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The Relationship Between Christianity, Education, Culture and Religion in Kenya Since Political Independence in 1963

The Relationship Between Christianity, Education, Culture and Religion in Kenya Since Political Independence in 1963

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Published by Alexander Decker
International peer-reviewed academic journals call for papers, http://www.iiste.org
International peer-reviewed academic journals call for papers, http://www.iiste.org

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Published by: Alexander Decker on Nov 30, 2013
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Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!"# ($nline %ol.#& No.1"& 2'1#
The Relationship between Christianity, Education, Culture and Religion in Kenya since Political Independence in 1963
)heuri *.*.& ++.& Ph+
)he ,i,le in the ,oo o /e0iticus tells that a nation should and ought to ind its place in e0er it ears& the  u,ilee3or the ear o the /ord4s a0our. )his article is an analsis o the role plaed , education& religion and culture in molding the people o 5ena since her political independence in 19"#. It will e0aluate and assess the contri,ution made in li,erating the people o 5ena rom colonialism or 6uropean domination. )he article shows how ormal education in 5ena has contri,uted to political li,eration and cultural disad0antages. )he themes within this article are treated in our sections (1 the place o 8rican culture and religion in 5ena (2 the inluence o hristianit on the 5enan people: (# the place o education and national integration o a  people: (; )he li,erated 5enan and the ,eond. )he dialectic ,etween the li,erating and the imitati0e conse<uences o education in 5ena is one o the central themes which dri0e the 8rican people to claim their identit in the contemporar world o democratic principles and practices. )he author traces the inluence o missionar education and secular colonial training on the assimilated class. 8lso the characteristics o the 8rican cultures are anal=ed in light o religion and de0elopment. Hence this article pro0ides an insight into the state o educational de0elopment in 5ena and the role o hristianit& religion and culture in narrowing the nowledge di0ide. It documents the progress made in educational de0elopment& while re0ealing the challenges aced. )he article urther pro0ides an o0er0iew o the historical and economic conte>t& social actors& and the organi=ation and state o education. riticall discussed are the interpla aspects that e>ist ,etween hristianit& 6ducation& ulture and Religion in 5ena since Independence in 19"#. ?hile the conte>t is 5enan& the strategies discussed are applica,le to other 8rican countries with similar challenges.
hristianit& 6ducation or de0elopment& Religion and ulture. 8@)H$R )heuri *.*.& is a trained theologian cum philosopher and holds S)A (@r,aniana @ni0ersit& Rome& *8 and Ph+ (+u<uesne @ni0ersit& Pitts,urgh& Pennsl0ania respecti0el. Bor o0er eighteen ears )heuri was a proessor o philosoph and education pscholog at 6gerton @ni0ersit. He lectures in philosoph& leadership and strategic management at +edan 5imathi @ni0ersit o )echnolog. He also holds an honorar +octor o +i0init rom the 6cumenical atholic hurch ?orld ?ide (+etroit& *ichigan.
