Christ and Caribbean Culture is the name of the third publication of His Lordship Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau, Gabriel Malzaire.
A formal launching of the book was held last Friday August 7th on the grounds of the Bishop’s house.
In the words of the author, the book focuses on the Caribbean church and its attempt to unravel the significance of the Christ event in the Caribbean context.
Sister Lorraine Royer reviewed Christ and Caribbean Culture saying, “The story is told of a European woman who was visibly disturbed after visiting one of our churches in the Caribbean.
“When asked the reason for her apparent displeasure she intimated that in a predominantly Black culture all the representations of Christ and the saints were very European.
“She had expected that after so many years of Christianity in the region that somehow there might have been enough internalization and appropriation of the gospel message that we would have owned our Christ and our saints and this by no means exteriorly.
“So the basic question as articulated by Bishop Malzaire, ‘Who is Jesus Christ for us today?’ on page 27 of the book is still a very pertinent question for our time,” she said.
Essentially the book is a compilation of essays written and presented in three regional conferences by Bishop Malzaire in 1994, 1996 and 2001. It touches a range of issues including politics, the economy, justice, social values, sexual morality and gender. The book is written in three parts.
Former President of Dominica H. E. Eliud Williams expressed, “These are the challenges for the Catholic Christian in the new millennium, Christ and ethnicity in the Caribbean and thirdly toward the Caribbean Christian civilization.
“There is also a short theological reflection on bamboo bursting in the Caribbean and in the author’s own words, the book – though short it may be – provides the fair grasp of the Caribbean churches experience and the responsibility we have to make it what it ought to be, a level in the midst of God’s people in context.”
Although the main aim of the publication is to identify how Christ can be reflected in the context of the Caribbean culture, the writer admits that this can be a daunting task in the region given the multiracial composition. However he concludes that ethnicity goes beyond the color of the skin.
Bishop Malzaire added, “The main purpose of the book is to help us appreciate ourselves as a people on the way to salvation in the context of Caribbean. It seeks to show that any theology – that is faith seeking understanding – has of necessity to take seriously the context in which it is lived.
To accept the fact that the Christ of faith is truly incarnated in each of us individually and in all of us collectively despite any racial configuration has every potential for self esteem and for general deliberation and salvation which always comes from within.”
Senator the Honourable Robert Tonge represented the Hon. Prime Minister at the event and was presented with a copy of the book.
However, this occasion was not solely a launching affair. It represented Bishop Malzaire’s fundraising efforts towards the renovation of Our Lady of Fair Haven Cathedral in Roseau.
Proceeds of this book, like the previous two, will go towards that venture.
His Lordship Malzaire says the church has only met the halfway mark of the estimated $12m needed to refurbish the cathedral.
His two previous publications, A Decade of Grace and The Eucharist and the Poor have so far brought in close to $200,000.
Christ and Caribbean Culture will also be available online. Hard copies can be purchased from Amazon or downloaded on eBook and Kindle.