Story-Telling, Imagination and God-Talk
Rev. Fr. Michael O. Ekpenyong in this work titled Story-telling, Imagination and God-talk sums up the importance of stories as tools employed in delivering the message of the Christian Bible and other cultures. What are stories? They are oral or written accounts of past events or incidents, whether real, imagined or invented. They are veritable means of keeping historical records and effecting communication to the audience, in this modem world of print and electronic media, as well as oral tradition. Indeed without stories, the world of human interaction will be drab, mechanical and in fact, come to a standstill. It remains the major medium of bringing up the child, keeping the tradition alive and handing over the same from one generation to another. It has worked from the beginning and shall continue to thrive, since it is impossible to capture all human behaviour and actions in written or pictorial accounts.
Story language when used for illustration during homily unfolds the intention of the speaker and elicits the responses of self-appraisal and self-renewal in the listener, regardless of whether the story used is true or merely symbolic. The author
illustrates the power of story in the Revelation where God revealed what was to happen to the Church, through vision, and the message got to the believers through a written story. Christ himself, during his ministry on earth, gave sermons by way of story-telling, making use of parables which were anchored on the traditions and culture of the people of that time.
The book is indeed timely and opportune. In contemporary times, when commercialization is taking a heavy toll, even in matters of religion, there are too many stories and too many of them are false stories. We need story-tellers who will bring us closer to God by telling us about everyday things of life and linking the same to God’s will and not man’s will. The text is a must for the clergy and the laity, for the African and non-African, for the avid reader and the casual reader; and as well for the most Sophisticated in information technology and for the oral traditionalist. It provides a meeting point for the ancient and the modem, with all the issues and arguments raised laced up in good logic. The priest, the intellectual and proclaimer has spoken. Let all those who really care to listen, internalize the good news and spread the same. Listen to a man who has written from belief, from education, training and experience.
Dr. L.I. Ofoegbu (KSM)
Director of Education
Chapter 1:Two Story Traditions, One World
Chapter 2: Theological Renewal: The Call to Research into Science and Culture
Chapter 3:What is Story and Story-Telling? Science
Chapter 4: Story: Implicit Theology?
Chapter 5: Story and Imagination
Chapter 6: Story and Other Narrative Forms
Chapter 7: The Philosophical-Theological Approach
in Story Theology: Limits and Possibilities
Chapter 8:Concluding Reflections: Go Tell Everyone
the Stories of God
MSGR Michael Ekpenyong
Michael Otto Ekpenyong is a Catholic Priest who holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy and Doctorate Degree in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University Pittsburg, U.S.A. At the Catholic Secretariate of Nigeria, he served at the Secretary General for a couple of years. In September 2012, he was appointed Papal Chamberline (Chaplain to the Holy Father) by his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. He is the author of Story telling Imagination and God-Talk (2002) and Beware of gods (2005), The John and the Paul in John Paul II (2010) and much more which can be accessed here.
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