Theology

After Regency, most Zimbabwe Province Jesuits move to Hekima College in Nairobi for theological studies. 

Why the study of Theology is important

General Congregation 32 tells us:

"Since our mission today is the proclamation of our faith in Jesus Christ, which itself involves the promotion of justice, our studies must be directed towards this mission, and derive their motivation from it.  In a world where faith is fostered only with great difficulty, and in which justice is so broadly violated, our wish is to help others arrive at a knowledge and love of God, and a truly fraternal love of people, to help them lead lives according to the Good News of Christ, and to renew the structures of human society in justice.

"Ministers of the Word of God can bring such help to others, only if they have themselves acquired a profound vision of reality, from personal reflection on the experience of people in the world, and on their transcendent finality in God.  They must make their own God's revelation of himself in Jesus Christ, as it is contained in Sacred Scripture, and as it is expressed in the life of the Church and the teaching of the Magisterium.  Such personal and accurate assimilation cannot be obtained without continued discipline and the labour of tireless and patient study.

"Theological training should be well integrated, sufficiently systematic, adapted to the exigencies of our mission, and conducted according to the norms of the Church.  The whole of this training supposes above all a personal experience of the faith which myst be developed and explained by a knowledge of Sacred Scripture, Christian Doctrine, and Moral Theology.

"Students should be encouraged to establish a critical dialogye between theology and human culture, between faith and the real questions and problems which occupy the minds of the people among whom we exercise our apostolate.  This reflection cannot be effective today, except through an integration of the jhuman sciences with philosophy and theology. 

"In the whole course of formation, especially during philosophical and theological studies, a deep and authentic involvement with the local culture should be fostered.  Yet care should also be taken to promote unity of minds and hearts in the Society of Jesus.  To foster this union, all the young members of the Society of Jesus must cultivate Ignatian spirituality, and be taught a theology which is grounded in the tradition and official teaching of the Church, though adapted to the needs of the times and of local cultures."

GC32: 153-161)


General Congregation 34 on Theological Reflection

"Among the ways of being engaged in the intellectual apostolate in the service of the Kingdom of God, theological research and reflection has a special place, and merits specific mention.  Father `pedro Arrupe named theologyical reflection as one of the four priority apostolates of the Society of Jesus.

"Among the urgent contemporary issues needing theological reflection, he listed humanism, freedom, mass culture, economic development, and violence.  General Congregation 32 also called for a social analysis of the structural causes of contemporary injustices, and for Ignatian discernment regarding the appropriate apostolic response to these injustices. GC34 reconfirms the need for this theological reflection and, to the issues it must address, adds the contemporary understanding of the promotion of justice, including inculturation and inter-religious dialogue.

"Theological reflection, social analysis, and discernment are phases of the process whcih Pope John XXIII and Vatican II called 'reading the signs of the times':  the effort to discern the presence and activity of God in the events of contemporary history, in order to decide what to do as servants of the Word.  This will bring the perennial sources of Catholic theology to bear upon the lived experiences of the members of the Church, especially their experiences of poverty and oppression. Reading the signs of the times relates Catholic theology to secular disciplines, especially philosophy and the social and natural sceinces, in order to discern, illuminate, and interpret the opportunities and problems of contemporary life.

"When theological reflection is undertaken with the seriousness of research and the creativity of imagination, withiin the broad spectrum of Catholic theology and in the midst of the varied circumstances in which Jesuits live and work, then it can give rise to specific theologies, which incarnate the gospel message.  Theological research and reflection in the service of the Gospel can thus help to respond to the booadest questions of the juman mind, and the deepest yearnings of the human heart."

(GC34 400-402)


Areas of Study covered at Hekima College include

Basic Theology Course:

  • Biblical Greek, New Testament, Old Testament
  • Revelation and Faith, The Self-Revelation of the Triune God
  • Pastoral Theology, Moral Theology, Sexual Morality, Marriage and the Family
  • Church History, Liturgy, Sacraments, Canon Law
  • Christology, Today’s African Christologies, African Christian Theology
  • Ecclesiology, Ecumenism, Christian Anthropology, Eschatology
  • Christian Social Teaching, Social Analysis, Theological Reflection

Electives:

  • Biblical Hebrew
  • African Culture
  • Small Christian Communities As a New Model of Church in Africa Today
  • Life After Death
  • Pastoral Counselling
  • Psychology of Human Growth and Development
  • Human Sexuality, Gender, Religion and Culture in Africa
  • Interreligious Dialogue
  • Islam
  • Teilhard de Chardin
  • Liberation Theology
  • Ethics of Human Rights
  • God’s Kingdom and Social Systems
  • The World of the Mass Media

Seminars Available:

  • African Traditional Religion
  • New Religious Movements and African Instituted Churches
  • African Marriage as Challenge to the Western Christian Model
  • African Women in Religions and Cultures
  • Feminist Theology
  • Course in Ignatian Directed Retreat
  • Spiritual Direction / Accompaniment
  • Christ and Religions
  • Religion and Development
  • Global Christian Leadership
  • Tolerance
  • Carl Rogers’ Empathy and Humanistic Counseling

Where Jesuits go for theological studies

Zimbabwean scholastics usually study theology at Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya, though other Jesuit colleges both within Africa and abroad are also considered as possible destinations for this stage of formation.


Hekima College, Nairobi


Recently two, Admire Rufaro Nhika and Tafadzwa Masakare studied at the Institut de Théologie de la Compagie de Jésus (ITCJ), in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.


Institut de Théologie de la Compagie de Jésus, Abidjan


Another two, Batanai Ignatius Padya and Isaac-El Fernandes are studying at Centre Sevres in Paris. 



Centre Sevres, Paris


Courage Bakasa is currently studying theology at Heythrop College in London.

 

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