Category Archives: Enculturation
The end result of all good enculturation is described for us in the Scriptures:
- Zechariah 12:10 – And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
- John 19:37 – And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
- Apocalypse 1:7 – Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
The Immaculate Virgin Mother of God is singled out in Genesis 3:15 as one to do battle over against Satan. She does that maternally with us, placing us – of every tribe and tongue and people and nation and, dare I say, culture – before the wounds our Warrior, her Divine Son, Christ Jesus. No exceptions. Mary is the leader in enculturation because she simply places us before Christ’s goodness and truth and kindness and truth and love and truth. Being with Jesus, God, cuts through all cultural expressions of whatever madness. Look at her and tell me it isn’t true. Can’t do it, can you?
Seriously, that reaches across cultural “boundaries” does it not?
God Himself, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, that touches even fallen human hearts unless they have totally given themselves over to Satan purposely.
An Australian hyphenated priest I know, he being a hyphenated as a priest–anthropologist, traveled to South Dakota to do up some anthropology of coming-of-age ceremonies, perhaps some sort of enculturation attempt for the sacrament of Confirmation.
One of the Sioux guys brought him way out in a field where they came upon a half-rotted Bison carcass. The Sioux guy told the priest guy to cut open the carcass and remove the huge liver. This would involve widely separating the rib-cage, digging around the organs at full arm length, and letting the liver slide over oneself in all its stench. The priest was then told to slice a good chuck off of it, and eat it raw. He did. The Sioux guy almost died trying to hold in his laughter, finally admitting that they never did such a thing.
Look, no one likes condescending academic types pandering with all the sycophancy they can muster. It’s so disgusting. It’s so creepy. It’s so self-congratulatory. The priest guy was enculturating anything but himself.
For me, I would rather have the anointing and then Holy Communion…
Those of every tribe, tongue, people and nation will look upon Him whom we have all pierced on the Cross of our redemption and salvation. All people want Jesus’ love and truth and sacraments. Not bullied cleverness. The ones mocking condescending religio-anthropologists are the indigenous themselves. As is only right. There are lots of stories like this that I’ve run across. There’s no limit to condescension.
Summary: there’s nothing mysteriously credible about religio-anthropologists just because they are brave to dumb-down and even reject Christianity and Catholic truth, Catholic morality, Catholic liturgy. If there’s a condescending bully who needs to be called out, do it. And go ahead and use your imagination. Make them eat rotting liver. ;-)