowered. An environment of listening created by spiritual representatives gives the disenfranchised an opportunity to find their voice and articulate their need for belonging on their cultural, political, economic, and religious terms.
    4. There needs to be a kenosis on the part of any evangeliser who shares a spiritual vision: an emptying out, a letting go of preconceived ideas, biased ethnocentricities, and stereotypical opinions. This provides space for the other to participate from their vision of spiritual truth knowing that no one has a monopoly on what is true in some objective sense (18).
    5. There will be some conflicts in the process of developing an intercultural spirituality. An awareness of how to deal with personal and communal conflict is quintessential for all to grow and be transformed in a meaningful way.
    6. Christian spiritual agents, as guests in diverse cultures, need to cultivate a manner which illustrates an awareness of beliefs about cultural and religious inclusivity, religious fundamentalism, world citizenship, and economic globalisation. For effective faith sharing, these agents need to embody an ability to live among and work with people from diverse cultures; walk and journey with them taking care that their own attitudes and actions are not patronising, exploiting, or dehumanising.

    A life-giving spiritual interculturation requires that Christians and others holding diverse religious worldviews learn to have meaningful conversations for the well-being of the world. The principles outlined offer a broad vision for all engaged in the important task of life-giving conversation. I suggest six evolving segments that a focused conversation might take in addressing a particular need within a collaborative intercultural spirituality.

    Characteristics of an Intercultural Conversation
    1. The first phase of the conversation initiates and centres the process in a safe, non-threatening environment. Drawing on Paulo Freires notion of generative themes, particular topics provide a focal point for participants within a particular culture (19). This is the initial centring phase. The themes are chosen by the participants and are evoked through shared interests such as the quest for peace, the alleviation of poverty, the overcoming of political oppressions, the search for empowerment, the issue of corruption, the yearning for religious meaning, the search for authentic spirituality, and so on.
    2. The participants effectively engage and name the religious, political, economic, psychological, and social impact of a particular issue. Naming helps those reflecting to make sense of their human experience in a particular historical, cultural, and religious milieu. Participants name who they are and how they belong within their culture and religious experience.
    3. For the process to evolve further, the facilitator nudges the group gently forward into the third stage by asking participants to critically reflect upon their lived experience. This reflection may be on the participants experience of some form of spiritual oppression or aspects of an experience that brings them joy and fulfilment. Particular questions are placed before the group and an opportunity given to critique what is particularly life-giving or life-restricting about aspects of their traditions. Responses from the participants are written down.
    4. The participants explore aspects of their religious traditions which inform their lived experience. For example, if the generative is the discrimination of women, for Christians aspects of Jesus life can be discussed in which he respects the dignity of women. Other participants can access their traditions to offer helpful insights for promoting and sustaining womens dignity.
    5. A time for personal and communal appropriation within the evolving conversation allows participants to integrate, on their terms, life-giving elements within their different religious traditions. For example, in relation to the two personal examples I gave earlier, how can the veneration of the spirits of ancestors be life-giving for both Christianity and the Caribbean religious worldview? In what ways does the use of emunyen for the Turkana offer healing and reconciliation in a process of spiritual interculturation locally and globally?
    6. Finally, participants are encouraged to come to a decision for a vibrant spirituality both inside and outside their communities of faith. Making a decision for a life-giving spirituality brings people to a greater receptivity, understanding, and clarity for an intercultural and inter-religious action within the community.

    In the conversation process, people are engaged for the mutual exchange of gifts in the form of knowledge that leads to hum ani sing transformation. Respectful conversation has the capacity to evoke lifegiving spirituality and to facilitate mutual understanding. In relation to European and African Christians, theologian Paul Knitter suggests that

    More concretely, only in the actual, on-site conversation can European and African Christians determine whether the condemnation of polygamy is a demand of the gospel or a reflection of Western family structures. Such a protracted, openended process can make Christians who have never known any other Christianity than the present one very uncomfortable and fearful (20).

