Divine Word Missionaries
I N T E R L I N K 2004
Box Hill, 2004
From the Desk of the Coordinator
This year has seen my settling down here in Melbourne as a member of the Dorish Maru College as also the opening of the office of Coordinator outside of Europe.
The goal I have set myself is to make the Anthropos Institute an integral part of the life and mission of the Australian Province and as a possible case study for other provinces. The aim is not to have buildings and offices but a network, a closely linked organisation of scholars sharing the same vision and concerns, and coming together regularly to compare notes and to support each other in their work and research. These scholars focus their research on the Australian society, especially on the groups with whom the confreres are working. The province has given me a chance to move in that direction by appointing me Provincial Mission Education and Research (MER) coordinator.
The loss of our sociologist, Fr. Pio Estepa, though it was a gain for the Generalate, was a real setback for my plans but it is a situation that other provinces might experience and our programmes must adapt to these concrete situations.
I accepted this position as MER coordinator because it gives me a chance to promote what Fr. General Pernia calls the "Anthropos Tradition" in our Australian province and to marry the anthropological interests to the missiological ones.
The danger for the missiological approach is to be too theological, too biblical and not sufficiently grounded in the reality of society, cultures, and religions. One needs specialisation in these latter fields, a specialisation only professional social and religious scientists can provide. MER can be used as a step in the direction of such an interdisciplinary approach.
I see MER also as the structure, bringing together on the provincial level, those already working in the specialised field of cultures and religions - be they anthropologists, missiologists, sociologists or religionists - with those still involved in the specialised studies. The regular meetings should help and encourage the members, and further our specialised SVD commitment in Australia.
As Australian MER coordinator I was able to travel to India to the Asia-Pacific MER Coordinators meeting and I used that trip to visit and speak to all our novices and seminarians in that country on our Anthropos Tradition, distributing also a leaflet which had been printed in our Australian mission office. India has a long tradition of involvement in the study of cultures and religions of the marginalized. Today the Society asks us to widen the scope of our research to include all the peoples among whom we work. These are new challenges confronting our seminarians.
I was able to do the same for the SVD seminarians in PNG, reminding them of our long Anthropos tradition, as expressed by the Melanesian Institute at Goroka, which our Society has initiated and kept alive and effective. The history of this Institute indicates that without the specific SVD support it would have closed down long ago.
As a lecturer at the Yarra Theological Union, I am part of the contribution of our province to the local church in terms of awareness of the role of culture in our Christian life and especially in the mission of the church. Not only the faculty members but the students as well have come to realise, more and more, that the SVDs are people specialised in the field of cultures, religions, and the mission of the church. I hope that the Anthropos Institute can be seen for what it is, the expression of the SVD commitment to the professional study of cultures and religions.
Next year, 2005, I intend to visit and talk to the SVD seminarians in Vietnam, Indonesia, and the various provinces of Africa about our Anthropos Tradition. I will also give an introduction to the Anthropos Tradition to our community here at Dorish Maru, when the new students join us in February.
The fifty years of the death of Wilhelm Schmidt and the one hundred years of the Anthropos journal are the two events that have already begun to enliven the Anthropos Institute.
Poland opened the cycle of celebrations as Fr. Pawlik reports:
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Fr. Prof. Wilhelm Schmidt SVD and one century of the Anthropos Journal, the Center for Dialogue of Cultures and Religions in Olsztyn, the Department of Missiology, Religious Sciences, and Ethnology of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn together with the Divine Word Seminary in Pieniezno organized a two days symposium entitled "Divine Word Missionaries and the Religious Studies" on November 5th.
Most of SVD Academics of the SVD Polish Province took part in this gathering. Frs. Prof. Joachim Piepke, Prof. Othmar Gächter and Dr. Thomas Ascheman represented respectively the Anthropos Institut Sankt Augustin, the Anthropos Journal and the SVD Generalate.
The first day of the conference took place at the University in Olsztyn. Fr. Ascheman spoke about the SVD Scientific Centres, Fr. Prof. H. Zimon presented the role of W. Schmidt in the ethnological and religious studies, Fr. Piepke talked about the importance of the research of the Anthropos Institute for the mission and Fr. Gächter, about the Anthropos Journal. In the evening Fr. Prof. Piotr Nawrot conducted the Capella Gedanensis Ensemble performing baroque music from Latin America based on his musicological research.
