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Two Offerings from Orbis Books Provide Pan-African Perspectives on Key Issues in Theology, Ethics, Public Health
Contact: Mike Virgintino, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, 914-941-7636 ext 2219

MARYKNOLL, N.Y., Sept. 20, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- The rapid growth of the Catholic population in African countries has been one of the key factors driving the shift of perspective within the church from Western Europe to what is called the Global South. Veteran Vatican reporter John L. Allen, Jr., has called the African continent "the most dynamic corner of the Christian map."

Two new books from Orbis Books, the publishing unit of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, illustrate this dynamic growth, focusing on issues of both church and society.

"The Church We Want" (August 2016) is the fruit of a three-year research project, the Theological Colloquium on Church, Religion, and Society in Africa (TCCRSA). The colloquium brought together 60 distinguished scholars and religious who represented a broad spectrum of cultures and regions. Their goal was to develop, model and sustain a new process and method of theological reflection and study at the service of the world church.

The collection of original essays cover a broad range of topics—ecclesial structure, the bible and the church, the role of women, the gospel of the family, and urgent regional and cultural issues that include the impact of Pope Francis' environmental encyclical, Laudato Si'.

In "HIV and AIDS in Africa," the contributors address the myriad socio-political and spiritual questions raised by the 30-year-long pandemic. "AIDS is altogether a physical, moral, and metaphysical evil that has challenged medicine and human society," according to editor Jacquineau Azetsop.

How do Christians in Africa reach out to the infected, and how do their communities—especially the Small Christian Communities—provide support to those in need? What biblical foundations can believers draw on in their lives and work, in roles from caregiver to public health administrator? While focused on the particulars of their African context, these essays have resonance for theologians, academics and health professionals.

The fall series of presentations by the editors and contributors for "The Church We Want" and "HIV and AIDS in Africa" will take place at Boston College (Tuesday, September 20) Duquesne University (Tuesday, September 27) DePaul University (Thursday, September 29) and Villanova University (Monday, October 31). The public is invited.
"The Church We Want: African Catholics Look to Vatican III," A.E. Orobator, SJ, editor
ISBN 978-1-62698-203-1 paperback 304pp., index. $35.00

"HIV and AIDS in Africa: Christian Reflection, Public Health, Social Transformation," Jacquineau Azetsop, SJ, editor
ISBN 978-1-62698-200-0 paperback 448pp., index. $35.00

Founded in 1970, Orbis Books publishes works that enlighten the mind, nourish the spirit and challenge the conscience. Orbis seeks to explore the global dimensions of Christian faith and mission, to invite dialogue with diverse cultures and religious traditions, and to serve the cause of reconciliation and peace. Learn more at www.orbisbooks.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/orbisbooks

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers follow Jesus in serving the poor and others in need in 22 countries that include the U.S. All Catholics are called to mission through baptism and confirmation, and Maryknoll's mission education outreach in parishes and schools throughout the country engages U.S. Catholics in mission through vocations, prayer, donations and as volunteers. Maryknoll missioners share God's love and the Gospel in combating poverty, providing healthcare, building communities and promoting human rights. For more information, visit the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers at
maryknollsociety.org and follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/MaryknollFrsBrs.