#CK$R%&'( I')%R*TI%'
)he modern idea o de0eloping 8rica essentiall dates to the ears ater most states had ,een coloni=ed , some 6uropean nations in the nineteenth centur. Brom the start& ideas a,out de0elopment generall o0erlooed the role o religion& or assumed that religion would ,e relegated to a matter o pri0ate ,elie in 8rica as secular states gained strength and conidence& or e0en saw religion as an o,stacle to de0elopment. Cet it is now apparent that religion is a growing orce in pu,lic lie in 8rica& as in man other parts o the world: it has had great inluence on the entire human race. Hence spiritualit and de0elopment are intertwined and the ,oth contri,ute to all le0els o human de0elopment. )he gods whether rom a hristian perspecti0e or rom other religions& are  part and parcel o human e>istence without which de0elopment in an part o the glo,e would ha0e ,een a metaphsical term. )he spiritual world cannot ,e concei0ed independentl o the material world. )hose o us who are well trained in sstematic theolog can attest to the act that the 0ertical dimension o an religion would ,e 0oid i the hori=ontal le0el is not ,rought into pla. Hence one cannot di0orce religion rom all le0els o human de0elopment. ?ith the largest world4s population proessing religious ,elies in 8rica& holding such ,elie must ,e considered as a common human characteristic that inluences and aects most o the human acti0ities. *oreo0er& religious ,elie is rele0ant to ,oth social and pri0ate realms and has had great impact on human de0elopment since time immemorial. Religious ,elie sstems pro0ide a meaning or human e>istence through which adherents interpret their own circumstances and mae decisions on how to act and interact in wider societ. )he 0alues and attitudes associated with religious ,elies within dierent nations o the world& thereore& aect ,oth pu,lic polic settings as well as social ,eha0iors. )hese 0alues and attitudes mae de0elopment to ha0e realistic and modern meaning otherwise religion would ha0e ,een meaningless or as 5arl *ar> the ather o communism put it Dan opiate o the massesE or e0en Dhope or the hopelessE and Dheart o the heartlessE ( See 5arl *ar> *aniesto. )hroughout its earl ears o independence& 8rica4s concept o de0elopment was largel concei0ed o in economic terms primaril& in other words as economic de0elopment. It is onl recentl that the concept has come into its real meaning thus incorporating and emphasi=ing all aspects o peopleFs li0es that go ,eond the
Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!"# ($nline %ol.#& No.1"& 2'1#
# economic dimension& such as health& en0ironment and education (6la& 19!9. )hough a oreign concept to the  people o 8rica& hristianit has had great inluence on the people4s ,elie sstem& education and culture. )ogether with other religions& hristianit has thereore molded the wa the 8rican people thin and reason. )his has ,een as a result o the impact these religions ha0e had on education& liestle as well as in areas o human de0elopment. In this article& human de0elopment should ,e understood as including the spiritual dimension o lie that co0ers the entire human person. Cet in man plans human de0elopment remains essentiall an adunct to the central aim o generating economic growth and the distri,ution o wealth. In short& polic maers& religious leaders as well as de0elopment worers need to mae the idea o human de0elopment a realit: it is a holistic and ,asic realit and without it there cannot ,e an peace among the people o 8rica and 5ena in particular peace is a  prere<uisite to the de0elopment o an nation.
Burther the article aims at pro0iding a ,rie analsis o the role o religion in 5ena4s de0elopment. It warns o the diiculties in attempting to add religion to a list o instruments that can ,e used in de0elopment polic: se0eral actors lead to the conclusion that some undamentall new approaches are necessar on the part o donors themsel0es. 8dditionall& the article mentions sectors in which religion ma pla a positi0e role in de0elopment in 5ena such as measures to stimulate economic growth& management o natural resources& conlict pre0ention and peace ,uilding& health and education& and accounta,le go0ernance. How would these elements translate into speciic polic ideas at dierent le0els o go0ernmentG ?ould the ,e achie0ed through the introduction o the countr4s %ision 2'#'G
1"+ C&T&RE '( REI$I%'
