I am excited to go to Korea to teach and participate in a conference at Hanshin Graduate School of Theology.
I will participate in “Doing Theology with Indigenous Peoples Spirituality”:
Asian Contribution to Theology of Creation and Wider Ecumenism”
Time: December 7-10, 2016
Venue: Hanshin Graduate School of Theology, Seoul Korea
(159 Insubong-ro, Kangbuk-ku Seoul Korea)
Majority of the Christian communities in the global south are indigenous people. Though indigenous Christian communities constitute a significant population in the world Christianity with their distinct earth-centred view of God and spirituality, cosmology, and its immense resources of justice and peace tradition, it is very clear that the churches and ecumenical communities in the past have not adequately explored indigenous wisdom for strengthening ecumenical movement, its theology and global peace and justice. Indigenous theologies continue to provide a new paradigm of a wider ecumenism by challenging the occidental, anthropocentric, androcentric character of “normative” theology. Thus indigenous vision of life and ecumenism need to be explored and integrated to make global Christianity vibrant in the present times.
The present indigenous people’s context also gives them epistemology privilege of knowing what it means to be life, justice and peace. Besides spiritual and theological colonialization, indigenous people continue to experience various forms of oppression, exploitation, marginalization and suffering of a vast number of peoples and nations. The ancestral lands and sacred forest, grounds of indigenous people are being objectified, commercialized, desecrated and abused through unmindful developmental activities and growing tourism industry
Despite their cultural and ethnic diversity, the indigenous communities all over Asia uphold a similar earth-centred spirituality and cosmology. They perceive their cosmology in an organic way. In this organic understanding, everything is organically related to each other. Everything is linked together, even values. The Sacred Power affects each one and all creatures. Humans see themselves as an integral part of the total cosmic life. Though the Sacred Power and the Spirit(s) are understood as Creator and Sustainer of all living beings, they are also perceived, though distinct, as part of the total cosmic life. This organic relationship is possible because of Mother Earth. Mother Earth is the foundation of cosmo-centric spirituality. This view of life gives a concrete and new vision of life and ecumenical engagement.
– To challenge and critique the nexus between the present profit-oriented economic paradigm, climate-justice and survival of marginalized communities
– To reconstruct distinctive theological position of indigenous people views of God of justice and peace in the context of continuing marginalization and suffering of indigenous people;
– To contribute new vision of eco-theology
– To promote theology and ecclesial vision interconnected with earth community renewed, where power is being exercised to promote inter-human and ecological justice;
– To articulate new ways of ecumenical engagement in today’s world.
Issues to be addressed
- a)Abuse of Mother Earth and Development
- b)Continuing Aggression of Indigenous Peoples and Environment
- c)Reimagining God beyond Metaphorical Language
- d)Retributive Justice and Celebration of Life
- e)Just-Peace Church and Ecumenical Movement: Indigenous Perspective
- f)Affirming Indigenous Spirituality and Life for Climate-justice