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MIAS Logo      Maryknoll Institute of African Studies      MIAS Logo

2003-2006 STUDENTS' FIELD RESEARCH PROJECTS
AND ABSTRACTS OF APPROVED MA THESES

African Students Interviewing in the Field

All Field Research projects are based on forty hours of professional-style field work in and about Nairobi directed by lecturers and facilitated by Kenyan university graduates trained as field assistants. The field assistants work with students on a one-to-one basis making contacts, translations, explanations and interviews. The field research is written up in a required fifteen page research/integration paper on file at the MIAS library.

 

2005/2006 ACADEMIC YEAR FIELD RESEARCH PROJECTS

 SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER SEMESTER COURSES

COURSE: Contemporary Political and Economic Realities in Kenya

 Topics Researched:  

  • The Role of Colonialism in Shaping the Present Economic Patterns in Kenya. (Evarist Bikorwomuhangi, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • The Impact of NARC Government's Free Primary Education on Teachers in Kenya.  (Joseph Kinyuru, Kenyan)

  • Post-Independence Political Space and how Kenyan Women have Utilized it. (Rita Njau, Kenyan)

  • The Role of Provincial Administration in the Contemporary Political Economy of Kenya: A Critical Perspective.  (Kapis Owuor, Kenyan)

  • Colonialism's Role in the Residential Demarcation of Nairobi City.  (Cyril Papa, Kenyan)

  • Over-Concentration of State Power as a Central Theme in the Kenya Constitutional Review Process.  (Joseph Wasonga, Kenyan)

 

COURSE: Moral Teachings and Practices of African Traditional Religion

 Topics Researched:  

  • Morality Among the Agikuyu and the Modern Changes. (Justin Atit, Sudanese, Kenya Resident)

  • The Driving Force of African Morality.  (Girmay Berhane, Eritrean, Kenya Resident)

  • African Morality in the Traditional and Contemporary Society: The Case of the Agikuyu of Kenya.  (Evarist Bikorwomuhangi, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • The Role of Folk Tales in Moral Formation in Kibera Slums.  (Stephanie Chan Shin-ying, Chinese, Kenya Resident)

  • Decline of Respect Towards Elders in the Contemporary African Society.  (Beatrice Gachaiya, Kenyan)

  • Effects of Formal Education on the Agikuyu Morality.  (Rita Njau, Kenyan)

  • Changing African Morals: A Case Study of the Akamba People of Kenya.  (Leonard Oketch-okumu, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • Culture Morality and Development: A Study in the Persistence of Levirate Union with Reference to the Luo Community of Kenya. (Kapis Owuor, Kenyan)

  • Female Circumcision: The Ethical Debate to Keep or Abolish the Cut. (Gregor Schmidt, German, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: Justice and Peace in East Africa

 Topics Researched:  

  • The Place of African Culture in the Work of Upper Hill Catholic Parish's Justice and Peace Commission.  (Girmay Behrane, Eritrean, Kenya Resident)

  • Security as a Fundamental Human Right in Modern and Traditional Africa: The Case of Ongata Rongai.  (Evarist Bikorwomuhangi, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • The Waning Authority of the Njuri Ncheke in Resolving Land Disputes in the Greater Meru Region  (Joshua Igweta Gatimu, Kenyan)

  • The Role of Elders in Maintaining Peace: A Case Study in the Luo Community.  (Richard Ng'ong'a, Kenyan)

  • The Role of Rwandese Women in Peace Building in Post-Genocide Rwanda.  (Rita Njau, Kenyan)

  • Insecurity and Voting Patterns in Kenyan Urban Constituents: Case Study of Embakasi Constituency.  (Cyril Papa, Kenyan)

  • Conflict Resolution Methods at the Communal Level Among the Agikuyu and Luhyia Communities.  (Perla Rivera, American, Kenya Resident)

 

COURSE: African Culture: An Overview

 Topics Researched:  

  • A Comparison of Initiation in the Traditional African Setting and the Process of Initiation in Religious Houses of Formation in the Christian Tradition. (Liam Finnerty, Irish)

  • Changing Patterns of Family Life Among Low Income Nairobi Inhabitants.  (Francois Richard, French, Zambia Resident)

  • Marriage Institution: An Investigation into the Come-We-Stay relationship. (Beatrice Gachaiya,  Kenyan)

  • The Influence of FM Radio Stations on Cultural Change in Nairobi.  (Joseph Kinyuru, Kenyan)

  • African Views of the Supernatural.  (Anna Minja, Tanzanian,Kenya Resident)

  • The Meaning of Death/Burial in African Culture in Reference to Luhyia (Abanyala) and Akamba People.  (Mathias Onalo, Kenyan)

  • Changing Patterns in the Consumption of Indigenous Foods: Case Study of the Maasai and Agikuyu Communities of Kenya  (Cyril Papa, Kenyan)

  • Contemporary Beliefs about Witches and Witchcraft in Kenya. (Gregor Schmidt, German, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: African Christian Theology

 Topics Researched:  

  • The Concept of Death Among the Luo and its Interlink with Christian Concept. (Justin Atit, Sudanese, Kenya Resident)

  • Christology of some African Instituted Churches.  (Francois Richard, French, Zambia Resident)

  • What makes the Bible Attractive to African People Especially in Nairobi City. (Denis Katusiime, Ugandan,  Kenya Resident)

  • Priority Issues in Contemporary African Studies: A Case for African Christian Theology.  (Kapis Owuor, Kenyan)

  • Incorporation and Modification of the African Cosmology Among Christians.  (Gregor Schmidt, German, Kenya Resident)

 

 JANUARY - APRIL SEMESTER COURSES

COURSE: African Culture: An Overview

 Topics Researched:  

  • Ker Leadership and the Modern Changes in the Luo Community. (Justin Atit Ireneo, Sudanese, Kenyan Resident)

  • Traditional Ways of Educating Girls Among the Kikuyu and Luhyia: A Case Study of Nairobi.  (Emmanuel Bazimaziki, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • The Challenge of Enculturation for AIDS Orphans: A Study of Selected Institutions in Nairobi, Kenya. (Mary Brenda, American, Kenya Resident)

  • The Impact of Western Clothes to Traditional Clothing Among Nubians and Luhyias in Kibera.  (Angela Brunner- Artho, Swiss, Kenya Resident)

  • The Impact of Urbanization on Some African Values: A Study Among Luhyias and Gikuyus in Nairobi - Kenya. (Martin Brunner-Artho, Swiss, Kenya Resident)

  • Perceptions of Kenyan Education. (Laurie Collins, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • Major Changes in Family Life in Kenya and their Effects on Children. (Eamonn Piaras MacLochlainn, Irish, Kenya Resident)

  • Spinsterhood in the Contemporary African Society. (Catherine Kisasa Muthonde, Kenyan)

  • Changes in the perception of the Creator God Among the Agikuyu. (Stefano Tassinari, Italian, Kenya Resident)

 

COURSE: African Traditional Religion Interprets the Bible

 Topics Researched:  

  • How Biblical Stories have Endeared Africans Towards Christian Faith: Responses from Nairobi Christians. (Dan Amolo, Kenyan)

  • Comparative Study on Some Religious Concepts in Both the Bible and the Kamba Religion. (Justin Ireneo Atit, Sudanese, Kenya Resident)

  • The Luhyia Male Initiation Rites: Dialogue Between African Traditional Rites of Initiation and the Christian Sacraments of Initiation - An African Approach to a Meaningful Catechesis. (Charles Awotwi, Ghanaian,  Kenya Resident)

  • The Family in the Bible and African Tradition: A Case Study of Luhyia of Western Kenya Living in and Around Nairobi.  (Emmanuel Bazimaziki, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • The Value of Children in Luhyia Marriage and Old Testament Stories: A Challenge to Urban Luhyia Family. (Emmanuel Edet, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Use of the Bible in Parenting. (Beatrice Gachaiya, Kenyan)

  • Marriage as a rite of Passage Among the Gikuyu. (Joseph Kinyuru Mwongi, Kenyan)

  • Belief in Witchcraft and Kikuyu People: Possible Transformation in them. (Anna Minja, Tanzanian, Kenya Resident)

  • Parenting as Found in the Kamba Community and in the Bible. (Catherine Kisasa Muthonde, Kenyan)

  • Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage and Funerals as Catholic Rites of Passage. (Leonard Oketch-Okumu, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • Evil and Salvation in African Religion and Christianity. (Gregor Schmidt, German, Kenya Resident)

 

COURSE: Sociology of Development/Underdevelopment in African Religion

 Topics Researched:  

  • What is Development: Responses from Nairobi Residents. (Dan Amolo, Kenyan)

  • The Role of Extended Families in Development: A Study of Satellite. (Evarist Bikrwomuhangi, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • Perceptions of Development Among Women Groups. (Beatrice Gachaiya,  Kenyan)

  • Integral Education and Development: A Case Study of Kibera - Nairobi.  (Rosemary Ngumu, Kenyan)

  • Perceptions of Development in Kenyan Urban Towns: A Case Study of Nairobi City. (Cyril Papa, Kenyan)

  • Community Policing: Patterns of Collaboration Between Community and Police in the Fight against Crime in Ongata Rongai. (Simon Wachira Wahiu, Kenyan)

