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"A Spirituality of Joy 'Evangelii Gaudium' Amidst the 'Unthinkable Suffering' and Poverty in Zimbabwe"

Ignatius Anoonekwa Tambudzai, S.J. (Zimbabwe)

Licentiate in Sacred Theology with field of specialization in Spirituality and Pastoral Psychology
Adviser: Fr. Jojo Fung, S.J., Ph.D.


In order to appreciate the great hope and spiritual joy of the people of Zimbabwe amidst economic poverty and suffering, it is necessary to stand on the horizon of the complex history of Zimbabwe and study the colonial and post-independence patterns of the nation socio-economic impoverishment. This research exposes some important epochs of history from the Rhodesian time and the Zimbabwean era after independence which led to the socio-economic impoverishment of Zimbabwe. The findings suggest that the Rhodesian socio-economic poverty of the black population was mainly based on a discriminatory law. The independent Zimbabwe’s socio-economic decadence is primarily based on poor fiscal policy, destructive politics, and corruption among other factors.The Zimbabwean traditional cultures of harmony among people, peace with the ancestors, and fellowship with God has provided the foundation for resilience, hope, and joy among Zimbabweans. In the traditional cultures, Christian religiosity and popular devotion find a bedrock on which to foster a spirituality of joy. The Church in Zimbabwe finds herself standing at an opportune time to proclaim the gospel hope of the God of Jesus Christ who is always on the side of the poor. Because of the strength, resilience, and education of the Zimbabwean people, Zimbabwe has reasons to hope for a timely socio-economic emancipation towards a full and lawful participation of citizens in bringing about a nation of harmony, peace, and economic prosperity.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: November 19, 2018

Board of Examiners: Fr. Hartono Budi, S.J., Th.D. (Principal Examiner), Fr. Jojo Fung, S.J., Ph.D. and Fr. Jose Quilongquilong, S.J., S.T.D.

Proposal Defense:

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Loyola School of Theology