Charles Sturt University
PACT - Public and Contextual Theology

2019 GNPT Consultation, University of Bamberg Germany

The executive board of the Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT) is pleased to announce its Call for Papers for the upcoming consultation of the GNPT. The consultation will be held September 23rd–26th, 2019 at the Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Research-Centre for Public Theology, University of Bamberg, Germany. The following information can be downloaded in a PDF.

The topic of the consultation: “Place and Space: Theological perspectives on living in the world”

Public theologies reflect on the contextuality of the Christian religion. Much of this contextuality is dependent on place: place as the culture and the society in which religions are situated, place as the position from where a theologian speaks, place as the biographical contingencies that shape people’s lives. Moreover, public theologies ask for the contribution of Christian ethics to society, thereby shaping the social, cultural, and religious space to which they belong. The consultation analyses the categories of space and place to deepen the understanding of contextuality as well as to explore glocal problems.

Proposals addressing one of the following dimensions are welcomed:

  • place to live

Who belongs to a nation, society, or community? Who may belong? How does migration influence societies? What are the possibilities – globally and locally – to alleviate the drawbacks that may result from the chances of birthplace?

– keywords: migration, homelessness, new concepts of housing; trading citizenships; colonised and invaded space, work in a globalised world

  • space to live

How is public space shaped and used? How do forms of aesthetic expression change the self-awareness of a society? How can public space be prevented from eroding? How do we deal with spaces of exclusion from society?

– keywords: civil society, urban development, architecture and aesthetics, memorials and monuments, perception of and public support for public space, private and public space

  • sacred space

How is the distinction between “sacred” and “profane” drawn in different contexts? What is the public function of sacred places in religiously plural societies? Can spirituality encourage to move beyond existing borders? Which heterotopias, sacred and secular, can we discover?

– keywords: churches as space within space: encounter with God, space for retreat, place of commemoration, platform for intercultural exchange; church buildings and their secular use; the church within society: mechanisms of exclusion and paternalism of inclusion;

  • space and speech

From where do we speak? How does religion affirm or challenge mechanisms of segregation?

– keywords: theologies of positionality and their limits: nationalism, theology of the land; populist movements; lebensraum; space and perspective

  • politics of space

Which borders regulate access to the public in a given society? Is there a hierarchy of spaces within society?

– keywords: the public and civil society; gender, race, and other ways of coding public space; othering and asymmetries of social construction, zones and milieus, criteria of access and marginalisation, permeability of social space(s); space and stage: self-presentation in public

  • God and space

How does the spatial turn influence our image of God? How to deal with God’s presence and absence in biblical theology and contextual perception? How is our perception of God shaped by its context?

– keywords: contextual theology and the doctrine of God; instances of kenotic theology: creation theology, theology of liberation; divided obligations: to the state, to God

Deadline for proposals and submission guidelines

We invite theologians and scholars of neighbouring research areas to submit proposals of no more than 300 words by December 31st, 2018. These can be submitted electronically to Please add a (provisional) title to your proposal and send us your contact details.

The conference language will be English.

Accepted papers might be published in the conference proceedings.

Please feel free to distribute this call for papers to other interested parties.

Hoping to welcome you in Bamberg,

Prof. Dr. Thomas Wabel, Chair of the Global Network for Public Theology

Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Research-Centre for Public Theology

University of Bamberg

Event details

  • Date: Commencing 23 Sep 2018 - 26 Sep 2018
  • Location: University of Bamberg, Germany