- Background of the Study
Human society is constantly fraught with struggle, fighting, squabble and crime as emphasized by Igbo (2001). Each section of the social stratification at one time or the other complains of being marginalized, deprived of their basic right and therefore seek for redress. In advanced societies, series of ways for seeking redress over human right violation abound and each when properly adhered to attract the attention of the authority. As such, social conflict could be said to have been checkmated to an extent in advanced society, (Neuman: 2008). However Okwueze (2004) noted that, in the African setting majority of social restiveness account for the constant total conflicts experienced in the form of civil war and community crises.
Best (2009) noted that an overview of the causes of these constant conflicts in our society suggests that human society hardly will ever exist without conflict. Hence the major problem confronting us in such a socio-economic and political environment fraught with conflict is how we can succeed in conflict management and resolution. If therefore we consider value of peace to any society, we can at least, must have understood the essence of conflict management. Best (2009) suggests that in every given society peace and conflict exist in a given ratio at which its proportion is a measure of the development status of such society. The developmental value of a society therefore depends to a large extent on the coherent elastic relative relationship between it and peace and conflict.
Conflict management, as important as it is demands a long time planning which can only be achieved through the establishment of both international, national and community bodies with the aim of instituting peace and stability in the society. For such a body to be effective therefore, we must put in consideration the vast nature of security management in our vase scientific and technologically advancing society. At this stage therefore one’s mind will be instantly focused on the persevering roll of the uniformed organizations and the judicial body towards maintaining peace and order in the society. However we are more inclined to studying, as to understand and emphasis more on the roll of the Church towards conflict management.
Piven (1988) commented that the Church as the body of Christ had over the years built the foundational frame work of striving societies like Great Britain, United State of America and Italy. The Church had always maintained a very close relationship with the society through its religious beliefs and doctrines. The Church has herself suffered constant internal and external crisis as a result of conflict. Her hierarchical order was established to institute order and as well harness the resources of the Church as to influence positively the society and as well create an enabling environment for human engineering and empowerment. The Diocese of Enugu has an out standing record of having dealt with human and social relationship for close to two decades. It has survived both eternal and external crises and therefore is suitable case study for the discussion of conflict management and the Church.
- Statement of Problem
Quite often mentioned are the existence of religious crisis in multi-religious environment and the prevalent nature of the constant internal conflict existing within the Church. Little have been said concerning the contributions of the Church towards conflict management and resolution in our society.
Best (2004) agrees to a large extent that scholarly attention obviously has been centered on the exploits of the law enforcement agencies, the government, the judiciary and other non-religious organizations over conflict related issues. The Church which is one of the major stakeholders as long as our society is concerned has contributed enough towards conflict management and therefore deserves to be given a line on writing in appreciation of this fact.
Ibenwa (2012) pointed out that the Church has not been able to measure up to the wide expectation of the society over issues concerning conflict management and some factors are responsible for this laxity. Some of these factors which include secularism, denomination differences, doctrinal issues, segregation, in balance between political/philosophical/theological issues are also responsible for the co-existence of external and internal conflict within the Church. It is therefore reasonable to say that this problems need to be properly addressed.
- Purpose of Study
The major aim of this research is to point out vividly the over looked contribution of the Church towards conflict management in our society. We therefore are look at the lapses of the Church conflict management as to create an enabling environment for the Church to add more grease to her elbow. We are paying more attention on the Church and conflict management with the Diocese of Enugu as a case study.
In order to achieve this we are tasked with the responsibility of investigating the concept peace, defining conflict and conflict related terms, making a brief clarification on what the meaning of society is and creating a convincing relationship between these concepts and the Church.
- Significance of the Study
David (2004) opt that every striving society in the world today is the most appropriate case study of the value of peace to the society. High conflict associated society always suffer a lot of set backs. Conflict do not only take away the life of individual citizen of a society, it cripple the entire human development ability, re-orientates the general coherent and peaceful conception of the society and create a long lasting gap between individuals, communities, groups, ethnic groups and nation at large
The penetration of the Christian religion into Africa brought about a lot of revolutionary change for the better because of its impact on our culture. After some years of colonization which was not without its adverse consequences because of human frailties Africa was ready to compete with the world. Omeire (2007:7) explained that Africa revolution started as a result of the maximum re-settlement of Christianized Africans in Freetown Senegal in AD 1787. The fight against slave trade saw to the recovery and re-settlement of African slaves on African soil. Consequently a period of season of harvest of human resources on African soil over took the primitive, communal secluded life style of the African communities which was fraught with traditional, social and internal conflict.
Chukwuma (2004) believes that in our society today the Church needs to awake to their responsibility of sanitizing our society through their grassroots personality building and empowerment. We therefore need to point out vividly that impact of the Church towards conflict management in the past and present in order to create a visible impression on the state of the Church concerning conflict management. This will enable us to see how much interest, commitment and impact today’s Church has made towards conflict management and how it has influenced our society.
Of course, a drive towards this end is targeted at both encouraging the Church in their effort towards conflict management. This work will inform the public on the contributions of the Church towards maintaining peace in our society, enlighten Christians and any other person that come across this work on the responsibilities of the Church towards conflict management. It will also challenge the present day Church to assist in maintaining peace and order in the society. It will create an impression in our society to seek for a platform on which to build a united force with the Church to institute peace and order in our society. It will guide Churches that come across this work on the best possible way to manage conflict matter since we are sighting true conflict related cases that happened in Diocese of Enugu (Anglican Communion)
- Scope of the Study
A broad study on issues concerning conflict management is beyond the scope of this research. We therefore are making a brief explanation and remarks on conflict management enough to create a burning desire in the mind of readers to search for more information on this topic. Moreso, our interest over conflict management is particularly based on the African background since this is the existing environment of the writer. However we are incorporating in this write up international ideas over conflict management as much as we use it to compare the Africa ideas over conflict management.
