USPG joins with partners for international seminar supporting Dalit theology

STORIES
First published on: 4th January 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beginning of 2023 sees a group of some of the most prominent contemporary Dalit theologians and activists joining together for the International Seminar on Dalits, Religion, and Liberation which USPG has organised in partnership with the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), Global Ministries (Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ), and the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS).

Taking place in Bangalore, the conference will serve as a platform for Dalit theologians, organisations, and supporters of the theology to explore new ways in which Dalit theology, as a theology of and for life, can transform the injustices that can so violently mark the life of churches and their wider communities.

Dalit theology in India emerged, in conversation with Black, Latin American and other theologies, in the 1980’s as it sought to rethink Christian theology as well as the missional and ministerial practice of Indian churches from the perspective of Dalit experiences, Dalit culture, and wisdom.

Over the last four decades, Dalit theology has flourished in academic circles thanks to the commitment, courage and creativity of pioneering Indian Dalit theologians. In the last few years in particular, a vast body of literature on Dalit theology has emerged which has captured the interest of researchers beyond the Indian context. At the same time, it has also reiterated itself as a theology of solidarity, that partners with communities and movements beyond the church that are involved in struggles for justice, including the various Dalit movements, global social movements, and the world-wide ecumenical movement.

The landscape for Dalit theological today is shifting in the wake of the global resurgence of religious fundamentalism. Taking stock of these developments, the conference will seek to explore the prospects and challenges that exist for Dalit theology as an anti-imperial theology that holds immense global relevance. Alongside this, it is hoped that the seminar will galvanise ecumenical and interreligious solidarity for Dalit liberation.

USPG Chief Executive Duncan Dormor says.

“The articulation of God’s work within Dalit Theology - rooted in critical contemplation, energised by a prophetic commitment to the truth and guided by solidarity and compassion in the face of searing injustice - could not be more timely.

USPG is committed to liberative theologies in both word and action. It is deeply honoured to be working in solidarity with the Dalit community, through its partnership with the Church of North India and its ‘Let my People Go’ programme, and this important opportunity for deep theological reflection”.

The key-note speaker for the seminar will be Dr Prakash Ambedkar with a response given by Professor Felix Wilfred. Dr Prakash Ambedkar is a noted Dalit activist. The grandson of the iconic Dalit leader Dr B. R. Ambedkar, he served as a member of the Indian parliamentarian for three terms. He is also the founder of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh a Dalit-Identified political party.

The conference will run from Wednesday 5th January – Friday 7th January and also aims to resource the world Church and theological academia through new publications in Dalit theology.

 

Prayer Points

Please pray for the following

  • For all the organisers, partner organisations and speakers of the event. That all will run smoothly and with minimal disruptions so all those attending are able to focus on the important conversations taking place. Pray that the conferences aims and objectives will be realised