Inside the Core this week, we are thrilled to celebrate an important publication by one of our Core faculty members, Sister Mary John Bosco Amakwe. Her chapter, “African Catholicism and the Place of Women: Research and Advocacy,” appears in Handbook of African Catholicism, edited by Stan Chu Ho (Orbis Books, 2022). Her text focuses on the many contributions of women in the African Church and examines how Vatican II, with its emphasis on the laity, paved the way for women to play an important role in the Church as a whole, and in Africa in particular.
This book has been extremely well received, with comments such as the following appearing on the cover: “…This volume by a young generation of African scholars is a welcome contribution to Catholic knowledge and intellectual tradition” (Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto and author of Witness to Justice). Musa W. Dube, professor of New Testament at Emory University, notes that the volume “fills an important theological gap in the African theological landscape and is essential reading for students, scholars, and lovers of African divine discourses…” . Further, Caroline N. Mbonu, HHCJ, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, says, “The contributions to this landmark interdisciplinary work capture the religious imagination of Catholicism rooted in Africa’s rich cultural diversity. In her chapter, Amakwe (Sister Bosco, as she likes to be called) concludes with the anticipation of more research in this area of inquiry: “Research on the subject of African women should continue until their full potential is achieved, their dignity and freedom promoted and protected, and their people respected, valued, celebrated…. Long live women and long live the African continent.
Sister Mary John Bosco E Amakwe (Sister Bosco) is a member of the Holy Family Sisters. She got her doctorate. in Communication/Sociology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, his Masters in Communication from the Pontifical Salesian University and his Licentiate in Missionary Spirituality from the Pontifical Urban University. In 2017, she earned another master’s degree in post-conflict state reconstruction and a graduate certificate in United Nations studies from Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations. She joined the Seton Hall community in 2008 and taught oral communication in the Department of Communication and the Arts until 2018. During the 2018/2019 academic year she taught CORE I – Journey of Transformation and now teaches CORE II – Christianity and Culture in Dialogue. She is the author of The Factors Influencing the Mobility of Women to Leadership and Management Positions in Media Industries in Nigeria (her thesis and potential book). She has also published book chapters and numerous articles on Africa, particularly on women, communication/media, church and society. Having traveled with her to Nigeria (with my daughter as well) in 2019, I saw that her colleagues at Holy Family Seminary whom we visited called her “a walking encyclopedia”. The rector wanted her to help prepare the young men ordained that week, and she took on the task with enthusiasm. Obviously, she loves and is loved by the members of her order.
Here at Seton Hall, Sister Bosco is also passionate about her courses at Core University, and she sees an important connection between her scholarship and Core itself. She says, “CORE is about the integral development of students as promoters and defenders of human dignity. In doing so, CORE teaches how to transmit and translate the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in a multicultural way. do with this book chapter for the women of my beloved African continent.” We are very grateful to have an international scholar like Sister Bosco among our faculty within the academic core.