  • From Dependency to Self Reliance: A Case Study of Korogocho - Nairobi. (Gregor Schmidt, German, Kenya Resident)

 

COURSE: Moral Teachings and Practices of African Traditional Religion

 Topics Researched:  

  • Relevance of Traditional African Moral Values in the Contemporary African Christian Marriage. (Andrew Lujuo, Tanzanian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Role of African Traditional Education in the Moral and Spiritual Development of the Child Among the Maasai of Ngong.  (Paul Mark Luseni, Sierra Leonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Trust and Accountability in African Culture. (Eamonn Piaras MacLochlainn, Irish, Kenya Resident)

  • Encounter Between African Traditional Moral Formation and Formation to the Catholic Religious Life: A Case Study of the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi.   (Sr. Rosemary Ngumu, Kenyan)

 

COURSE: Justice and Peace in East Africa

 Topics Researched:  

  • The Feasibility of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for the Sudan. (Justin Ireneo Atit, Sudanese, Kenya Resident)

  • Efficacy of African Traditional Method if Family Dispute Resolution/Settlement: A Case Study of the Luhyia Living in and Around Nairobi. (Emmanuel Bazimaziki, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • NARC Conflicts: Genesis, Perpetuating Factors and the Implications for the Leadership of Kenya. (Joseph Gitau, Kenyan)

  • A Study on Forms, Causes and Effects of the Girl Child Abuse in Urban Slums: A Case Study of Kawangware. (Christine Masya, Kenyan)

  • Violation of Women Rights Seen from an African Perspective. (Gregor Schmidt, German, Kenya Resident)

 

COURSE: Sage Philosophy: The Root of African Philosophy and Religion

 Topics Researched:  

  • Wisdom and the Youth. (Stephanie Chan, Chinese,  Kenya Resdent)

  • The Centrality of Truth as a Fundamental Value Among the Agikuyu. (Joseph Kinyuru Mwongi, Kenyan)

  • The Effects of Gender Roles on the Development of Agikuyu Women Sages. (Rita Njau,  Kenyan)

  • Concept of Kabaka in the Leadership of Buganda Kingdom.  (Joseph Ntale, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • Role of a Sage in Kenya Urban Societies: A Case Study of the Luo Community in Nairobi. (Cyril Papa, Kenyan)

  • Leadership in Environmental Care in Kenya. (Russell Peters, Australian, Kenya Resident)

 

JUNE IMMERSION COURSES

COURSE: African Culture: An Overview

 Topics Researched:  

  • The Impact of Modern Transport System on African Culture.  (Andrea Nicodemo, Eritrea, Kenya Resident)

  • The Communal Character of Leadership in Traditional African Context. (Charles Brock, American)

  • Polygamy Among the Luo People: Case Study of Luo's in Kibera Slum. (Alejandro Cisneros, Mexican, Kenya Resident)

  • Children Among the Gikuyu: A Blessing or Curse?  (Stembridge Maimbo, Zambian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Influence of Urbanization in the Decline of Childhood Moral Formation Among Maasai Youth.  (Leonard Oketch-Okumu, Ugandan,  Kenya Resident)

  • Entrepreneurship in the Luhyia Culture.  (Gloriose Sakubu, Burundian, Kenya Resident)

  • Cultural Significance of Food Among the Akamba.  (Lilian Uche, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • Reflections on Religious Themes Between the Kikuyu and Christianity. (Richard Wehrmeyer, American, Kenya Resident)

 COURSE: African Traditional Religion Interprets the Bible

 Topics Researched: 

  • The Family in African Tradition and in the Biblical Perspectives: A Case Study of the Luhyia.  (Rosemary Ngumu, Kenyan)

  • The Concept of Evil Among the Akamba People.  (Mary W. Sebastian, Kenyan)

  • Christian Outreach in Nairobi City: A Case study of Nairobi's Mission Related Protestant Churches.  (Emmanuel Likoko Sikuku, Kenyan)

  • Music in the African Catholic Church: Toward a Fusion of Cultural Experience. (Patrick O'Shea, American)

  

COURSE: Contemporary Political and Economic Realities in Kenya

 Topics Researched:  

  • Ethnicity Versus Nationhood: The Kenyan Experience ... Views from the Nairobi Metropolitan Residents. (Dan Amolo, Kenyan)

  • Age Set Antagonism as a Factor of Political Change Among the Kipsigis of Kenya. (David Kiprono Cheruiyot, Kenyan)

  • Traditional Leadership Among the Nandi Ethnic Group. (Francis Kimani, Kenyan)

  • Is there a Need and Desire for a New Political Party to Represent the Nubians of Kibera? (Damian George Martell, British, Kenya Resident)

  • Factors Destroying Effective Leadership Today. (Catherine Kisasa Muthonde, Kenyan)

 

COURSE: Towards the Inculturation of Religious Life in Africa

 Topics Researched:  

  • Religious Community in an African Context: The Challenge to be One-Hearted. (Sabina Amaguru, Ugandan)

  • Religious Life as Marriage: Towards Inculturating Traditional African Marriage Values into Christian Religious Life. (Joseph Efanga Archibong, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Causes of Conflict in Religious Communities. (Emmanuel Bazimaziki, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • Kinship Obligation/Solidarity in Africa: An Attempt at Inculturating Religious Life Today. (Emmanuel Edet, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • At Home in Religious Life. (Francis Hall, British)

  • Relations Between Ex-Religious and their Former Religious Communities: Charity and Justice. (Marius Jiodio, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Relating Among African Families and Religious Communities: A Comparative Study of African Families in Kibera and Religious Communities in Lang'ata. (Julius Ambrose, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • Towards a Pedagogy of Accompaniment and Participation of the Families of Religious. (Kevin Kraft, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Sociological and Incarnational Considerations in Inculturation. (Rose Macharia, Kenyan)

  • An African Understanding of Sisterhood. (Teresa Mwaniki, Kenyan)

  • A Sense of Belonging in International Communities: An African Perspective. (Urszula Pietrzak, Polish, Kenya Resident)

 

 JULY IMMERSION COURSES

COURSE: African Culture: An Overview

 Topics Researched:  

  • Promotion of Health by Diviners in the Context of African Traditional Spiritual Maturity. (Virginia Egwuchukwu, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • An Exploratory Study on the Luo and Kikuyu Social Mechanisms on Pre-marital Sex in View of the Contemporary Society. (Sophia Wangechi Muchiri, Kenyan)

  • Contrasting the Socialization Process of the African Traditional and Modern Families: A Case Study of the Luhyias. (Apollonia Ibekwe, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • Spending Leisure: The Phenomenon of Nairobi Bar-goers and the Understanding of Leisure. (Julius Thouri Ambrose, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: African Marriage and Family: Challenge and Change

 Topics Researched:  

  • Challenges Facing Mate Selection Among the Kisii Ethnic Group in Kenya. (Amanda Eiman, American)

  • The Emergence of Single Motherhood as a Social Norm in Nairobi Today. (Catherine Kisasa Muthonde, Kenyan)

  • Specific Challenges that African Families are Facing Today. (Rodrigo Ulloa, American)

  • The Contemporary Challenges of Bridewealth Among the Luo People. (Samwel Otieno Sudhe, Kenyan)

  • Levirate Marriage: A Case Study Among the Luhyia in Kenya. (Emmanuel Bazimaziki, Rwandese, Kenya Rsident)

 

COURSE: Justice and Peace in East Africa

 Topics Researched:  

  • Human Rights, Death Penalty and African Culture. (Marius Jiodio, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Democracy, Multipartysim and Ethnic Clientelism in Kenya. (Dan Amolo, Kenyan)

  • African Traditional Law and Justice Systems. (Francis Kimani, Kenyan)

  • Good Governance and African Culture: Some Roots of Corruption in Kenya. (Marie Adele Dennis, American)

  • HIV/AIDS and Justice in African Culture. (Dinh Hung, American, Tanzania Resident)

  • The Effects of Darfur Conflict and Violence on the Local People. (Stembridge Maimbo, Zambian)

  • The Role of the Media in Promoting Human Rights in the Slums: A Case Study of Lang'ata and Kibera Slums. (Joseph Kinyuru Mwongi, Kenyan)

  • Human Rights, Justice and Religious Life. (Teresa Mwaniki, Kenyan)

  • Causes of Conflicts in the African Society and Possible Ways of Resolving them. (Lilian Uche, Nigerian, Kenya Resident) 

 

2004/2005 ACADEMIC YEAR FIELD RESEARCH PROJECTS

 SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER SEMESTER COURSES  

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

 Topics Researched:

  •  Cultural Norms and Customs in the Lives of African Religious.  (Janine E. Coleman, South African)

  •  The Religious Function of Marriage Rituals in Contemporary African Society.  (Raphael Ngong Teh, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Traditional African Religious Values which have been Incorporated into Christianity and Enrich the Lives of African Christians Today.  (Maureen Castello, American)

  • Some Aspects of Cultural Adaptation of Rwandese in Nairobi. (Emmanuel Nsabiyaremye, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • Impact of Drugs and Alcohol on the Youth Sub-Culture of Selected Slum Areas of Nairobi.  (John Olsen, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Hospitality in African Society.  (Epimarck Mkenda, Tanzanian)

