Session 5

Mary in Asia and Africa

How is Mary received on these two immense continents? The forum attempted to get an initial grasp of what Mary means to the Catholics of Asia and Africa. Well aware of the cultural and religious diversity of both continents, the forum dealt with general characteristics, originality, and the strengths and challenges of Mary's presence and devotion. Meant as a survey, this forum may lead to more specific studies.

“We are producing our Marian Forums in order to present fresh research and to stimulate creative energies in the study of the mother of Jesus Christ,” explained Father Johann Roten, S.M., director of research and special projects at IMRI. “We decided on Africa and Asia for the theme because we wanted to move beyond Eurocentrism and open new avenues of study. The great diversity of peoples in Africa and Asia makes these continents ideal for looking at how local culture influences the reception of Mary.”

Presentations began via teleconference promptly at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time (United States). After a brief introduction, each presenter gave a 20-minute presentation on his or her topic. The session concluded with an hour of open discussion and final remarks at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. 

Sister Celia Chua, M.I.C.

Visiting Faculty, International Marian Research Institute

Sister Celia provided appreciation of Marian devotion in China by explaining how it took root there and is bearing fruit today.

Father S├ębastien Abalodo, S.M.

Full-time Faculty, International Marian Research Institute

Father Sébastien showed how the concept of motherhood in Sub-Saharan Africa has influenced these peoples’ celebration of the dogma of the Mother of God. 

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