The debates of the second day took place at the SVD Seminary in Pieniezno and included 8 papers presented by Fr. Dr. A. Miotk (Dynamism and Novelty of Mission Societies), by Prof. W. Kowalak (Origin of Syncretistic Religion in Latin America), by Fr. Dr. A. Was (Contemporary Aspects of Islam. Muslim Brothers in Jordan), by Fr. Dr. J.J. Pawlik (Religious Dimension of Illness in Traditional African Societies), by Fr. Dr. S. Grodz (The Christ - Older Brother. African Christological Model as "Focal Length" of Other Models?), and by Fr. Dr. Z. Kupisinski (Elements of the Death in Seasonal Rituals in the Tradition of Opoczno Region). The final summary paper was presented by Fr. Prof. F. Rosinski - "Originality of the ethnological studies of the members of the Society of Divine Word."
The Anthropos Institute in the Asia Pacific (Aspac) zone plans a symposium in Ledalero, Flores, in April next year with the title "Wilhelm Schmidt and His Legacy for Aspac, Fifty Years after His Death."
Fr. Piepke reports that Anthropos Institut Sankt Augustin plans a Hochschulsymposium in October 2006. Besides an index of Anthropos 1906 - 2005 on a CD and also an index of authors are being prepared. Finally there will be a celebration in the Museum.
The Member's Report
Ernest writes: "Now retired and settled into a new house, I have more time, but seem to have less." He has kept himself busy as he says, by:
activity seems to be writing. This year he published Erik Fromm:
Masyarakatbebas Agresivitas (556 pp). Two volumes on Human Rights,
Othmar is the editor in chief of the Anthropos journal and lectures in history of religion at the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Augustin.
Phil lectured at the Orientation Course for new missionaries in PNG; taught two Masters level courses at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, assisted with input to Divine Word University students at a workshop at the Melanesian Institute on "Culture," and lectured for one week at the East Asian Pastoral Institute, Manila.
He gave presentations at "Chanted Tales" Workshop at University of Goroka; at Porgera Environmental Action Committee (PEAK) on "Enga/Ipil Values;" to Salesians in Port Moresby, on "Features of Inculturated Church;" to Australian Volunteers (AVI) on "Culture and Development;" to Junior SVDs on "Dialogue with Melanesian Spirituality;" to National Church workers Workshop on "Inculturation and Worship."
He acted as Member of the Preparatory Committee for the General Assembly of the Catholic Church in Rabaul and presented some of the findings. He worked in Communications for the event and helped produce a video.
He facilitated the seminar for PNG Formators on the topic of Formation and Melanesian Spirituality and the SVD researchers' workshop on "Responses to Violence."
participated in the SVD ASPAC Zonal Communications meeting in Hong Kong.
Josef, as emeritus professor, is free from the routine of campus activities but still gives some lectures and he is very often an examiner for Ph.D. candidates. In the winter semester he gave a course in human biology and bioanthropology at the Dept. of Psychology, Catholic University Widya Mandala, Surabaya, while in the summer semester his main task were lectures on "Man and Culture in Europe."
Even on Christmas Eve he was very busy preparing two lectures on "Evolution and Religion," and on "Former and Contemporary Inhabitants of Flores." As it was on the news, there is a hot discussion about "a new human species" Homo Floresiensis and Josef seems to be in his element.
Together with his collaborators Josef is preparing a new edition of his handbooks on Anthropometry and Physical Anthropology.
Lazar is provincial in Hyderabad (India) and he writes:
As I am fully involved in the Province Administrative work, I am unable to do much work in Anthropology; however, I do have some teaching commitments. In the province 30 per cent of our people are tribals. I am visiting them regularly and I am doing a survey amongst them.
He writes: "I would like to establish a regular research centre for the tribals and urban Anthropology. Having being trained by Fr. Stephen Fuchs I am enthusiastic to put up an Anthropological Centre in this province. There is a lot of work and it is exiting field of cultural Anthropology."
He presented the following papers:
Jon is the
director of TICCS and during the months of September, October and
Ennio taught "Comparative Religion" at the Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne; "Introduction to Melanesian Cultures" and "Introduction to Melanesian Religions" at Good Shepherd College in PNG.
He gave the following courses: a one week course at the Renewal Course in Nemi on "Culture in My Life"; a one week on "Culture in My Life" for the SSpS sisters preparing for perpetual vows; a one week course on "Culture and Our Mission" for the SVD confreres preparing for perpetual vows; a one day input on culture for the Orientation Course of the Salesians in Rome.