  • Traditional African Kinship Relationships as Lived and Experienced today in an Urban Context.  (Richard Nnyombi, Ugandan)

  • Initiation into adulthood for Gikuyu Boys and Girls. (Clement Mulenga, Zambian)

  • Responsible Parenthood in African Culture.  (Mary Pereira, Indian, Kenya resident)

  • “Street Children in Nairobi.”  (Maria Sheila, Indian, Kenya resident)

  • The Family in the African Conception.  (Denis Katusiime, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

 

 COURSE: African Traditional Religion: Major Beliefs, Practices and Contemporary Forms:

 Topics Researched: 

  • Continuity of African Traditional Religion with Special Reference to the Ancestral Beliefs and Practices.  (Richard Nnyombi, Ugandan)

  • The Role of Religious Functionaries with Particular Reference to Medicine People in Contemporary African Society.  (Raphael Ngong Teh, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Adoption as a Religious and Moral Practice in the African Society.  (Mufungizi Mosala, Congolese, Kenya Resident) 

  • Commitment of an African to Catholic Religious Life within African Tradition. (Russell Peters, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • A Study of Four African Communities understanding of Death and Significance of Funeral Rites.  (Loretta Brennan, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • Conflict Resolution Among Rwandese People in Nairobi. (Emmanuel Nsabiyaremye, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • A Comparative Study Between the View of Roles of Ancestors in African Traditional Religion and Korean Traditional Religion. (Sylvia Eunja Lee, Korean)

  • The Role of African Traditional Religion in Environmental Conservation. (Epimarck Mkenda, Tanzanian)

  • The Role of Burundi Women Toward African Traditional Religion. (Gloriose Sakubu, Burundian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Role of Spirits in Healing among the Akamba People.  (Flavian Mwendwa, Kenyan)

 

 COURSE: Sage Philosophy: The Root of African Philosophy and Religion

 Topics Researched: 

  • The Concept of a ‘Person’ in the Traditional African Society.  (Mufungizi Mosala, Congolese, Kenya Resident)

  • Community-Living as a Cherished Value in Africa. (Elzbieta Kowiel, Polish, Kenya Resident)

  • Proverbs for Normative Education: African Wisdom as Enshrined in their Proverbs. (Richard Ng’ong’a, Kenyan)

  • A Person as a Relating Being Rather than a Thinking Being in African Worldview. (Epimarck Mkenda, Tanzanian)

  • The Philosophy Behind African Family Relationships.  (Athanasius Onyoni, Kenyan)

  • Concept of Time Among Africans. (Joshua Ongeta, Kenyan)

  • Home Grown Conflict Management Resolution Among the Kikuyu Community (Girmay Berhane, Eritrean, Kenya Resident)

  • ‘Traditional Rites of Passage’ Their Relevance to Contemporary Problems of our Country: with Reference to Gikuyu Rites of Passage. (Joseph Gitau, Kenyan)

  • An Evaluation of Cultural Issues in the Media Using Sage Philosophy. (Rosemary Wambui Kamau, Kenyan)

  • The Herbalists. (Tobias Mutale, Zambian)

  • There is a lot of Wisdom Among the African People (Sages). (Fred Kenyanya Onchonga, Kenyan)

 

 COURSE: Spirituality, Personhood and Psychotherapy In An African Context 

 Topics Researched: 

  • African Beliefs and Wisdom that can be Compared to or Contrasted with the Christian Religion.  (Janine E. Coleman, South African)

  • The Religious Function of Death Rituals in Contemporary African Society. (Raphael Ngong Teh, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Role of Traditional Medicine Specialists in African Communities.  (Elzbieta Kowiel, Polish, Kenya Resident)

  • Healing in Luo Society: Reconsidering a Holistic Approach to Healing.  (Richard Ng’ong’a, Kenyan)

  • Healing Among the Displaced People: A Case Study of Rwandese Refugees in Nairobi.    (Emmanuel Nsabiyaremye, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • Rituals as Psychotherapy among the Luo of Kenya.  (Mufungizi Mosala, Congolese, Kenya Resident)

  • Attitudes of Religious Leaders (Christians and Muslims) and Government Leaders Towards Traditional Medicine. (Richard Nnyombi, Ugandan)

  • Witchcraft is a Worldwide Evil.  (Fred Kenyanya Onchoga, Kenyan).

 

JANUARY - APRIL SEMESTER COURSES

COURSE: African Culture: An Overview

 Topics Researched:

  • An Outline of Mythical Origins of the Agikuyu Community and its Implications on the Cultural Set up of the Agikuyu Community Today.  (Flavian Mwendwa, Kenyan)

  • The Pre-Christianity Maasai Conception of the Creator God.  (Jose Eudes, Brazilian)

  • Marriage Among the Kisii and Akamba Communities.  (Shaji Kongamalayil, Indian, Kenya Resident)

  • Marriage Among the Luo of Kenya.  (Saji Puthenpurackal, Indian, Kenya Resident)

  • Critical Analysis of Gikuyu Traditional Political Systems and the Contemporary Political System in Kenya.  (Ravi Yerraji, Indian, Kenya Resident)

  • An Overview of the Gikuyu Marriage System.  (Joseph Prameel, Indian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Socio-Cultural Significance of Clitoridectomy among the Agikuyu: Showing How this Significance can be applied Today.   (Rita Njau, Kenyan)

  • Marriage and Family in Contemporary Kenya.  (Perla Rivera, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Challenges of Socializing Children in Contemporary Kenya.  (Joshua Ongeta, Kenyan)

  • The Changing Role and Status of the African Woman in Urban Post-Colonial Era.  (Joseph Gitau, Kenyan).

  • The Challenge of Cultural Loyalty for Urbanized Kikuyu Focused on Initiation. (Jose Valderrama-Alvarez, Indian, Kenya Resident)

 

COURSE: African Christian Theology: Historical and Systematic Development

 Topics Researched: 

  • New Trends in the Development of African Christian Theology with a Kenyan Relevance Today.  (Flavian Mwendwa, Kenyan)

  • The Comparison between Herbalists’ Instruction Way of Healing and Gospel Way of Deliverance for Christians. (Richard Ng’ong’a, Kenyan)

  • Assessment of the Factors that Hindered Inculturation in Africa and a Way Forward.  (Girmay Berhane, Eritrean, Kenya Resident)

  • Africans Response to Womanist Concerns in African Christian Theology.  (Emmanuel Nsabiyaremye, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • African Christian Theology presented as a Reflection to Violence Against Women.  (Epimarck Mkenda, Tanzanian)

COURSE: African Marriage and Family: Challenge and Change

 Topics Researched:  

  • Forms of Bridewealth in Kenya.  (Emmanuel Nsabiyaremye, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • Conflict and Compatibility Between African Customary Marriage and Christian Marriage (Epimarck Mkenda, Tanzanian)

  • An Analysis of Cross ethnic Marriages in Kenya.  (Rita Njau, Kenyan)

  • Towards an Integrative Model of Understanding Culture: A Case study of Marriage among the Agikuyu and Akamba of Kenya.  (Denis Odinga, Kenyan)

  • Cohabitation in Kenya’s Urban Towns: A Case Study of Nairobi City.  (Franklin Carpio, Ecuadorian, Kenya resident)

 

 COURSE: African Traditional Religion Interprets The Bible

 Topics Researched: 

  • A Case Study on Selected Biblical and African Women on the Places and Role of Women in Religious Communities in the Bible and African Tradition. (Rita Njau, Kenyan)

  • The Challenges of Biblical Interpretation in African Religious Formation Houses: A Case Study of the Initial Formation of the Brothers of Christian Instruction, Kisubi Uganda.  (Denis Katusiime, Ugandan)

  • The Place and Role of  Symbols in Religious Communities in the Bible and in the Luo Traditional Society.  (Zachary Kyungu, Congolese, Kenya resident)

  • Incorporation into the Christian Community Today: A Case Study of Embu Naming Practices Vis-à-vis Christian Incorporation Rites.  (Edith Kayeli Chamwama, Kenyan)

  

COURSE: Contemporary Political and Economic Realities in Kenya

 Topics Researched: 

  • Factors that Perpetuate Neo-Colonialism- Ego Underdevelopment in Kenya.  (Joseph Gitau, Kenyan)

  • Political Parties and the Democratic participation of Kenyans in Politics.  (Emmanuel Nsabiyaremye, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • A Brief Study of Civic Education in Kenya in the 1990’s.  (Loretta Brennan, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Impacts of Culture and Colonialism on the Akamba Women Socio-Economic Development Today.  (Flavian Mwendwa, Kenyan)

 

COURSE: Moral Teaching and Practices of African Traditional Religion

 Topics Researched:  

  • The Cycle of Life: The Role of Ancestors in African Ethics and their Relevance in Christianity.  (Nicola Bortoli, Italian, Kenya resident)

  • Red and White: Moral Perspectives in Dinka Reconciliation.  (Alberto Deng Lamana, Spaniard, Kenya resident)

  • The Role of the Agikuyu Oral Tradition in Moral Formation, with Specific Reference to Songs.  (Simon Agak, Kenyan)

  • Rebuilding of Moral Formation in Africa.  (Justine Nwankwo, Cameroonian)

