Research News - Europe
Participating Research Institutions in Europe
- Centre for Liberation Theologies, University of Leuven, Belgium
Contact Jacques Haers, www.theo.kuleuven.ac.be/clt/index.htm
- Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics, University of St Andrews, UK
Contact Mario Aguilar, www.st-andrews.ac.uk/divinity/
- Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh, UK
Contact Cecelia Clegg, www.div.ed.ac.uk/theolissues
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer Research Centre for Public Theology, University of Bamberg, Germany
Contact Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, www.uni-bamberg.de/ev-syst/projekte_des_lehrstuhls/gnpt_englisch/
- Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Contact David Tombs, www.tcd.ie/ise/
- Manchester Centre for Public Theology, University of Manchester, UK
Contact Elaine Graham, www.arts.manchester.ac.uk/mcpt/
- Protestant Theological University, The Netherlands
Contact Frits de Lange, www.pthu.nl/
- University of Exeter Network for Religion and Public Life, UK
Contact Esther Reed, www.centres.ex.ac.uk/nrpl/
- Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands
Contact Eddy Van der Borght, www.vu.nl/
- York St. John University, UK
Contact Sebastian Kim, www.yorksj.ac.uk/
Centre for Theology and Public Issues, New College Edinburgh
Our centre does not yet teach any courses on Public Theology so all our effort is directed towards seminars and research projects. We have a number of research projects in hand which are in various states of development: The A Right to be Human project on the relationship between faith and views on human rights in 800+ Scottish young people continues with the gradual processing of the statistical data. The final report will be completed in time for Cecelia to deliver the results at the international conference for the 14 related national projects in Nijmegen, Holland on 9-11 Oct 08. It will be published as a CTPI Occasional paper.
CTPI is working with a consortium of Scottish NGO's to help to develop a project about Religion and Social Cohesion in Scotland. Out of these discussions we are about to seek funding for a project on The Contribution of Faith Communities to Social Capital in Scotland. In addition, inJanuary 09CTPI will host a large consultation about the possible shape of a project which will look at: Whether and how the changing religious landscape of Scotland contributes to social cohesion.
The two year post doctoral research post to examine: Theology in the Public Square in Post-Devolution Scotland, which was advertised though the GNPT, attracted a large field of applicants. We are delighted to have appointed Rev Dr Graham Blount, the current Scottish Churches Parliamentary Officer. He will join the CTPI team from January 2009.
In terms of publications, CTPI's latest book Growing Citizens co-edited by Dr Alison Elliot, CTPI Associate Director and Dr Heidi Poon is in press and will be launched in the Autumn. Meanwhile, the text of Being Fully Alive: Spirituality Science and Wellbeing which is the latest in the series of CTPI occasional papers should go to the printers in late September 08 and will be our first new paper to be produced in an online version.
There have been scholarly comings and goings too! Between January and May 08 we were pleased to welcome Dr Christine Ledger, (and husband Geoff), Charles Sturt University, Australia, as a visiting scholar. We were particularly happy to welcome her as the first of the Global Network for Public Theology partners to visit CTPI since the network's formation in 2005. Chris delivered a CTPI seminar on Living Creatively: Cultures of Koinonia in a Technological World' on 17th April 08. We look forward also to welcoming Paul Oslington, Professor of Economics and Finance, University of Notre Dame Australia, School of Business, Sydney who will be with us for a couple of weeks in January 2009 and will deliver a CTPI seminar on Adam Smith on 15th January 09.
The Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
During November the School will be co-hosting a major conference with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission entitled 'Rights and Righteousness: Human Rights and Religious Pluralism'. The conference will explore both the tensions and the complementarities between 'faith-based' and 'human rights-based' approaches to equality and social justice, and hopes to encourage better understanding of both amongst both scholars and activists. More details are available at http://www.tcd.ie/ise/news/events.php. David will be speaking on 'Dealing with the Past: Righteousness and Rights'.
Inspired by the excellent 'web2' workshop at the consultation in Princeton in May we have also been working on our Public Theology Initiative web-site. It is still in process and is now live at http://www.ecumenics.ie This includes a list of events in Public Theology from last year and also details of some of what is to come in 2007-08.'
Manchester Centre for Public Theology, University of Manchester, UK
MCPT Urban Seminar series - continuing till November 2007.
Religion, Happiness and Well-Being grant
http://www.arts.manchester.ac.uk/mcpt/projects/index.htm but where it says 323,492 that should be pounds sterling 23,492!
Doctor of Practical Theology:
We have just successfully enrolled our second cohort onto the professional doctorate in practical theology - candidates include a professional Gospel musician, a local minister working in social enterprise, a prison chaplain and a translator for the deaf. The latter candidate is funded by two major research councils on what's called a 'collaborative doctoral studentship' to carry out action-research into the impact of a project to translate the Bible into British Sign Language on members of the Deaf community and Deaf congregations.
