Date of Award

Summer 1999

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Kurz, William

Second Advisor

Hills, Julian

Third Advisor

Stockhausen, Carol


It was April 1994. It had just been four months since I arrived in New York to begin my graduate studies. I was still relishing the fantastic immediacy of the American media. Having spent a great chunk of my years in Nigeria honing my interest in the gathering and dissemination of news, I literally lived on my favorite channel, the Cable Network News (CNN). I saw it as a window to many parts of the world I had never been privileged to know before. However, that April also brought me, via CNN, my most transforming experience so far in this country. I saw to my utmost dismay thousands upon thousands of mangled, charred and dismembered bodies of ethnic Tutsis and Hutus heinously massacred in what was supposed to be an ethnic feuding, which is arguably native to our African continent. The CNN and Time Magazine reporters described the unbelievable tragedy as ''an apocalypse," thereby interjecting some religious sentiment into the numbing disaster. By the time the "madness" subsided, nearly one million Tutsis and Hutus, including bishops, priests, religious men and women, seminarians and ardent Christians of Rwanda, had been brutally exterminated, some in their places of religious worship. However, despite the almost palpable somber feeling that pervaded the whole disaster, mainly propagated by the mass-media, I judged that organized religion needed to address the situation much more forthrightly. And considering the fact that Rwanda is a fairly Christianized country, I thought that the heinous genocide against the Tutsis by their Hutu compatriots was symptomatic of the cheapened value of human life in many supposedly Christian countries of the world...



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