  • The African Moral and Ethical Imperative to Reverence Planet Earth.  (Russell Peters, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Ethics of Taboos in African Society.  (Raphael Ngong Teh, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Ancestors as Watchdogs of Moral Behavior in Africa.  (Clement Mulenga, Zambian)

  • Religio-Ethical Understanding of Peace in the Traditional Agikuyu. (Richard Nnyombi, Ugandan)

  • The Role of African Elders in Maintaining Moral Order in African Society.  (Epimarck Mkenda, Tanzanian)

  • Witchcraft in Moral Education: A Comparative Study in Luo and Bayeke Society.  (Zachary Kyungu, Congolese, Kenya Resident)

  • The Moral Dimension of Naming Customs in the Agikuyu, Luo and Baluba Traditions.  (Patrick Fumbisha, Congolese, Kenya Resident)

JUNE IMMERSION COURSES  

COURSE: African Culture: An Overview

 Topics Researched:  

  • Death as a rite of passage and the present challenges Among the Luo of Kenya. (Evarist Bikorwomuhangi, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • The Living Dead among the Luo People.  (Joseph Shippen, American)

  • Comparison of the Modern and the Traditional Wedding Celebrations of the Kamba Tribe.  (Tuuli Kastemaa, Finish)

  • Naming Systems in African Culture.  (Suzanne Hobby-Shippen, American)

  • The Process and Significance of the Gikuyu Ceremony of “Roracio” (Bride Price) in Modern Africa.  (Francis Kimani, Kenyan)

  • Old Giants Meet: Ancient Catholicism “Discovers” Ancient African Religion.  (Vincent Kuna, American)

  • The Religious Experience of African Christians.  (Stephanie Chan Shin-Ying, Chinese, Kenya Resident)

  • Polygamy.  (Gloria Alvarez, Colombian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Place, Role and Relevance of Herbalists in Contemporary African.  (William Rojano, Ecuadorian, Kenya Resident)

  • Effects of Culture on Education of Women in Kenya.  (Bernadette Munyao, Kenyan)

  • Single Mothers as a Challenge to Society in African Traditional Culture.  (Olga Cristobal, American)

     

     COURSE: African Traditional Religion Interprets the Bible

 Topics Researched: 

  • Towards Understanding the Relationship Between African Christians and the Bible with Particular Reference to Gikuyu of Kenya in Contemporary African Society.  (Raphael Ngong Teh, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Salvation, Healing and Wholeness in Scriptures and African Tradition.  (Martin Sima, Tanzanian, Kenya Resident)

  • Disseminating Cultural Wisdom: What can Bible Translation Agencies Learn From African Ways of Passing on Knowledge.  (Elizabeth Newport, British)

  • The Key Issues Affected the African Family Today: Observations from the Kenyan Context.  (Flavian Mwendwa, Kenyan)

  • Women in the Bible and African Tradition.  (Stephanie Feder, German)

  • Life Beyond Death in African Cultural Perspective and Biblical View.  (Oscar Sutachan, Colombian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Concept of God Among the Kikuyu People.  (Domingo Ramirez, Colombian, Kenya Resident)

        

    COURSE: Contemporary Political and Economic Realities in Kenya

 Topics Researched:  

  • Ethnicity and Political Democracy among Adult Voters in Kayaba Slum of Nairobi and Rural Karatina in Kenya. (Cecilia Nibyobyonka, Ugandan)

  • Critical Success Factors for Handicraft-Focused Women’s Groups in Nairobi: Opportunities and Challenges. (Shelly McCullum, Canadian)

  • Political Conflict in Karura Forest: A Case Study of the 1998-2005 Period. (Russell Peters, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • An Investigation into the Perceptions in Respect to the security of People Towards the Role of an Area Chief in the Modern Kenyan Society: A Case Study of Nairobi.  (Denis Katusiime, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • The Divide Between the Ethnic and National Interest: Case of the Kikuyu Middle Class.  (Marius Jiodio, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Leadership in Contemporary Kenya: Difficulties in Emerging Prophetic Leadership.  (Bafana Hlatshwayo, South African)

     

     JULY IMMERSION COURSES

    COURSE: African Traditional Religion: Major Beliefs, Practices and Contemporary Forms

 Topics Researched:  

  • Concept of God in Africa with Particular Reference to the Akamba and the Agikuyu of Kenya. (Deodita Dias, Indian, Kenya Resident)

  • Blessings as Spiritual Realities in Dinka and Gikuyu Communities.  (Elizabeth Newport, British)

  • Traditional Marriage among the Luo of Kenya.  (Evarist Bikorwomuhangi, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • The Heart of African Prayer.  (Francis Hall, British)

  • The Purpose of Traditional Prayers in Agikuyu Community.  (Martin Sima, Tanzanian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Presentation of African Religious Heritage Through Christian Religious Education Syllabus in Nairobi Secondary Schools.  (Stephanie Chan Shin-ying, Chinese, Kenya Resident)

     

    COURSE: African Marriage and Family: Challenge and Change

 Topics Researched:  

  • African Children and Family Life in Modern Kenya.  (Bafana Hlatshwayo, South African)

  • Urban Influence on the Practice of African Bridewealth.  (Benno Kikudo, Tanzanian)

  • Challenges of Single Motherhood in Contemporary Kenya.  (Bernadette Munyao, Kenyan)

  • The Status of Polygamy in Contemporary Kenya.  (Francis Kimani, Kenyan)

  • Mate Selection in the Akamba and Luyia Communities of Kenya.  (Marius Jiodio, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

     

    COURSE: Justice and Peace in East Africa

 Topics Researched:  

  • Traditional Methods of Peace Restoration in Families and Clans of the Abaluyia and Gikuyu in Kenya.  (Cecilia Nibyobyonka, Ugandan)

  • The Agikuyu Family Values: A Case Study of Lang’ata Constituency.  (Denis Katusiime, Ugandan, Kenya Resident)

  • Distributive Justice from an African Perspective: A Case Study of Lang’ata Constituency.   (Emmanuel Nsabiyaremye, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • The Role of Kikuyu Elders in Maintaining Peace in the Community.  (Epimarck Mkenda, Tanzanian)

  • The Perception of the Concept on Human Rights among Youth in Lang’ata.  (Flavian Mwendwa, Kenyan)

  • Post Colonial Land Settlement: A Road Block to Justice in Kenya.  (Greg Gaut, American)

  • The Critical Socio-Economic Challenges of Human Rights in Kenya Urbanization: A Case Study of Nairobi City.  (Kapis Owuor, Kenyan)

  • Towards Understanding Traditional African Conceptions of Democracy with Particular Reference to the Akamba of Kenya in Contemporary African Society.  (Raphael Ngong Teh, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

 

2003/2004 ACADEMIC YEAR FIELD RESEARCH PROJECTS

SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER SEMESTER COURSES

COURSE: Spirituality and Psychotherapy in an African Context

Topics Researched:

  • Treatment and Healing of the Chemically Addicted Person in the African Context. (John Olsen, American, Kenya Resident)

  • African Understanding of Sickness and Healing. (John Byung-Keun Ahn, Korean, Kenya Resident)

  • The Spirituality of Healing in Africa. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

  • The Rite of Naming Ceremony. (Petronilla Kpanah, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Role of Childhood Rites in Formation and Projection of Personality. (Timothy Gachanga, Kenyan)

COURSE: Sociology of Development/Underdevelopment and African Religion

Topics Researched:

  • Can African Spirituality Ensure and irradiate Development in Africa? (Timothy Gachanga, Kenya)

  • Mystical Power: Is Witchcraft Among the Gusii Community a Challenge to Development? (Richard Ondimu Muma, Kenyan)

  • Kinship System Among the Abagusii. (Fred Kenyanya Onchoga, Kenyan)

  • Church and Development in Kenya: A Case Study of Development/Outreach Initiatives in the Nairobi Environs with Specific Reference to Kibera Slums by Nairobi Baptist Church, Ngong' Road. (Emmy M. Gichinga, Kenyan)

  • Zakat and Its Social -Economic Role in Development. (Shamsia Ramadhan, Kenyan)

  • Divine Commandments and Sacramental Dimension: A Case Study of the Luhyia Community. (Patrick O. Musumba, Kenyan)

COURSE: African Traditional Religion: Major Beliefs, Practices and Contemporary Forms

Topics Researched:

  • The Role of Ancestors in Traditional African Life. (Petronilla Kpanah, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • Levirate Union in the Contemporary Luo Community. (Salmon Akoth Obiero, Kenyan)

  • Views About African Morals and Religion: A case Study of the Members of the Parish Pastoral Team in the Guadalupe Catholic Church. (Xavier Gonzalez, Kenya Resident)

  • Beliefs and Practices Surrounding Health and Medicine in the Gusii Community of South Western Kenya. (Richard Ondimu Muma, Kenyan)

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

Topics Researched:

  • Children and the African Family. (Athanasius Onyoni, Kenyan)

  • An Exploration of the Teachers Perceptions of African Culture. (Timothy Gachanga, Kenyan)

  • The Meaning and Value of Life Expressed in the Rites of Passage Among the Gikuyu People. (Elzbieta Kowiel, Polish, Kenya Resident)

  • Iwa-akwa: The Igbo Rite of Initiation. (Petronilla Kpanah, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • Marriage and Family Among the Agikuyu. (Alice Ndirangu, Kenyan)

  • The Symbolic Meaning of Ritual Shaving Among the Luo. (Girmay Berhane, Eritrean, Kenya Resident)

  • The Rituals Performed at Death by the Luo community. (Salmon Akoth Obiero, Kenyan. 