This research focuses more on the contributions of the Church towards conflict management with the Diocese of Enugu, Anglican Communion as case study. We are however drawing some illustration from the history of the Church and make some brief observations of the effort of some other Churches towards conflict management as not to create a biased piece of work. We are furthermore focusing our attention on the impact of the Church towards conflict management in our contemporary society, including our individual, communal, organization and national life. We will try as much as possible to avoid extending the scope of this work to accommodating issues related to multi-religious environment.
This research work will base its finding on the result of other research works made available in Libraries, internet, journals and other books. We are going to interview people. We are going to be involved in general discussion of the topic with our peer group and educationists as to find out their impression and comments. We are adopting these methods of data collection because this work has to do with the society and the Church in conflict situation. It is therefore true that the real witnesses of conflict cases are human beings and the only way human beings report their experiences are through documentation and life interviews. This work has a lot to do with the society and therefore is targeted at people who can read and write (age between 15years and above). It may not be gender sensitive nor ethnic segregate. It must be presentable enough to accommodate the academic standards of both the highly learned and those still in the learning process.
- Limitation of Study
This research is the work of a core Christian and therefore cannot totally avoid occasional use of preferential prefix and suffix in representing the effort of the Church towards conflict management. Furthermore we are to basically draw some illustrations to represent the fact of our research from empirical and rational works of previous scholars which is not without its oversight as a result of human frailties. We hope to over come constrains and tediousness associated with research work in our environment. We must also accept the fact that this research work is a piece of material which remains a source of further research work.
- Definition of Terms
Conflict as a mental struggle can be defined as a psychological state resulting from the often unconscious opposition between simultaneous but incompatible desire, need, drives or impulse. It is a disagreement between ideas, principles or people. It is also a state of warfare between opposing forces, especially a prolonged and bitter but sporadic struggle. Isard (1992) opt that conflict is a phenomenon that is important part of human existence and a natural part of our daily life, hence agreeing with Francis (2009) in his definition of conflict as an intrinsic and inevitable part of human existence. Hornby (2007) in its definition of conflict points out that it is a state of disagreement or argument between people, groups, countries; fighting or a war as in violent conflict and individual challenge over the chose of things, opinion, influence, feeling and interest.
Management can refer to the activity of controlling and organizing the work that a company or organization does. As such it is used to define the position of the key officers in an organization. But within the context of this research work management refers to the way people control and organize different situations that happen in their lives or their work as explained in, Hornby (2007)
The Church is the historical movement that arose from the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians believe that God founded the church through the work of Jesus Christ and that it is sustained by the continual presence of the Holy Spirit.
Berkhof (2003) emphasizes that in New Testament Greek, the most common word for church is ekklesia, meaning “assembly.” In the Greek version of the Old Testament, the word ekklesia was used to render the Hebrew qahal, which denoted the gathering of people for worship. In the New Testament, ekklesia refers to a local Christian community. The English word church itself is a corruption of the Greek adjective kyriakon, meaning “the Lord’s.” Invading barbarian tribes in the 4th and 5th centuries understood the word to refer to the church building (the Lord’s house) in the towns they occupied. They later applied it to the Christian people.
The New Testament offers many metaphors for the church; however Berkhof (2003) briefly explained four. One, it is the body of Christ. Christ is the head and Christians the members. Two, the church is related to Christ as branches to a vine. A more intricate and pervasive relationship is implied by this image than by the image of the body. Three, the church is the bride of Christ, an image that stresses the personal, intimate quality of the relationship and the depth of mutual commitment. Four, the church is the people of God, a description that stresses, on one hand, the continuity of the church with Israel and, on the other, the church’s potential universality.
Horton (2006) noted that traditionally, the church is said to have four marks, or notes: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The church is affirmed as one because it confesses one Lord and is animated by one Spirit; as holy because God claims it, not because of its moral perfection; as catholic because it transcends all the divisions of humanity; and as apostolic because it maintains continuity with the apostolic teaching and mission. These marks are attributed to the church in faith and hope and in the recognition that the visible condition of the church often does not correspond to them.
Three theories of church structure may be identified. In the first, organic structure, authority is understood to reside in the whole body of Christians (clergy and laity together) whose leaders are empowered by the Spirit acting through the whole body. In the second, hierarchical structure, authority originates in the clerical hierarchy, whose ministry to the laity makes lay people members and forms the church. In the third, sectarian structure, authority resides in individual Christians, who band together as a congregation. This refers to the diversity of the Church and the existence of different denominations. Horton (2006)
A situation that exists especially as it affects a particular person or group, Hornby (2007)
Hornby (2007) says that study means to spend time on research work, and learning through reading, listening, observing things in a group or individual bases as to gain knowledge over a particular problem or subject matter,
Chukwujindu (2016) emphasized that the word Anglican was derived from ‘Angol’. ‘Angol’ is the cultural name relating to England or Britain. Hence Anglican refers to Christians who are members of the Church of England or related Churches with its administrative center at Canterbury.
Wikimedia (2016) pointed out that Enugu is a city in the Southeastern part of Nigeria capital of Enugu State, 93km (58mi) northeast of Onisha. Lying of the Southeastern foot of the Udi Hill, Enugu is a major coal-mining, administrative, educational, and trading center.