Pawlik Jacek Jan
Jack lectures at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn on Anthropology, Missiology and Science of Religion; in the Divine Word Seminary in Pieniezno on Science of Religion.
He presented the following papers at different symposia:
With Students of the Association of Cultural Anthropology in August he organized the 2nd International Workshop of Cultural Dialogue, Nysa.
Joachim is director of the Anthropos Institut Sankt Augustin and rector of the Hochschule where he is also professor of systematic theology. He is member of the editorial staff of Anthropos and is responsible for the websites of the Institute and of the Hochschule.
Darius is lecturing at the Divine Word College, Epworth, IA, USA, where he taught the following courses:
He developed a brand new course "Positivism-Modernity-Cultural Change."
Antoon submitted to the National Archives of Manila a year long research study of 185 pages, entitled: "The 'Repoblacion' of Mindoro Island, and Corregidor Nicolas de Torres: A.D. 1800-1825", describing the efforts to repopulate Mindoro that had been abandoned due to the Moro Raids. It includes the oldest detailed description of the Mangyans, and their relationship with the lowland population.
Throughout 2004 he has been rechecking and proofreading the 4 volumes (1600 pages) of KULTURA MANGYAN, a handbook of Mangyan Culture, sponsored by the Toyota Foundation, containing a description of the Culture in its various aspects, illustrated by a Mangyan artist with B/W drawings. This is preparation for a printing of 2000 copies in 2005.
March-April: Preparation for, and execution of an in-depth Cultural Presentation of the Mangyans, organized and sponsored by the Philippine Cultural Center, performed grandly and with much dedication. Many Mangyans participating and performing, completely recorded with videotape.
May; Preparation and submission to the Toyota Foundation of application for funding of the printing of 2000 copies of KULTURA MANGYAN, written in Mangyan and Tagalog.
June: Attending conferences, with Mangyan experts, on the Cultural Riches of Tribal Filipinos.
July: Preliminary Study on the geographic names occurring in the oldest Tagalog dictionaries.
August: Survey on the possible publication of the oldest Span.-Tagalog manuscript Dictionary available. He is willing to undertake it, without setting immediate deadlines but within a period of tow years, with regular reporting on its progress, Starting with Dec. 2004.
Sept-Dec. Started working on the "Vocabulario-Project", and finished drafts for letters A - C. For Submission to qualified linguists and lexicographers, cooperating with this Project. It is expected that a Wealth of Cultural Data will be made available in this way.
Anton is the review editor of Anthropos and lectures in ethnology at the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule.
He contributed the following entries to A. Grabner-Haider und K. Prenner (Hrsg.), Religionen und Kulturen der Erde. Ein Handbuch. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. 2004: Nordasien, pp. 208-216; Ozeanien, pp. 249-256; Südostasien, pp. 227-236; Zentralasien, pp. 217-226.
He contributed book reviews to Anthropology & Mission.
Roger lectures at CTU, Chicago, and published:
Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today. Authored with Stephen Bevans, SVD. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004.
Together with Stephen Bevans revised and updated "Mission Statement of the Chicago Province: A Commentary." Chicago Province of the Society of the Divine Word, 2004.
Wrote a book review: Church in the Service of Asia's People. Kavunkal, et. al., eds. Missiology 32, 3 (2004) 396-397.
He participated with Tony Gittins in the Pre-OTP Seminar at Catholic Theological Union.
He gave a paper "Sending Forth in Mission" at the Institute of Religious Formation (IRF)
He further gave the following presentations:
Michael teaches at the state University, Mumbai. He took part in and delivered papers and the following seminars:
Book Review: Rapt in the Name: The Ramnamis, Ramnam, and Untouchable Religion in Central India. Albany: State University of New York Press. Reviewed in: Asian Folklore Studies. Vol. LXIII-1, 2004, p.161-162.
Philippus it the rector of the major seminary in Ledalero which may well be the largest major seminary in the Roman Catholic Church.
He is also the ASPAC coordinator for formation and recently organised and chaired the zonal meeting of the formators in Cebu, Philippines, in November.
He was able to publish his doctoral theses in the Studia Instituti Anthropos series, No 50. Longing for the House of God, Dwelling in the House of the Ancestors. Local Belief, Christianity, and Islam Among the Kéo of Central Flores. xxi + 366 pp.
John is preparing material for publication from his rich collection of PNG data and he is working on several publications which he hopes to have in the press in the near future.