COURSE: Introduction to East African Art

Topics Researched:

  • The Makonde Family Tree: The Tree of Life. (Marta D. Bennet, American, Kenya Resident)

  • African Marriage: A Case Study of Kamba Community. (Brenda Betty Kiema, Kenyan)

  • Art as an Instrument of Informal Education: Its Impact on Building Professional Skills; An Overview Among the Maasai Community. (Paola Benvenuto, Italian, Kenya Resident)

  • Art in Luo Marriage. (George Otieno Obiero, Kenyan)

 

JANUARY - APRIL SEMESTER COURSES

COURSE: African Traditional Religion: Major Beliefs, Practices and Contemporary Forms

Topics Researched:

  • The Concept of Good and Evil in Abagusii Traditional Society. (Athanasius Onyoni, Kenyan)

  • Punishing Wrong Doing in the Traditional African Society. (Timothy Gachanga, Kenyan)

  • Diviners and Divination System Among the Meru of Mount Kenya. (Elzbieta Kowiel, Polish, Kenya Resident)

  • Manifestations of African Traditional Religion in the Life of Young Christians of Nairobi. (Girmay Berhane, Eritrean, Kenya Resident)

  • Christian Faith Re-interpreted from the African Worldview of African traditional Religion: A  Case Study of Roho Churches in Kenya. (Daniel Obiero Oguso, Kenyan)

  • Ancestors in the Boran Community. (Todd McGregor, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Elements of Eschatology in African Traditional Religion. (Maurice Scheppers, American, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: African Christian Theology

Topics Researched:

  • African Concept of Time: Its Implications on African Theology. (John Byung-Keun Ahn, Korean)

  • Death and After Life in African Christianity. (Richard Ondimu Muma, Kenyan)

  • Spirits and Demon Possession in the African Traditional Belief system and in African Christianity. (Elzbieta Kowiel, Polish, Kenya Resident)

  • The Concepts of God, Christ and Holy Spirit in Christianity in Africa. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

COURSE: Gospel and Culture: The African Experience

Topics Researched:

  • "They Shall Never Die." An Examination of the Surviving Elements of African culture in the Mainline Churches. (Emmy M. Gichinga, Kenyan)

  • Rites of Passage. (Daniel Oguso Obiero, Kenyan)

  • Did the Agikuyu Find Christianity Beneficial than African Religion? (Alice Ndirangu, Kenyan)

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

Topics Researched:

  • A Visitor in African Society. (Mosala Mufungizi, Congolese, Kenya Resident)

  • The Meaning of Bridewealth. (Fred Kenyanya Onchoga, Kenyan)

  • Women's Role and Social Status in Africa. (Sylvia Eunja Lee. Korean, Kenya Resident)

  • Africa-Africas: Traditional Education and Challenges. (Fernando Rui, Angolan, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: Contemporary Political and Economic Realities in Kenya

Topics Researched:

  • Akamba Socio-Economic Organization. (Petronila Kpanah, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • Refugees Crisis in Kenya. (Mosala Mufungizi, Congolese, Kenya Resident)

  • Reasons for Gikuyu Playing a Leading Role in the Struggle for Independence. (Salmon Akoth Obiero, Kenyan)

  • The Effects of Colonialism in Kenya. (Timothy Gachanga, Kenyan)

COURSE: Sage Philosophy: The Root of African Philosophy and Religion

Topics Researched:

  • Luo Communalism. (Petronilla Kpanah, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • Sage Philosophy on Death Among Luo Community of Kenya. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

  • Sages and African Proverbs the Philosophy of Welcoming: Solidarity. (Richard Ondimu Muma, Kenyan)

  • Children Taboos as a Source and Conduit of African Philosophy. (Timothy Gachanga, Kenyan)

  • Elders and Sages. (Loretta Brennan, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • Understanding Leadership: African Beliefs. (Fernando Rui, Angolan, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: Justice and Peace in East Africa

Topics Researched:

  • Agikuyu Conflict Management and Resolution. (Petronilla Kpanah, Nigerian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Peace Traditions Among Refugees in Kenya. (Mosala Mufungizi, Congolese, Kenya Resident)

  • Kenya Women in Democratization Process. (Salmon Akoth Obiero, Kenyan)

  • Protecting Our Children: Understanding the Needs of Urban Refugee Children and their Families. (Melissa Browning, American, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: African Marriage and Family: Challenge and Change

Topics Researched:

  • Issues Surrounding African Polygamy Based on the Gusii Community of South Western Kenya. (Richard Ondimu Muma, Kenyan)

  • Sororate Marriage Among Ethnic Communities in Kenya. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

  • The Meaning of Bridewealth in Traditional African Marriage. (George Busieka, Kenyan)

  • The Single-Woman Family Phenomenon Among the Africans in Kenya. (Phylis Muraya, Kenyan)

  • Marital Violence: Sources and Effects. (Fernando Rui, Angolan, Kenya Resident)

JUNE IMMERSION COURSES

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

Topics Researched:

  • Family Life in Urbanized Africa. (Nathan Farley, American)

  • Contemporary Changes in African Culture as Expressed Through the Practice and Interpretation of Rites of Courtship and Pre-marriage. (Solveig Meling Kvamsoe, Norwegian)

  • How Do Young, High Risk Kenyans Survive? (Russell Peters, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • When Christianity and African religion Meet. (Heidi Lillemoen, Norwegian)

  • Bringing Up a Child, Now and Before. (Inger Marie Jakobsen, Norwegian)

  • Importance of Elders in the Luo Community. (Richard Ng'ong'a, Kenyan)

  • Traditional African Life Challenged by Modernism: Life Giving in Maasai Society. (Marius Jiodio, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Effect of Urbanization on the Cultural Values Associated the Position of Older African People in the City of Nairobi. (John Carrigg, Australian, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: Towards the Inculturation of Religious Community Life

Topics Researched:

  • Factors Influencing the Discernment of Male Religious in Initial Formation in Africa. (Benedict Croell, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Religious Life: Cultural Expectations, Difficulties and Challenges in Formation. (Fernando Rui, Angolan, Kenya Resident)

  • The African Concept of Hospitality and its Authentic Expression in Societies of Apostolic Life (Missionary Societies). (John Barry, Irish, Kenya resident)

  • Monastic Practice Concerning Fault, Guilt, Reconciliation and Penance in the Light of Gikuyu Tradition. (Pius Muehlbacher, German, Kenya Resident)

  • The Effects of some African Patterns of Inter-generational Communication on Religious Communities in Africa. (Vincent Wiseman, American, Kenya Resident)

  • African Traditional Values and Religious Vow of Poverty. (Tony Vismara, Italian, Kenya Resident)

  • African Socio-cultural Sense of Community Spontaneous Relations and of Solidarity in a Community of African Religious. (Cecilia Nibyobyonka, Ugandan)

COURSE: African Traditional Religion Interprets the bible

Topics Researched:

  • African Experience of Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare with Special Reference to Nairobi Churches (Emmy M. Gichinga, Kenyan)

  • Jesus Christ Our Ancestor. (Eva Haunreiter, German)

  • The Significance of Symbols in Religious Communities in the Bible and Africa. (James O. Etiyat, Kenyan)

  • The Role of the Bible in the Changing Agikuyu Family System. (Justine Nwankwo Cameroonian)

  • The Religious Interpretations of the Rites of Passage Through Christianity in Africa. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

  • Challenges of Disabilities in Africa: A Case Study of Kenya. (Fred Kenyanya Onchoga, Kenyan)

  • The Worship and Belief System of AICs. (Daniel Oguso Obiero, Kenyan)

 

JULY IMMERSION COURSES

COURSE: Gospel and Culture: The African Experience

Topics Researched:

  • Christianity in Africa; Conversion and Inculturation: A Case Study of Legio Maria (Marius Jiodio, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Evangelism Within African Culture. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

  • Religious Formation in an African Context. (Fernando Montero, Bolivian, Kenya Resident)

  • Do Leaders of African Churches Exploit their People? (Russell Peters, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • African Oral Literature: A Bridge to the Gospel. (Arata Sato, Japanese, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: African Traditional Religion: Major Beliefs, Practices and Contemporary Forms

Topics Researched:

  • Observations on the Interaction Between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. (Stephen B. Pattee, American)

  • Elders as Agents of Reconciliation in Agikuyu Traditional Community. (Justine Nwankwo, Nigerian, Kenya Resident) 

  • The Spirituality of Naming in African Traditional Religion. (Fernando Rui, Angolan, Kenya Resident)

  • A System of Morals Among the Agikuyu in Traditional Society. (Cecilia Nibyobyonka, Ugandan)

  • Marriage as Practices by the Luo Community. (Richard Aketch Ng'ong'a, Kenyan)