Religion and more speciicall hristianit ha0e ,een growing aster than one would ha0e e>pected in its it ears o political independence. )his growth challenges 5enans to wor hard to access the deeper understanding o earl missionaries4 aith& courage& tenacit& and remara,le intellectual strength. )his is  ,ecause: each religion including the glo,al hristian aith has ,een ormed out o a speciic histor and cultural 0alues and not out o ,are theoretical ideas lie the earl missionaries would ha0e lied 5enans to ,elie0e. Bor it to ha0e an eect on the people o 5ena and their urge or an accounta,le and transparent de0elopment ree rom all orms o corruption& religion must im,ued itsel on the peoples4 wa o lie (culture and their ,elie o the supernatural order (religious ,elie sstem. )his is in spite o the earl missionaries percei0ed mistaes  ,ased on unounded anthropological ,elie0e that 8ricans were ,acwards and without an nowledge o religious ,elies (See 6la a,o0e. It should ,e noted that the earl missionaries generall ,rainwashed the 8rican persons to an e>tent o maing them creatures o inerior or less gods. )his trend was ,asicall common during the colonial time which started with the commencement o the Aerlin onerence o 1!9. Some missionaries and 8ra, traders went to the e>tent o engaging themsel0es in trading o the 8rican people as sla0es: a ,itter histor that the people o 5ena still har,or in their mind. 6nsla0ing 8ricans and orceull occuping their land& led to the *au *au re0olt without which the countr would ha0e continued to suer under the hands o the 6uropeans ar much longer. 8s this was happening in 5ena the *ai *ai and the Hehe re,ellions were also taing place in the then )angania and toda4s )an=ania. $ne can easil o,ser0e that& the it ears o independence are thereore a  product o great struggle , the people o 5ena whose reedom was a result o ,loodshed and should ,e cele,rated with o. )he it ears are thereore a orm o co memori=ation o the ,itter histor that the people o 5ena e>perienced. 8n element o neocolonialism should thereore ,e resisted , all means the 5enan  people can appl. )he ,i,le in the ,oo o /e0iticus tells that a nation should and ought to ind its place in e0er it ears& the  u,ilee3or the ear o /ord4s a0our
 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land and to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee year for you; it shall be the holy year from which men and women will sow and it is from what they have worked for
(/e0iticus 2 1-;.. )his is a religious call which 5enans should em,race as the cele,rate the it ears o independence.
5ena has had its independence since 19"#& a remara,le it ears o progress and political maturit. Aut as 5enans cele,rate the ear o u,ilee& what can one sa a,out the progress ,eing made on the peopleG Ha0e these ears ,een ears o growth and ha0e the ,een ears o nation al integration or ,arel ears o ,igotr and ethnic hatredG Has de0elopment ,een reali=ed in all parts o 5ena and at what le0el can one ascertain transormational change among the people o 5enaG )his article shall thereore e0aluate and assess the inluence o religion& culture and hristianit and the role o education on the 5enan people. )he purpose is to show that there e>ist some religious undamental actors inluencing de0elopment among the people o 5ena. )he o,ecti0e is to e0aluate the impact and eects o religion on human de0elopment in all dimensions. )he positi0e de0elopment that has resulted on the 5enan  people and their inclination to hristian aith and practice or an other religious creeds will thereore ,e
Research on Humanities and Social Sciences www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper ISSN 2222-2!"# ($nline %ol.#& No.1"& 2'1#
; e0aluated in light o the Cear o u,ilee. It is important to note that the Ai,lical meaning o the u,ilee has e0erthing to do with human 0enture and de0elopment. )hese are ears o prosperit& peace& restoration and od4s a0our on the land: the are ears o reedom that is go0erned , the spirit o accounta,ilit& responsi,ilit and transparent e>istence among the people. Since 5ena gained its independence rom the Aritish religion and more speciicall hristianit has had its share in people de0elopment. *an schools& hospitals and other institutions that e>ist are as a result o hristianit4s and other religion4s inluence. 8n increasing num,er o organi=ations and programs are grappling with pro,lems at the intersection o religion and de0elopment. Cet religion4s pu,lic role can no longer ,e ignored as a. most people engage in some orm o religious practice rom time to time& and man proess mem,ership o some ormal religious organi=ation& traditional& *uslim& hristian or otherwise.
