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Inculturation describes the introduction of behavioral patterns, thoughts about things or views from one culture into another. The term has been used in various areas since around the mid-1960s, previously the term “ accommodation ” was mostly used for the phenomenon .

Inculturation against colonialism

In the context of historical studies and sociology , inculturation is introduced as a methodological term against colonialism and imperialism . While these did not take into account the culture of the indigenous peoples , but tried to impose their own culture on them unilaterally, but ultimately only generated rejection, the method of inculturation says that one's own ideas must be incorporated into the culture of the indigenous peoples and must adapt accordingly .

Inculturation of democracy and human rights

Today this method is particularly popular when it comes to the universality of democracy and human rights . While the ideas can certainly be thought of as universal, their realization is culturally shaped, so that, for example, the western understanding of democracy and human rights cannot simply be transferred to an Islamic, African, Chinese etc. context without considering the cultural structures that have grown there and to include.

Inculturation and Mission / Evangelism

This method is discussed above all in the area of ​​Christian mission and evangelism and is partly taken as a basis in the area of ​​the large Christian churches. This can have an impact on the liturgy , for example . The method is by no means new - this has been done in missions since the earliest Christian times (cf. e.g. the Slav mission of Cyril and Methodius ). In South Africa, forms of art promotion arose based on the aesthetics and spirituality of blacks, e.g. B. the Lumko Art Center of the Mariannhill missionary sister Josepha Selhorst .

Inculturation and intercultural education / pedagogy

In this sense, inculturation is an educational, pedagogical competence . Therefore, intercultural education or pedagogy is also spoken of. In addition, science endeavors to carry out intercultural comparative studies in a wide variety of areas.

See also


  • Raúl Fornet-Betancourt: Latin American philosophy between inculturation and interculturality. IKO - Publishing House for Intercultural Communication, Frankfurt am Main 1997
  • Fritz Frei (Ed.): Inculturation between tradition and modernity. Context - terms - models. Universitäts-Verlag, Freiburg CH 2000, ISBN 3-7278-1292-3 .
  • Konrad Hilpert , Karl-Heinz Ohlig (Ed.): The one God in many cultures. Inculturation and Christian conception of God. Benziger, Zurich 1993, ISBN 3-545-24114-9 .
  • Ellen Johann, Hildegard Michely, Monika Springer: Intercultural pedagogy. Methods manual for socio-educational professions. Cornelsen, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-464-49155-2 .
  • John Mwangangi Kyule: Inculturation of Christianity in Africa in the face of social change (= theology and practice. Vol. 9). Lit, Münster 2000, ISBN 3-8258-4876-0 (also: Münster, Universität, Dissertation, 1999).
  • Mulago gwa Cikala Musharhamina (Ed.): African Spirituality and Christian Faith. Experiences of inculturation (= theology of the third world. Vol. 8). Herder, Freiburg (Breisgau) et al. 1986, ISBN 3-451-20681-1 .
  • Joachim G. Piepke (Ed.): "Unity of faith or unity in faith. On the problem of particularity and universality of the Christian faith in a fragmented world". Steyler Verlag, Nettetal 2001, ISBN 3-8050-0459-1
  • Gerhard Rott, Horst Sing, Michael Heberling (eds.): Inculturation as a challenge and an opportunity. Basic questions - pastoral challenges - experiences from partnerships (= documentation of the 1st dialogue forum of the partner dioceses Poona and Eichstätt. Writings on comparative social work science and intercultural / international social work. ). Riese Springer, Aachen 2001, ISBN 3-933682-05-3 .