  • A Comparative Study of how God Reveals Himself Through Nature Between the Agikuyu and Hutu. (Boniface Dukuzemungu, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • Role of the Ancestors Among the Gusii. (Fred Kenyanya Onchoga, Kenyan)

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

Topics Researched:

  • Changes Taking Place in the Practice of Polygamy. (Hung Minh Dinh, American)

  • Kenyan Women: A New Identity? (Curtis Kedley, American)

  • Classism and Tribalism in Kenyan Schools. (Deborah Pattee, American)

  • The AIDS Pandemic: How Cultural Practices and Beliefs in Kenya Contribute to the Spread of AIDS and What Role the Church is Taking. (Laura Gettys, American)

  • The Effects of Urban Economy on Traditional Funeral Rites and Practices: A Case Study of Low Income Earners and Middle Income Earners in Nairobi. (John B. Northrop, American)

  • In The Kikuyu Culture do Parents Have Any Say in Choosing a Marriage Partner for their Daughter or Son? (Bob Poandl, American)

  • "No Bridewealth, No Wife." Is it True or Not Among the Marriageable People in Kenya? (Paul Kam, Chinese, Tanzania Resident)

  • The Luo Ideas of God and the Indigenous Churches. (Daniel Oguso Obiero, Kenyan)

  • Accepting  AIDS as a Challenge to Herbalists in Parts on Nairobi and Migori District, Kenya. (Jorge Franco Quinde, Ecuadorian Kenya Resident)

 

AUGUST IMMERSION COURSES

COURSE: Moral Teachings and Practices of African Traditional Religion

Topics Researched:

  • Personal Immortality: Moral Implications in the Luhyia Community. (Marius Jiodio, Cameroonian, Kenya Resident)

  • Moral Regulations Governing the Dead Among the Luo Community. (Daniel Oguso Obiero, Kenyan)

  • Openness to Life in African Morals. (Jairo Alberto Franco Vribe, Colombian, Kenya Resident)

  • Moral Education Among Girls in the African Traditional Society. (Jean Juma, Kenyan)

  • Sexual Morality Among the Youth in the Luo Community. (Richard Aketch Ng'ong'a, Kenyan)

  • The Moral Attributes of God in Africa. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

COURSE: Introduction to Islam in East Africa

Topics Researched:

  • Perception and Use of Zamzam and Holy Water Among the Muslims and Catholic Respectively.  (Selisho Chanda Chalwe, Zambian)

  • Islam, Poverty and Kenyan Voices. (Courtney Elizabeth Crean, American, Kenya Resident)

  • "Queen for a Day"...But at what Cost?... Exploring African Islamic Weddings in East Africa: Kenya. (Perla Rivera, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Muslim Youth in Nairobi and the Effects of Music on Morality. (Anita Gicana Klueg, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Islam and African Traditional Healing: The Relationship Between Islam, Waganga, Miti Shamba and other Traditional Healers. (Curtis B. Klueg, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Iddah: Its Meaning and Significance. (Margaret Mumbua Kimeu, Kenyan)

  • Muslim Voices: Challenges and Future: A Case Study of a Muslim Woman. (Fernando Rui, Angolan, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

Topics Researched:

  • An Exploration of Elderhood in Gusii and Akamba Cultures. (Judith Allison, American)

  • Who are those Patients Seeking the Doctors of African Medicine? (Gretha Evelin Thuen, Norwegian)

  • Patriarchal Ideology and Inheritance Among the Agikuyu and the Maasai. (Fernando Montoya, Colombian, Kenya Resident)

  • A Study on Death in African Culture. (Paul J. W. Kim, Korean, Ugandan Resident)

  • Education for Life: The Passing on of Moral values to the Young. (Francis Hall, British)

  • Customary and Christian Marriage in Kenya. (Eva Haunreiter, German)

 

2002/2003 ACADEMIC YEAR FIELD RESEARCH PROJECTS

AUGUST - NOVEMBER SEMESTER COURSES

COURSE: Spirituality and Psychotherapy in an African Context

Topics Researched:

  • The Personal Development of Young Africans. (Denis Lee, American, Kenya Resident)

  • "Chokora Mapipa" (Bin Raiders): Life on the Streets of Contemporary Nairobi and its Impact on the Development of Personhood. (Annmieke Van den Berg, Dutch, Kenya Resident)

  • The Importance of Psychotherapy in Traditional Kikuyu Healing. (Patrick Mbataru, Kenyan)

  • African Spirituality and Education to Selfhood: Focus on the Role of the Ancestors and the Traditional Community. (Remy Beller, French, Kenya Resident)

  • Abaluhyia Grief Therapy. (Emmy M. Gichinga, Kenyan)

  • Belief in the Living Dead and the Spirits in Relation to Causes and Treatment of Illness. (Loretta Brennan, Australian, Kenya Resident)

  • Healing Processes the Local Medicine Men Use to Bring Comfort to their Patients. (Robert Vujs, American, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: Gospel and Culture: The African Experience

Topics Researched:

  • The Place and Role of African Christian Women in Africa Today. (Rosemary Ngumu, Kenyan)

  • Inculturation in the Religious Life. (Constansia M. Kimuyu, Kenyan)

  • Christianity and African Culture. (Florence Nditi, Kenyan)

  • The Cultural Pride of the Laiboni: Is There a Price to Pay for it? (William Rutto, Kenyan)

COURSE: African Religion Interprets the Bible

Topics Researched:

  • Death and Life Beyond in the Bible and Agikuyu Tradition. (Apollinaire Munyampundu, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • Séance Number and Religious Communications: A Study and Analysis of Numerical Impact in Religious Rites and Rituals. (Adam Hussein Adam, Kenyan)

  • Living the Biblical Message of Death and Life Beyond the Luo Culture. (Michael Otieno Ochieng', Kenyan) 

  • Sin, Alienation and Curse: The Way they Dealt with it in the Bible and African Tradition. (Florence Nditi, Kenyan)

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

Topics Researched:

  • Marriage in the Akamba Community: A Case Study of Iweto Marriage. (Florence Nditi, Kenyan)

  • The Status of Women in African Culture. (Constansia Kimuyu, Kenyan)

  • The Role of Elders in Akamba Traditional Society. (Joseph Gyamfi, Ghanain, Kenya Resident)

  • Agikuyu Marriage. (Patrick O. Musumba, Kenyan)

  • The Reversal of Roles: Ruling by Default. Is Our Political Ineptitude Rooted in Our Colonial Past? (William Rutto, Kenyan)

  • The Abaluhyia Women's Role in the Rite of Passage. (Angelina K. Mulani, Kenyan)

  • The Boundary Between Brotherhood and Bigotry: A Case Study and Analysis on Social Discrimination. (Adam Hussein Adam, Kenyan)

  • Taboos Among the Luo of Kenya. (Aloys Otieno Ojore, Kenyan)

 

JANUARY - APRIL SEMESTER COURSES

COURSE: Church in Contemporary Africa: Its Political, Social and Economic Challenges

Topics Researched:

  • Corruption in the Church in Kenya. (Francis Onyango, Kenyan)

  • Keys to Peace Building and Sustaining. (Florence Nditi, Kenyan)

  • The Church's Role in Addressing the Plight of Refugees in Eastern Africa. (Joseph Adero Ngala, Kenyan)

  • Challenges Facing the Church on Education in the Nairobi Slums. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

  • Ethiopian Refugees Church in Nairobi: Emmanuel Church, Its Ministry and Growth. (John Byung- Keun Ahn, Korean, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: Sociology of Development/Underdevelopment and African Religion

Topics Researched:

  • Effects of Development on Marriage and Family Institution. (Florence Nditi, Kenyan)

  • African Understanding of Development/Progress and Underdevelopment. (Constansia M. Kimuyu, Kenyan)

  • The Role of Churches in Development: The Case Study of Nairobi Evangelical and Pentecostal Churches in Kenya's Political Transition. (Zacharia Wanakacha Samita, Kenyan)

  • The Theology of Development as a Social Transformation in Africa. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

  • At the Nerve of Development: An Insight into Development Ethics in a Cultural Transition. (Adam Hussein Adam, Kenyan)

  • Slum Upgrading and the Development of Urban Communities. (Reginald Nalugala, Kenyan)

  • Jua Kali Enterprises in Nairobi. (Apollinaire Munyampundu, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • How Christian, Islamic and Humanistic values Found in African Religion have been Disregarded by the New religion of Development. (Athanasius Onyoni. Kenyan)

  • The Depth of Western Understanding of Development in the African Psyche. (Joseph Adero Ngala, Kenyan)

COURSE: Moral Teaching and Practices of African Religion

Topics Researched:

  • Moral Formation Among the Gikuyu Youth. (Phylis Muraya, Kenyan)

  • Sexual Taboos and Morality Among the Agikuyu People of Kenya. (John Byung-Keun Ahn, Korean, Kenya Resident)

  • Moral Formation Among Young People in African Communities. (Joseph Gyamfi, Ghanaian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Place of Africa Moral Values in Kenya Today: A Case Study of the Inhabitants of Huruma and Kibera Estates in Nairobi. (Francis Onyango, Kenyan)

  • Morality, Religion and Power in an African Context. (Remy Beller, French, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

Topics Researched:

  • Impact of Socio-Economic Hardships on the Spirit of Kinship and Related Extended family Syndrome. (Joseph Adero Ngala, Kenyan)

  • Marriage Between African Cultural Educational Values and Formal Education. (Paulos Welday Mesmer, Eritrean, Kenya Resident)

  • Old Age Homes in Kenya: A Contradiction to Tradition? (Denis Lee, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Cultural Mandate on Luo Funeral Rites and Rituals. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

  • The Concept of Taboo in African Society with Reference to the Kikuyu of Kenya. (Rose Scanlan. American, Kenya Resident)

  • Initiation into Adulthood: A Case Study of the Kikuyu Community in Kenya. (Rosemary Ngumu, Kenyan)

  • Gikuyu Machinery to Socialize Children on their Ethos in Comparison to the Formal Education Approach. (Apollinaire Munyampundu)

  • Informal and Formal Education in Africa: Which Impact on Jua Kali Sector? (Paola Benvenuto, Italian, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: African Marriage and family: Challenge and Change

Topics Researched:

  • levirate Marriage Among Some communities in Kenya. (Constansia M. Kimuyu, Kenyan)

  • Challenges facing the family and Marriage Institutions Today: A Study of the Abaluhyia, Maasai, and Akamba People. (Florence Nditi, Kenyan)

  • Changes in the Role of Bridewealth. (Gloriose Sakubu, Burundian, Kenya Resident)

  • Tensions in polygamy and Christianity: Some Lived Examples. (Patrick O. Musumba, Kenyan)

  • Challenges facing Marriage and family Institutions Among the Nubian People in Kibera. (Adam Hussein Adam, Kenyan)

  • Cohabitation: Informal Marriage. (Emmy M. Gichinga, Kenyan)

  • Socialization into Marriage in Kenya: A Case Study of Kikuyu and Luhyia communities. (Rosemary Ngumu, Kenyan)

 

JUNE IMMERSION COURSES

COURSE: Sociology of Development/Underdevelopment and African Religion 

Topics Researched:

  • The Effects of "Development" on Refugees in Kenya. (Casey O'Dell, American)

  • The Significance of "Harambee" as a Cultural Cosmology in African Religious Belief of Sharing and How it has been Influenced by the Spirit of Western Individualism. (Reidar Aamodt, Norwegian)

  • How African Social Democracy is Expressed in the Values of Sharing. (Stene Wiggo, Norwegian)

  • How Does HIV/AIDS Affect Development, and how does Cultural and/or Religious Values Regarding Family and Marriage Affect the Spread of it in Traditional Maasai Society in Kenya? (Sigve Andera, Norwegian)

  • The Role of Kinship System in the development of Moral Consciousness Among the Luo of Kenya. (Salmon Akoth Obiero, Kenyan)

  • The African Woman as a Mother and Homemaker in Social Economic Development. (Gloriose Sakubu, Burundian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Impact of Free Primary Education Program in the area of Kibera Slums. (Ramiro Reyes Asanza, Ecuadorian, Kenya Resident)

  • Causes and Effects of Rural-Urban Migration as a Result of Economic Hardships. (Jose Manuel Acal Frances, Spanish, Liberia Resident) 

  • Education in the Kibera Slum of Nairobi in the Perspective of "A Working Nation." (Anne Elisabeth Jorpeland, Norwegian)

COURSE: African religion Interprets the Bible

Topics Researched:

  • Sects and Denominations Proliferation in Kenya. (Daniel Bria, Indonesian, Kenya Resident)

  • African Worship. (Caroline Norton, American)

  • Communitarian Nature of Rural Kisii (Kenya) Versus Individualism of the City (Nairobi). (Scott Smith, American)

  • The Importance of the Clan Among the Maasai and the Bible. (Aase Jacobsen Kro, Norwegian)

  • Death and Life Beyond the Bible and African Tradition: Case Study of the Kategi People of Jera in Siaya. (Joseph Adero Ngala, Kenyan)

COURSE: Towards the Inculturation of Religious community Life in Africa

Topics Researched:

  • Religious Life. A Challenge: Youth Response to Religious Life. (Patrick O. Musumba, Kenyan)

  • Social Relationships in African Family Enriching Religious Life in the Light of Inculturation. (Joseph Gyamfi, Ghanaian, Kenya Resident)

  • Cultural Shock and How it Affects Interpersonal Relationships in a Community. (Jean Juma, Kenyan)

  • "Be Angry but do not Sin." Causes and Expressions of Conflicts in the Religious Community. (Elzbieta Kowiel, Polish, Kenya Resident)

  • The Inculturated Self-Perception of the African Catholic Sister. (Emmanuel Patrick Betasso, American, Kenya Resident)

  • African Values and the Incorporation of New Members into Novitiate. (Mary White, Irish, Kenya Resident)

  • The Role of Leadership in Promoting Good Relationship in Community Life. (Clement M. Sindazi, Zambian)

  • Is the Inculturation of Religious Life in African Possible  in International Congregations of Women? (Loretta Brennan, Australian, Kenya Resident)

COURSE: Sociology of Development/Underdevelopment and African Religion

Topics Researched:

  • The Role of : Family and Kinship, Education and religion - Both African and Christian in Promoting the Development of Faith in Creator God. (Kathleen P. Gannon, American)

  • Ways of Uplifting the Status of Kenyan Women. (Paulette Pass, American, Kenya Resident)

  • The Changing Face of Kenyan Family. (James Etiyat, Kenyan)

  • An Understanding of Church and NGO Partnership in Building Homes. (Stacey L. Schultz, American, Kenya Resident)

  • African Cultural Influences on Lay Involvement in Churches: Towards an African Theology of Lay Ministry. (Sarah Midzalwoski, American)

  • Urbanization and Crisis in the Kenyan Family. (Tony Shanahan, Australian)

  • Effects of Kenyan Child Raising Practices on Adult Life. (Emmy M. Gichinga, Kenyan)

  • Women Passage from the Old to the New Culture: Women's Stories from the Kikuyu Tribe. (Elin Myklebust Pollard, Norwegian)

  • Marriage and Family Life in Kenya: The Women's Situation in the Bukusu Community. (Astrid Saether Hagland, Norwegian)

 

JULY IMMERSION COURSES

COURSE: Spirituality and Psychotherapy in an African Context

Topics Researched:

  • Taboos Attached to Pregnant Women and Childbirth. (Jean Juma, Kenyan)

  • Death, Burial and Mourning Rites of the Luo of Western Kenya: Continuity and Change. (Timothy Kilkelly, American, Kenya Resident)

  • Psychotherapy in Africa: Three Approaches to Understanding and Treating Mental Illness. (Marcy A. Church, American)

  • The Spirituality and Personal Development of Children in Africa. (Caroline Norton, American)

  • The Role of Traditional healers in the Modern Societies and Communities. (Castus Mbissa, Tanzanian)

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

Topics Researched:

  • Traditional Kikuyu Marriage: Influence of Modernity. (Michael Shaji Areeparampil, Indian, Kenya Resident)

  • The Importance of the First Menstrual Period for the Girl in the Bukusu Setting. (Margaret Mary Wanyama, Kenyan)

  • Culture of Development and Development of Culture in Today's Kenya. (Jose Manuel Acal Frances, Spanish. Liberia Resident)

  • Emancipation of Women in the Light of Urbanization. (Mathew Kuthanapillil, Indian, Kenya Resident)

  • Traditional Healers. (Marissa Revert-Font, Spanish, Kenya Resident)

  • Challenges to Urban African Family Values Posed by Modernization, Economic Pressures, urbanization and Christianity as Manifest in the Growth of Street Children. (Gerald L. Warren, American)

COURSE: African Traditional Religion: Major Beliefs, Practices and Contemporary Forms

Topics Researched:

  • Worship n Traditional African Societies Through Prayers. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

  • Initiation to Adult Life in African Society. (Evelyn Aririatu, Nigerian)

  • Peace and Reconciliation Among Selected Ethnic Groups in Kenya. (Christopher Ochieng', Kenyan)

  • The Concept and Rituals of Death Among the Kategi People of Siaya District. (Joseph Adero Ngala, Kenyan)

  • Death Among the Kipsigis Community. (Clement M. Sindazi, Zambian)

  • Care for the Elderly in African Traditional Religion. (Emmy M. Gichinga, Kenyan)

COURSE: Gospel and Culture: The African Experience

Topics Researched:

  • An African Family as an Ideal Model of the Church Today: A Case Study of the Luo Community in Kibera and Ongata Rongai. (Solomon Ewot, Sudanese, Kenya resident)

  • The Role of the American Missionary in Kenya. (Scott Smith, American)

  • I am a Precious Gift. (Margaret M. Kimeu, Kenyan)

  • How Celibacy in religious Life Responds to and Transcends African Culture. (Patrick Madigan, American)

  • Being an African and Christian Without Fear. (Antonio Gonzales, Paraguayan, Kenya Resident)

    COURSE: African Marriage and family: Challenge and Change

    Topics Researched:

  • The Changes and Challenges of Bridewealth Institution Among the Agikuyu in the Contemporary Society. (Egidio Ampeirwe, Ugandan)

