Date of Award


Access Restriction

Campus Access only Theses

Degree Name

Master of Arts



School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Tracy Sayuki Tiemeier


The Magisterium teaches that Christian marriage is a union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all other persons.Through marriage and conjugal love married couples cooperate with the Creator in the procreation and rearing of children. In the teaching of the Church, the end of marriage is both companionship and procreation. The Igbo people of Nigeria are one group for whom traditional cultural understandings of marriage can stand in tension with official Church teachings. This is because the ideal Igbo marriage is polygamy, and marriage is said to be successful if it produced offspring for the continuation of the ancestral lineage. For the Igbo people, the primary end of marriage is procreation, and more wives ensures more children and more socialstatus for a man. This poses a significant problem for the conversion and proper evangelization of the Igbo people. But can there be an interaction between a people’s culture and the Christian message especially in the area of marriage? Can there be an authentic merger or integration of the Igbo traditional understanding of marriage and the Christian understanding as defined by the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church? To be relevant to the people, the Gospel must take into consideration the human person’s culture. Therefore, those aspects of Igbo understanding of marriage that are contrary to Christian teaching, can and should be inculturated, so that Igbo people can live the Christian faith within their cultural context.