    The Challenge for Christian Intercultural Spirituality
    Having outlined briefly how a focused conversation might evolve, I do not wish to be naIve and think that such interfaith and intercultural conversations would proceed without challenge. In relation to Christian spirituality generally and theological reflection particularly, one of the greatest challenges is to find an appropriate starting point or a frame of reference in which to begin a process of discerning Gods activity in peoples lives. For Christians in an age of pluralism, this discernment transpires within the social, religious, and physical environment of lived human experience. Within a specific historical, religious, and cultural context, the process of making accessible the traditions of the community for guiding the process of personal and collective transformation toward God is essential (21).

    A life-giving intercultural spirituality is challenged to offer meaningful ways in which diverse religious perspectives and their spiritual traditions are accessed for mutual enlightenment and enrichment. For Christians, the Christian tradition is appealed to for the complete disclosure of the gospel embodied in the person of Jesus Christ (22). The challenge for the Christian worldview is to discover the vision of the gospel already present and active in every person, culture and religious experience. In a new era of economic globalisation, various religious evangelisers are challenged to attend to the reality of the spiritual dimensions of diverse cultural and religious traditions. Consequent upon this attentiveness, a special relationship emerges between the evangelisers in which the problems of the world are tackled and resolved.

    Opportunities for Christian Intercultural Spirituality
    An intercultural spirituality offers opportunities for Christians and adherents of other religions to collaborate for peace, justice, and reconciliation in the world. Whether one is a Christian or nonChristian, conversation can be a paradigm to mutually discover lifegiving truths about what it means to be human. Such conversations offer the possibility for a spirituality of shared empathy in responding to the suffering in the world. This empathy is fostered as a result of personal and communal formation in a shared diverse world.

    Both religious and secular education play important roles in forming the minds, hearts and actions of participants motivated to foster a lifegiving spirituality. An intercultural education provides further opportunities to ensure that Christian intercultural spirituality is vibrant and relevant. Though every religion and culture promotes particular absolute and exclusive claims of truth, an intercultural spirituality provides opportunities to shape new religious structures and institutions that tackle social, political, economic, and religious problems locally and globally. Thus, the exclusiveness of religious and spiritual particularities is superseded.

    This chapter has explored the prospect for an effective intercultural spirituality for the well-being of all. The practical implications of this spiritual vision for the world rely on
    (1) the pledge by diverse cultures and religions to mutually discover a life-giving spirituality,
    (2) the shaping of inclusive structures for meaningful conversation to share faith,
    (3) the construction of contextual theologies within a safe environment of religious arrangements, and
    (4) the collaboration of religious traditions (23). Such suggestions, if implemented, can create a new dawn for Christian spirituality.


    1. For more details regarding the concept of interculturation, see T. G. Grenham, Interculturation: Exploring Changing Religious, Cultural, and Faith Identities in an African Context Pacifica: Australasian Theological Studies, 14/2(2001), 191-206.
    2. Ibid., 193.
    3. See D. Hampson, Theology and Feminism (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell, Inc., 1990) 148-175. Hampson discusses her views on the particular way the image of God has been conceived and shaped in the Christian tradition. She examines the the projection of a masculinist construal of reality which has excluded feminine qualities from the shape of God.
    4. J. Gundry-Volf, Spirit, Mercy, and the Other, Theology Today, 51 4(1995), 516.
    5. See G. Theissen, The Gospels in Context: Social and Political History in the Synoptic Tradition, Trans. Linda M. Mahoney (Minneapolis, MN, USA: Fortress Press, 1991) 65.
    6. Gundry-Volf, Spirit, Mercy, and the Other, 517.
    7. Ibid., 516.
    8. S. Van Den Eynde, When a Teacher Becomes a Student: The Challenge of the Syrophoenician Woman (Mark 7. 24-31) Theology 103/814 (2000),274-279 at 278.
    9. Ibid.
    10. Theissen, The Gospels in Context, 79-80.
    11. Theissen, The Gospels in Context, 80
    12. P. Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, revised 20th-anniversary edition, (New York: Continuum: 1995) 17-18. Freire, refuting allegations that conscientisation leads people to destructive fanaticism, suggests that the process makes ... it possible for people to enter the historical process as responsible Subjects, conscientizacao enrols them in the search for self-affirmation and thus avoids fanaticism.
    13. M.J. Collier Reconstructing Cultural Diversity in Global Relationships: Negotiating the Borderland in Communication and Global Society, eds. G-M Chen and WJ Starosta, ( New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2000), 215-233. From a sociological viewpoin
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