  • Mistress Phenomenon in Urban Set-up: A Challenge to African Marriage and Family. (Apollinaire Munyampundu, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • Institution of Woman-to-Woman Marriage (Femo-Androgamy). (James Etiyat, Kenyan)

  • The Effects of Bridewealth Upon the Family. (Cecilia Nibyobyonka, Ugandan)

  • Views About Monogamous and polygamous Marriages Among the Luo Community of Kenya. (Salmon Akoth Obiero, Kenyan)

 

AUGUST IMMERSION  COURSES

COURSE: African Cultures: An Overview

Topics Researched:

  • Religious and Poverty in Africa. (Patrick Madigan, American)

  • Kikuyu Traditional Marriage. (Manoel Martin Dos Santos Neto, Brazilian, Kenya Resident)

  • Funeral and Mourning Rituals and the Role of a Traditional Diviner. (Deborah Mureithi, American, Kenya Resident)

  • African Traditional Prayer Forms of the Kikuyu People. (Cecilia Nibyobyonka, Ugandan)

  • Injustices Against Old People. (Egidio Ampeirwe, Ugandan)

COURSE: Justice and Peace in East Africa

Topics Researched:

  • The African way in Conflict vis-à-vis Kenyan civil Society. (James Etiyat, Kenyan)

  • African Traditional Conflict Management: A Way Forward fro Peace and Justice in Central and Eastern Africa. (Apollinaire Munyampundu, Rwandese, Kenya Resident)

  • Conflicts in Kenya in these Times of Anti-terrorist Bill. (Jose Manuel Acal Frances, Spanish, Liberia Resident)

  • Conflicts in Contemporary African Societies. (Timothy Matolo, Kenyan)

COURSE: Introduction to Islam in East Africa

Topics Researched:

  • A Kenyan pilgrim's Experience of Hajj. (Jean Juma, Kenyan)

  • Prayer as a Nerve Center of Muslims Life. (Anthony Nyari, Tanzanian, Kenya Resident)

  • Concept of Human Rights in Islam. (Brigita Mwawasi, Kenyan)

  • The Kadhi and His Role in Kenyan Muslim Society. (Ramiro Reyes Asanza, Ecuadorian, Kenya Resident)

 

APPROVED MA THESES SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN AFRICAN STUDIES

1. Essay Topic: The Cultural Resilience of the Abalogoli in the Quaker Church in Nairobi, by Emmy Mwenesi Gichinga, Kenya, submitted October 2005.

Abstract

This essay examines the cultural resilience of the Abalogoli (one of the seventeen Abaluyia sub-groups of Western Kenya) in the Quaker Church in Nairobi. The theoretical framework of the essay is grounded in the Continuity theory of Atchley in which he says that as people grow through their cycle of life, there is the tendency to preserve continuity in what is dear and core to them.

 The methodology applied for data collection includes administration of a questionnaire, use of a structured interview and participant observation. The results of the field data analyzed using the SPSS software overwhelmingly point to the fact that culture is very resilient and cannot be completely eradicated by external forces, however strong those forces may be.

 The recommendation of the essay is that anybody entering into another culture must understand and appreciate the very deep meaning people in that culture attach to their values, beliefs and practices; and that there will be covert and overt resistance to new values, beliefs and practices being introduced by an external force. Additionally, there may be changes and modifications incumbent on what is considered beneficial or compatible to the culture. Consequently, the study has shown that there is no need for fear by present and future generations of complete loss of their culture .if a cultural group carefully and systematically imparts cultural knowledge to their young people, their unique traditions are carried on almost without their realizing it.

2. Thesis Topic: African Traditional Therapies as Protection Against Conflicts and Problems of Social Change: A Comparative Study of Agikuyu Youth in Mathare and Endarasha Locations, by Patrick Mbataru Nyambari, Kenyan, submitted August 2004.

Abstract

This work looks at the relevance of African traditional practices in protecting the youth against conflicts and problems brought upon the young Agikuyu people by social change. Interview method was used to collect data on values and attitudes regarding the practices. 

Although the selected practices namely tradition healing, marriage, family life and kinship, bridewealth, naming and initiation are still practiced and play a role in formative and accommodating social change among the Agikuyu youth, there is need to promote them through affirmative action like incorporating some of their aspects into the educational training and counseling programs in school and religious organizations. 

The practices have undergone changes and in some cases only some vestiges remain but their deeper meaning to the African people is still relevant. It is upon the remaining elements that we could reconstruct those practices we think could be of use in contemporary Kenya and Africa in general.

3. Thesis Topic: The Notion of Community Involvement in African Indigenous Marriage: A Case Study of Nairobi, 1997-2000 by Michael Boni Bazza, Nigerian, Kenya Resident, submitted November 2001.

Abstract

This research is a sociological exploration of the notion of Community Involvement in African Indigenous Marriage. The main observation is that individualism is a major factor responsible for lack of community involvement in marriage. This can be said to be a contributing factor to the deteriorating situation in family values, hence creating enormous problems for the community at large. The core location of the research is Nairobi, an area where people of different ethnic, social and religious groups co-exist. It has aptly been described as an intricate blend of Western, African and Asian influence.

The Thesis looks at the attitudes towards marriage in the different socio-economic classes namely, upper, middle and lower. The research also recommends the importance of community involvement in African marriage. It concludes that in the midst of the changes taking place in a contemporary society like Nairobi, there is still hope of reconciling modern and traditional marriage relationships because traditional marriage has its rich communal dimension to offer the modern individualistic relationships.

4. Thesis Topic: The Vocation and Training of the Asante Priestess and its Relevance for African Women Religious by Paulette Ankrah, Ghanaian, submitted May 2001.

Abstract

This thesis seeks to address the possibility of African women religious confidently identifying themselves as indigenous religious within their own cultural context. A logical place to begin would be during the stage of formal formation in religious life. Therefore, the study attempts to explore the vocation and training of the traditional African religious priestess as a relevant tool for African women religious in their effort to renew and reshape the institution of religious life.

The study focuses on the Akan, particularly the Asante local religious institution of priesthood referred to as Akomfo as an appropriate model. The project involves a broad sampling of the society: old and young Christians and non-Christians, Catholic religious Sisters, priestesses and priests. Consequently, a major part of the study consists in reporting and discussing the material gathered from field work.

The study delves into the essence of the call, response, manner and stages of preparation and commitment of both the priestesses and women religious. It highlights similarities and differences, and explores existing relationships. It explores and analyses the perceptions of religious life among women religious and the local people to see how far they would identify it with that of traditional priesthood and obstacles hindering the process of articulating religious life in local categories. The research finally considers the practical models in the local culture as assets which could help in the people's understanding of religious life and concretely present it in the cultural reality and understanding of the African people.

It is hoped that this Asante traditional religious institution will offer to women religious what may serve as a useful latent model in their efforts toward the realization of the vision of true Inculturation of religious life in Africa. Religious themselves need consciously choose to become more active, committed agents of Inculturation.

5. Thesis Topic: An Evaluation of Small Christian Communities' Viability and Effectiveness in St. Joseph's Kangemi Catholic Parish - Nairobi by Wairimu Churu Ebalé, Kenyan, submitted April 1999.

Abstract

This study seeks to resolve the issues surrounding the possibility of the survival of the Church and Christianity in the midst of the dramatic and often tragic events that characterize the experiences of life in the modern African city. Small Christian communities are perceived by some as a possible solution to the questions of building authentic African Christian Church. This study tries to put the common Christian experience at the center of the concerns, questions and answers to the problems of the Church.

Taking the example of the Catholic Church in one city parish in Nairobi, Kangemi, I delve into the contribution that Small Christian Communities are making, the efforts they are putting into these contributions, their potentialities in these crucial concerns, as well as the hindrances they suffer along the way.

The most important tool employed in this thesis project is involvement of the lay Christians in asking the questions and attempting answers to the predicament of the present and the future. Most of the bulk of this study is made up of the answers that informants gave to questions in interviews with the writer. The conclusions and summaries reaffirm the conviction that the future lies with the Christian community, with all its questions and answers, its problems and solutions, its needs and resources, howsoever poorly the balance seems maintained between these pole-ends. The most important finding of the study is that the community must continue to be engaged in the questions that face the Church daily; indeed the questions of the people must become more and more the central questions of the Church, and this can only be done by letting the people take their proper central place in the Church. This study observes that it is the community that holds the key to the future progress of the Church, and the only real answers will be those that are found by the community in its communal search for ways of contributing to healing and wholeness of life in Africa.

6. Thesis Topic: Spirituality of Struggling Women in Bura-Tana Kenya by Anastasia Lott, American, Kenyan resident, submitted September 1997.

Abstract

This research is an interdisciplinary exploration of the concept of the spirituality of women in difficult circumstances as an area of African religious expression, applying anthropological and sociological methodologies. It demonstrates how an underlying spirituality facilitates women's survival and struggle in difficult situations. The locus of the research is Bura-Tana, Kenya, an area severely affected by drought and the failure of a government irrigation scheme and where many different Kenyan ethnic groups reside. It considers women of various ages and ethnic groups.

Women endure a very harsh life because of their concern for their children and their faith in God. Life is a gift for them, a sign of God's presence with them and concern for them. In the midst of their life in a physical, cultural and moral desert, the women reflect hope and the resilience of the human spirit.