Understanding public theology in the cities of Africa

The Society for Urban Theology hosts their annual conference, 14 – 15 July 2009 under the theme: Understanding Public Theology in the Cities of Africa: challenges, methods, visions.

The Institute for Urban Ministry would like to invite you to this exciting event hosted in the city of Tshwane. The Society of Urban Theology meets on 14 July, 17h00 – 21h00, and 15 July 2009, 08h00-15h00.

The Society of Urban Theology, is an expression of collaboration with the Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology at Unisa. We are jointly working on a research project called “Doing Urban Public Theology, in Conversation with the Gobal Household of Faith”. Using an action participation research approach, it facilitates conversations with ordinary people, churches, faith based organizations and social movements in various cities in Africa and around the globe. We seek to explore the local expressions of church, theologies and social movements as they interact with influences of globalization.

Complementing the theme of the broader research project, the more specific focus of the Society meeting in 2009 is to explore both the agenda and nature of public theology in the cities of Africa: how does one understand public theology in the context of urbanizing Africa?

Other questions:
• How can this research project interact with the work of pioneers in the area of public theology such as Duncan Forrester, Jesse Mugambi, and others? How can it draw from the work of other contextual theologians and missiologists?
• How do we, in dialogue with such public and contextual theologians, articulate a public theology drawing on the realities of urban Africa?
• What is specific about urban public theologies in Africa, in relation to other theologies practiced in the African context – such as African Theology, Black Theology, African Women’s Theology, various approaches to missiology in the African context, etc.? How may African urban public theologies complement these theologies, and vice versa?
• Which methodologies and research approaches may be used to interact with and participate in religious, social, political, and economic processes and realities in urbanizing Africa?
• How can such research methodologies equip Christian faith communities, urban practitioners and theologians, to understand and critique African cities in terms of political processes, economic disparities, social challenges, environmental degradation, and religious diversity?
• How can public theology help envision programmes of action which may bring about comprehensive healing, justice and transformation (or SHALOM) in urban Africa?

Museum Park Building, Corner of Minnaar and Bosman Streets, Pretoria, Tshwane Central.
Registration fee:
R150 p/person Accommodation: Bed & Breakfast available at Missions Exposure & Training @ R90 per person / night.

For any additional information and registration, please contact Buitumelo Molefe at the IUM office Contact: office@ium.org.za, 012 3259474

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