In the winter term 2003/2004 and summer term 2004, though on sabbatical, he lectured on: "Religions of nonliterate peoples" (8 hours) in the Institute of Religious Studies at Gorodok (Ukraine), and on: "Introduction to the anthropology of religion" (30 hours) in the SVD Major Seminary at Pieniezno (Poland).
He lectured and participated in various academic conferences:
Franco gave various input at the three-week Orientation Course for expatriate church workers in PNG; a Seminar to National Church-workers. He also gave various presentations at the Austrian Volunteers meeting (Horizont 3000) and at SVD District Meetings in Madang, Par and Mount Hagen.
From February till April he conducted field research in New Caledonia and Vanuatu on Modernization Processes and Religious Revival in Oceania, Research Project of the Pacific Theological College, Suva, Fiji, directed by Dr. Manfred Ernst and by the end of August he had the reports ready.
He participated in the research on Sorcery in PNG. Pilot project in Chimbu. This involved gathering of data and a Workshop with 20 participants, mostly from Chimbu and he also took part in a two day symposium in preparation for ASPAMIR 2005 in Madang, with topic: Mission and Violence.
Anthropos Institut Sankt Augustin
The Anthropos Institut Sankt Augustin is very much involved in the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule of Sankt Augustin, providing not only lecturers but its rector as well.
In spite of these commitments Anthropos 99.2004 has punctually appeared; it has 738 pages with 24 full articles and 121 book reviews.
Studia Instituti Anthropos produced a new volume: Philippus Tule, Longing for the House of God, Dwelling in the House of the Ancestors, Local Belief, Christianity, and Islam Among the Kéo of Central Flores. xxi + 366 pp.
Collectanea Instituti Anthropos shows a new publication as well: Berthold Riese (Hrsg.) Crónica Mexicayotl. Die Chronik des Mexikaertums des Alonso Franco, des Hernado de Alvarado Tezozomocund des Domingo Francisco de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauthkhuanitzin. Aztekischer Text ins Deutsce übersetzt und erklärt. 425 pp.,ill.
Anthropology & Mission appeared with twenty seven book reviews and nine summaries of articles.
The confreres Fr. Alexander Rödlach and Fr. Dariusz Piwowarcyk have accepted to be eventually transferred to the Anthropos Institute Sankt Augustin and together with Fr. Ivan Lobo, who is completing his anthropological studies at Heidelberg, will as Fr. Piepke writes, "build the new editorial team." The process of handing over the responsibilities might begin already next year and be completed by 2008 when Ivan finishes his studies.
The director, John Kirby, writes:
The MA Programmes did not begin as planned due to various complications outside of the Institute's control.
There are now more than 19,000 books on the shelves of the library and more and more people around Ghana are discovering this great resource.
TICCS is still waiting for the official report of the National Accreditation Board concerning our status for offering postgraduate studies. There is assurance that all will be resolved 'successfully' in the New Year.
TICCS is awaiting the official corroboration of their new status as an institution under the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province (all the combined dioceses of Northern Ghana).
TICCS Seminars are being re-issued in a new format bound in book form, with an attractive glossy cover, rather than the spiral notebook style. The 2nd edition of African Traditional Religion: Applications to Christian Ministry and Development is now available from our bookstore.
TICCS Seminars were temporarily discontinued from 2001 to 2003 because
lack of staff and in 2004 because of lack of funding. They will continue
The Dreikoenigsaktion Study Tour took place from the 4th of July to the 3rd August 2004; some 14 persons (13 women and 1 man) participated in it.
The relatively small but committed members of the Dagbani Proverbs Project continue to meet regularly at TICCS on one Saturday each month. The present task involves going through the Sunday lectionary readings and searching for Dagbani proverbs that help exemplify and support the Bible teachings in these three readings. From the original collection of 1,400 proverbs we now have a collection of almost 3,000 proverbs.
It has been four years since TICCS has been able to run a regular 4-week Introduction Course. We have reduced the offerings to twice a year (February & September) but even so we usually get only about three or four participants for each-and then we end up dropping the course because we need to run it cost effectively.
This year the SVD Introduction to Pastoral Year took place from mid-August to mid-September in order to wait for the return of Fr. Kofi from homeleave. The participants included both second year and third year students of St. Victors Seminary in order to make up our quota of ten. As was decided earlier, the course stuck to the cross-cultural communication material and left out the material on culture-learning and cultural analysis. We hope to present the cultural analysis material next year and then alternate between the programme for language-learning and that for culture-learning.
