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Skenosis - The Tabernacling of the Word

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The need for translating the good news of Jesus Christ into a real up-to-date world is recognized by all and sundry. A whole range of terms have been used to designate the need: Africanisation, Localisation, Accomodation, Adaptation, Incarnation, Inculturation, Indigenisation, Aggiornamento. The author, for diverse reasons, offers yet another term Skēnōsis which comes out John 1:14. The term has the merit of being very biblical and emphasizing the dynamic relation and creative tension between the eternal non-negotiable word and the contingent realities of life. Further it underlines the temporary nature of the construct which means skēnōsis must be an on-going process of renewal. The article outlines five major elements of the landscape of the temporal reality of Africa which skēnōsis must engage. Alongside those is set the Word of God which is always received as an interpreted entity, and which is a part of the tradition of the living church. And precisely for that reason there is need for each skēnōsis to engage and be engaged by other attempts in the church universal for mutal correction and affirmation. Some attention is paid to the structures of skēnōsis. The author, however, refuses to do blue-prints particularly because of the diversity in Africa and of Church polity. His interest is only to indicate paths to be explored by each time and place and that in an on-going process.


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