1"+"1 (e-elop.ent! Contro-ersial and .biguous 'otion
)he concept Dde0elopmentE is rather contro0ersial and dierent scholars use it to mean dierent things. Bor instance one can tal o economic or spiritual-moral de0elopment. $ne can also tal o political& pschological and e0olutionar de0elopment. Hence the term is at times am,iguous and can mean man orms o de0elopment at the same time thus lacing a consensus meaning across the ,oard. )he concept is 0ariedl used in almost e0er ield and disciplines =oolog& ,otan& economics& sociolog& and anthropolog& religion as well as in  philosoph and in a technological world. Hence with all these dierent meaning o the term Dde0elopmentE one needs the etmological meaning o the same particularl in discussing religion in relation to education and culture in 5ena. )he term Dde0elopmentE is deri0ed rom the 6nglish term Dde0elopE ,ut its etmological meaning can ,e understood well rom its opposite and linguisticall aligned term Dto en0elopE. )o Den0elopE owes its original meaning rom the old medie0al Brench stem Dto wrapE to co0er something or someone o some,od with a garment (in lames& in clouds or e0en in mster. Su,se<uentl the 0er, Dde0elopE originall meant the opposite Dthe process o unco0ering& unolding and re0ealingE or a process o taing awa the persona or the co0ering 0eil there, re0ealing that which had ,een hidden or concealed. Speciicall the term seems to mean and point to a process or mo0ement rom a latent or hidden state to a state more 0isi,le& more e>plicit and more ela,orate. It is interesting to note that a term which has a negati0e prei> DdeE is thought o in a positi0e manner that is& a mo0ement towards a positi0e direction Jactuali=ation o what is hidden& a re0ealing o that which appeared concealed and msterious. )hus the term has de0elopment meaning to dierent people and occasions. Bor the  purpose o this article& the author deals with ,oth the economic& cultural and spiritual meaning o the term de0elopment. )he old e0olutionar schools regarded and connected economic and cultural de0elopments to material and  phsical de0elopment. I act the words Dci0ili=ationE Dci0il and DcitE not onl ha0e a common root ,ut the also ha0e the some connection in term o what was percei0ed to ,e Dde0elopedE or D ci0ili=edE , some westerners. )he cit people were considered to ,e ci0ili=ed& de0eloped and more complicated than the rural ols who were percei0ed to ,e coarse& uneducated and limited in nowledge. 8ll o this is nothing else ,ut the material meaning o the term de0elopment. +e0elopment& howe0er& is a 0er human concept ,ecause human ,eings de0elop phsicall& academicall& sociall& culturall& economicall and in other 0aried was. Hence this article4s consideration o de0elopment in relation to religion in 5ena can onl ,e limited to economic or material de0elopment.
1"+"+ The Relationship between Religion and (e-elop.ent
Religion is a human phenomenon and the <uest or meaning at the dimension o a higher power& is a human need e0en or those whose religious inclination is almost =ero: what the turn to in their limitedness as human ,eings is an indication o their religious sense and desire. Bor instance& religious ideas o 0arious pro0enance indigenous religions as well as world religions - pla an important role in legitimi=ing or discouraging 0iolence in societ. $ne does not need to ,elie in od to discourage ill doing in societ or e0en to enhance the positi0e le0els o human de0elopment. )his is ,ecause: de0elopment is not onl an economic term rather it is the inner <uest in human ,eings to un0eil what is en0eloped& latent J a process towards progress. Human ,eings in dierent spheres and dimensions o lie ascri,e to it. Hence the two terms namel religion and de0elopment con0erge as human as human concepts and also as part o cultural endea0ors. )heuri (2''11!9 concludes that in an de0elopment human ,eings are not wholl earth-,ound: the need to loo outside and ,eond their ordinar dail e>istence. )he transcendent is re<uired or lie to ,e meaningul and or de0elopment to ,e properl assessed. *ugam,i (199"-" adds to this element o transcendence , o,ser0ing that religion as an aspect o human lie is indispensa,le as a pointer to indi0idual and communal sel understanding and sel orientations which include de0elopment. Sel understanding and sel orientations are important aspects o ,eing human and o ,eing de0eloped. Hence religion and de0elopment are connected and  possess interpla o a ind in human lie.

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