From the Worldwide Faith News archives

LWI News in Brief (2) June

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Fri, 28 Jun 2002 09:18:07 -0500

New LWF Publications, Interfaith Dialogue

In recent years, interfaith dialogue has become an increasingly
important aspect of the work of the Lutheran World Federation
(LWF) with many initiatives being taken in the quest for greater
interfaith understanding and co-existence.

Three new books represent the culmination of a considerable amount
of work that has been underway in the office for the Church and
People of Other Faiths, in the LWF Department for Theology and
Studies. Further work, especially in the areas of Christian-Muslim
dialogue and spiritualistic movements will be forthcoming from
this office.

Hance A. O. Mwakabana (ed.), Multifaith Challenges Facing the
Americas - and Beyond (LWF Studies 01/2002), 160 pp., USD 10, CHF
16 or EUR 10.50
This collection of essays provides a glimpse into the enormously
rich fabric of multi-faith realities in what constitutes North,
Central and South America. The contributions include provocative
theological reflections on the implications of religious pluralism
in the Americas for the witness of the church there and elsewhere.
Concrete examples show what can be done in meaningful ways to
share the different faith experiences and underline the need for
continued interfaith dialogue.

Hance A. O. Mwakabana (ed.), Crises of Life in African Religion
and Christianity (LWF Studies 02/2002), 145 pp., USD 10 CHF 16 or
EUR 10.50
In this book, writers from Christian and African religious
traditions share their respective theological/spiritual
perspectives regarding rituals related to death, as well as the
strong African sense of life beyond all human suffering and death. 
This is an important area of dialogue between African Religion and
The authors provide reasons for why Africans have managed, to this
day, to nurture an incredible sense of hope in spite of the
shadows and stark reality of death. Furthermore, there are
reflections comparing African and biblical/theological
understandings on health, sickness and healing, and rituals
carried out in families and communities.

Theodore Ludwig and Hance A. O. Mwakabana (eds.), Explorations of
Love and Wisdom:  Christians and Buddhists in Conversation (LWF
Studies 03/2002), 226 pp., USD 10 CHF 16 or EUR 10.50
Christians and Buddhists in dialogue realize the relevance of each
other's spiritual resources and practices as they seek to bring
fuller peace and wholeness to human communities. In this book
Christians and Buddhists reflect on spiritual practices as a
resource of life and how Buddhists and Christians are caring for
people in their daily concerns and crises. Besides the "dialogue
of life," and thinking and working together on common concerns and
problems, there are theological, practical and historical
perspectives on Christian relations with Buddhists.

The books may be order from or by writing to:
Inge Klaas, LWF Department for Theology and Studies, The Lutheran
World Federation, P.O. Box 2100, CH 12 11 Geneva 2, Switzerland.
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Nigerian Archbishop Babba on Peaceful Co-Existence in a
Multi-Religious Society

Rev. Nemuel Aboubakar Babba, the new archbishop of the Lutheran
Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN), says his church is committed
to promoting peaceful co-existence among all Nigerians
irrespective of religious or ethnic background. "We are all
Nigerians, not because we are Muslims or Christians. We are
destroying our country if we say we want to elect either
Christians or Muslims," he told Lutheran World Information (LWI)
in a recent interview. Elected last February to succeed Archbishop
Dr. David Windibiziri since retired, Babba, 50, said the waves of
ethnic tensions and conflicts in his country emanate mainly from
political instigation. Upon his election, he visited the LCCN's
five dioceses, representing 2,000 congregations scattered all over
the country, emphasizing the importance of peaceful co-existence.
The country's over 120 million population includes around 50
percent Muslims, 40 percent Christians while 10 percent are people
of indigenous beliefs. The 720,000-member LCCN, an LWF member
church since 1961, has recognized congregations in Kano and
Katsina, in the mainly Muslim north, where ten other states have
adopted Islamic law over the past two years. Born of Muslim
parents, Babba speaks of religious co-existence in his own and
extended family, where he says he has experienced freedom instead
of tension. He envisions a self-supporting LCCN in the near
future. This, he says, would be achieved by "inclusively uplifting
all church members." There is also focus on evangelization in
other parts of northern Nigeria. Ordained in 1985, Babba served as
bishop of the Todi diocese in the east from 1995 until his
election as archbishop. Prior to that he worked as LCCN
stewardship secretary, taught at local Bible schools, and in the
church seminary. He is married, and has three children.

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the
Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund (Sweden), the LWF now
has 133 member churches in 73 countries representing over 60.5
million of the 64.3 million Lutherans worldwide. The LWF acts on
behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as
ecumenical relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human
rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and
development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva,

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the information service of
the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Unless specifically noted,
material presented does not represent positions or opinions of the
LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article
contains the notation (LWI), the material may be freely reproduced
with acknowledgment.]

*       *       *
PO Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Editor's e-mail:
Tel: (41.22) 791.63.54
Fax: (41.22) 791.66.30

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