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Eddy Van der Borght
In December the Journal of Reformed Theology will publish a theme issue on Public Theology. The issue is prepared by the current public-theologian-in-residence at CTI, Nico Koopman, as guest editor.
It will contain the following articles on the theme:
- Nico Koopman, 'Introduction'
- Nico Koopman, 'Reformed Theology in South Africa: Black? Liberating? Public?'
- Frits de Lange, 'Becoming One Self: A Critical Retrieval of 'Choice Biography''
- Martin Laubscher, 'A Search for Karl Barth's 'Public Theology': Looking into Some Defining Areas of his Work in the post-World War II Years'
- Douglas J. Schuurman, 'Vocation, Christendom, and Public Life: A Reformed Assessment of Yoder's Anabaptist Critique of Christendom'
- Gotlind Ulsh??fer, 'Economic Justice as Social Justice in a Globalized World: A Theological Analysis'
- Nico Vorster, 'A Theological Evaluation of the South African Constitutional Value of Human Dignity'
- Clive Pearson, 'How Shy Can a Reformed Theology Be?
In August 07, the first consultation on Religions and the Nation State took place in Nigeria as a first leg in a four year research program 'Religions in search of the common good in pluralistic societies'. The International Reformed Theological Institute, Free University, Amsterdam in collaboration with Beyers Naude Centre for Public Theology, Stellenbosch University and the Institute for Public Theology and Development Studies, Mkar organized a two day Consultation Forum (27-28 August 2007) and Capacity Building Research Workshop (29-31 August 2007) hosted by the General Studies Unit of the University of Mkar, Mkar, Benue State-NIGERIA. The total number of participants for the two days was 526.
Public Theology News from Bamberg
The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Research Center for Public Theology, after its opening event in January, has started its activities with a public lecture-series about unconditional basic income which culminated on July 3rd 2008 in a public lecture by Prof. G??tz Werner, a prominent exponent of the concept in the German discourse. An audience of circa 200 people followed his lively talk about "Freedom, Equality and Unconditional Income For All Citizens". Two well-received panel discussions about the anthropological/ethical presuppositions of unconditional basic income and about financial questions prepared the ground for Prof. Werner's lecture. The series of lectures and panel discussions was organized in cooperation with the "Evangelisches Bildungswerk Bamberg".
In addition to the series of lectures, several activities of Prof. Bedford-Strohm touched upon public theology: He was involved in drafting the new memorandum of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Germany (EKD) about the civil responsibility of entrepreneurs. The memorandum (issued in mid-July 2008) argues for an ethical commitment of entrepreneurs for enabling just participation in the economy and for developing ecological awareness. It endorses a social market economy.
In February Prof. Bedford-Strohm was invited to Rwanda by the Presbyterian church of Rwanda and gave a lecture at the Theological faculty in Butare on “Dietrich Bonhoeffer et la Théologie Publique”. The interest in the paradigm of Public Theology there was enormous. The need for the GNPT to become more engaged in the French speaking world became quite evident. Also in February Prof. Bedford-Strohm lectured on “Human Rights in the Perspective of Public Theology” at a conference of sports' and church officials in Sils Maria/Switzlerland which was designed to prepare for the Olympic Games in China. In March Prof. Bedford-Strohm spoke on ???Public Theology as Liberation Theology for a Democratic Society???at the annual national conference of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), hosted by the university of Bamberg. In April he gave a lecture at a conference of the Socialdemocratic party in the German parliament dealing with the problem of the increase of low wage employment in Germany. The lecture was titled “Good employment in the perspective of Public Theology”. At the beginning of June, Prof. Bedford-Strohm held the keynote speech at the diaconical conference honoring the bicentennial of Johann Hinrich Wichern's birthday in Berlin. The lecture was entitled "Strategies against Marginalization". In July Prof. Bedford-Strohm participated in a panel discussion at the International Bonhoeffer conference in Prague (Czech Republic) on the role of religion in public today.
In June 2008, Prof. Bedford-Strohm was invited to join the commission for theological ethics of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe.
The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Research Center for Public Theology was happy to welcome several doctoral students for research stays in Bamberg: Jenny Macrae of Stellenbosch, South Africa, spent a year in Bamberg working on her dissertation about justice and love. Willem Fourie, also of Stellenbosch, South Africa, while being in Bamberg only a two months, was able to meet the theme of his dissertation in person: Bishop Wolfgang Huber. Johan van der Merwe, a post-doc scholar from Stellenbosch had to return to South Africa already in January after a mutually very fruitful stay in Bamberg with his family with a research project on Public Theology. All these research stays were financed by the German Academic Exchange Service. At Prof. Bedford-Strohm's doctoral students' colloquium, Katrin Kusmierz of Basel, Switzerland, presented her dissertation work about Public Theologies in South Africa, which she is currently finishing under supervision of Prof. Christine Lienemann-Perrin.
A "Master of Public Theology" is currently in planning stage. Hopefully, this planned degree will further facilitate academic exchange.