The director, Nick de Groot, writes:
The purpose of the Melanesian Institute is to serve firstly the churches, - Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran and United - in PNG and Solomon Islands, but also to promote Christian values and human development in the country in general. This service is carried out by means of research, teaching and publications.
With the research we aim to study in a deep and broad way the Melanesian socio-cultural context, both in its traditional and changing forms by means of Theology, Anthropology, Sociology, and other related disciplines. We aim to discover by these studies the significant Melanesian themes and issues, which enhance or hinder the life of the people. We want to promote not merely the study of Anthropology or other human sciences as such, but use them to promote and support Christian integral human development. In our analysis, we need to look at the social structures and customs of Government, churches and other institutions within the cultures.
We want to continue to communicate by means of courses, lectures, workshops and publications, the reflection on these significant issues, the awareness of negative forces and movements in society, and to encourage a response towards peace and justice for all.
We promote all of these endeavours in ecumenical dialogue and cooperation as a witness to the basic message of the gospel so that the Christian churches might better carry out Christ's Mission.
We endeavoured to finish the "Land and Churches" study with the publication of two POINT volumes, one on the philosophy and history of lands issues and the second one on case studies and analysis of indicators. Both of these books have been published and well received. Some work has been done on publicising the material and giving courses on the results but more could be done.
For 2002 to 2004 we have been involved in the preparation and participation of the General Assembly studies of the Catholic Church in PNG. This involved preparation of a booklet of topics for discussion, the translation into pidgin, the gathering of the resulting data and initial presentations at the Assembly gathering at Rabaul, last July 2004. This study is still ongoing as the data comes in from each of the 19 Catholic Dioceses. This is a project of the Institute as a whole.
We have also had a workshop of the Anglican church of Papua New Guinea (ACPNG) and the Anglican Board of Missions (ABM) from Australia who are receiving funds from Ausaid for the development projects in PNG. The MI was asked to help in the negotiations and setting up the projects for the best service in PNG. The three areas of service are: Education, Health and HIV/AIDS. Two meetings have taken place, more are to follow.
After an initial study of local cultural perceptions of the causes of the disabled in the Wosera area of the Sepik, PNG, the results were written up and disseminated.
The re-evaluation of our publications is still on going. We are looking into the possibility of providing the material on CD rather than all in print because of the huge costs involved if we are to print 500 or 1,000 copies without having the material going out to subscribers.
We have started another research project, which was requested by the church members as well as Government institutions, on the topic of Sorcery and Witchcraft in PNG.
The Second area of research will be the cooperation with the Callan project on culture and the disabled. The MI will not be in charge of it and the final details still need to be worked out and put in contract form, but the project as such has been accepted.
A third area of research that according to time frame is nearly finished is the study of New Religious Movements in Melanesia. Frs. Franco Zocca and Philip Gibbs are the representatives from the MI working in cooperation with Dr. Manfred Ernst, author of Winds of Change. Fr. Zocca spent two months in New Caledonia and Vanuatu to do field research there, and Fr. Gibbs was responsible for collecting the material in PNG. The results will be published in book form early next year. There is still a lot of extra information that does not fit in the limited pages that were allowed for each country. We expect to use and publish that in our own publications of MI.
Other areas of research are the situation of the refugees of West Papua presently living across the border in PNG, and the area of inculturation and form of spirituality as it happens at the grass roots in Enga.
The results of these studies will be published in suitable form first of all, but then used in the various workshops and lectures that we are asked to conduct around the country.
Orientation courses for expatriate church workers are still in constant demand. Every January we have a three-week course, but we are now ready to extended the clientele to include other churches and other NGOs also during this time. Other cultural orientation courses are still being given to groups who organise it for themselves and invite one or two staff from the MI. This is largely to save on costs for travelling but they lose on the mixture of participants and use of all the staff at the MI.
For the last two years and again this year, we have conducted a special course for National Church Workers, male and female. This course tries to deal with the special cultural issues and problems as they come up for local church workers: issues of ancestral spirits, violence in the community, traditional religions, leadership, inculturation and others.
Birthdays and Jubilees
This year Klaus Weiland will be seventy, Jon Kirby sixty while Zdzislaw Kupisinski and Piotr Nawrot will be fifty. Ad multos annos to all of you.
Luis Luzbetak will celebrate his 65 years in vows, Günther Gessinger, Hermann Hochegger and Adrej Bronk their fifty years, Othmar Gächter and James Eisig forty years. Congratulations to all of you.
Hugo Huber and Louis Luzbetak will celebrate their sixty years as priest and Henryk Zimon forty. Congratulations!