Title: The Phallocentric Hierarchical Model of the Family in Igbo Context: Towards a More Egalitarian Model in the Light of the Theology of Domestic Church
Authors: Muonwe, Michael
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Peeters
Series Title: BETL vol:254
Host Document: The Household of God and Local Households: Revisiting the Domestic Church pages:279-300
Abstract: Christian family has been identified as the primary context for living out the Christian vocation for love right from the early days of the church. Hence, it has sometimes been described as the church of the home (ecclesia domestica); a place where Christ is made manifest by the relationship existing between humans. It is of great concern, however, that what one witnesses in most Christian families in Igbo land is, in some important respects, at variance with what they are called to be – “domestic churches”. Igbo culture is still, to a large extent, so strongly tied to phallocentric moorings that many women hardly have ‘a voice’ within the family.
This article seeks to explore the very deep and far-reaching theological implications of the Christian family understood as domestic church, and how its ideals – of selfless love, communion, peace, equality and proper development of all members without discrimination – can help influence Igbo families and serve as a corrective to those socio-cultural structures that hinder equal enjoyment of rights by all the members and proper enhancement of each person’s dignity without any discrimination based on sex.
It argues that the first and the most basic step in achieving a significant move in this direction is that Igbo Christian families realise and fully embrace their true nature. They should realise that they not only constitute the basic unit and bedrock of Igbo society, but that they are also an essential part of the wider church community, its basic nucleus and germinal cell. By the very fact that they are Igbo and also Christian, they serve, in some significant and irreplaceable respects, as a vital link between the wider ecclesial community and Igbo community at large. In them, therefore, the demands both of the Christian faith on Christian families and of Igbo culture on Igbo families find their convergence. It is by integrating within themselves the ideals of the ecclesia domestica achieved through a sustained mutual dialogue and reciprocal respect between the Christian faith and Igbo cultural values that they could achieve much in fostering and sustaining family relationships based on equal regard, justice and love, thus, eschewing all forms of discriminatory behaviours and practices. Only then would each member be equally and fully appreciated and his or her uniqueness upheld, hence, providing a very solid and formidable basis for the full blossoming of their potentials.
ISBN: 978-90-429-2736-0
VABB publication type: VABB-4
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IHb
Appears in Collections:Research Unit of Pastoral and Empirical Theology

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