by Bento D'souza
OXFORD-ENGLAND, DECEMBER 5, 2014: Inculturation as seen in the perspective of 16th century, viz, a lecture on evangelisation strategies took place on Saturday, November 29, in the Aula at Blackfriars, St Giles, Oxford, England from 9:15a.m. to 12 noon, followed by lunch.
Bartolome de las Casas, op, the Dominican missionary of the 16th century was an early pioneer of inculturation and the Las Casas Institute in Oxford organized a half day seminar which was centred on one of the first experiments in inculturation on the Indian subcontinent. The seminar explored the strategies of European encounters with non-European populations and focused on the work of Jesuit Thomas Stephens and his work the 'Kristapurana' which is based on his encounter with the Hindu world of the 16th century.
Fr. Nelson Falcao SDB, the author of a recent translation of the 'Kristapurana', gave a presentation on the text and its reception in 16th century India. The panellists then addressed some of the important issues related to the inculturation in the Indian subcontinent including understanding new cultures, adapting western thinking and concepts to novel environments, the role of theology, philosophy and the arts in inculturation.
The conference went off very well. The main organizers felt it was an excellent seminar; one of the three who responded from Australia, said, "We need more of it." These were the responses to the presentation and work.