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Comparisons – Coalitions – Critiques
Editor-in-Chief: Ulrich Schmiedel
Political and Public Theologies: Comparisons – Coalitions – Critiques seeks to provide a forum for critical and constructive engagements with the significance of theologies for the public square. Connecting the increasingly interdisciplinary fields of political and public theology, the series is interested in the impact that theologies have on public issues and the impact that public issues have on theologies, both theoretically and practically. PPT invites publications from established and emerging scholars that engage with the significance of theologies for the public square from (1) comparative angles that facilitate inter-religious studies, (2) coalitional angles that foster inter-religious solidarities, and (3) critical angles that re-formulate theology as a resource for contemporary controversies. PPT is published in cooperation with the Centre for Theology and Public Issues (CTPI), University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Abstract

This article begins with an interdisciplinary reflection of the city that considers historical and institutional aspects of its formation and dynamics. The elements presented here allow for critical analysis of city planning and political – institutional interventions, which, in addition to reproducing socio-spatial inequalities and segregation, are combined with antidemocratic conceptions that despise universal access to rights, and effective participation and coexistence for the common good. This exploratory article shows the increase of inequality, poverty, and vulnerability in Brazilian territories. Considering the city of Curitiba as an empirical unit, we investigated part of the process of urban planning trends and experiences that can improve deliberative governance and social innovation, which are essential paths for tackling the serious social crisis in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the materialization of the right to the city.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article aims to show how the concept of the eutopian city can be used as a key for reading Pope Francis’s latest two encyclicals (Laudato Si’, from 2015 and Fratelli Tutti, from 2020). We highlight the ideal of conviviality in the notion of common home, political love, and social friendship, whose paradigm in contemporary urban life would be the experience of neighbourhood. This involves thinking of the city as a space of conviviality and the construction of a common project of society, overcoming the divisions of a closed world in favour of an open world. The papal texts therefore reveal formulation of a political proposal precisely at the time when politics was dying, fostered by new climate conditions and the renewed culture of walls.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article sheds light on a phenomenon that has been called ex- or post-evangelicalism, noticed first in the USA – especially since Donald Trump’s election in 2016 – and then in Brazil, more notably in connection with the rise of Bolsonarism. Based on a series of interviews, the article examines the reasons why a number of people formerly connected to evangelical churches are ceasing to name their evangelical affiliation, particularly as the connection between important evangelical leaders and the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil has gained prominence in the past few years. On top of such a connection, the article shows that among the motives that drive individuals and communities away from their former evangelical identity are the instances evangelical churches have taken against religious plurality, black and indigenous cultures, and LGBTQIA+ communities.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

The growing political influence of evangélico Christians in traditionally Catholic Brazil has caught the attention of social and political scientists as well as theologians. What are the reasons for two thirds of the mainly Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal electorate voting for Jair Messias Bolsonaro, the representative of an extreme right? This article explores traditional positions aligned with Bolsonaro’s morality, but also those that are contrary. The government’s blatant failure to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic has given, and indeed should give, rise to what the author calls an “evangélico sense of shame” as a consequence of the incompatibility of many of that part of the electorate that explicitly identified its faith convictions with Bolsonaro’s stances and actions. At the extreme end of an uncritical adherence is idolatry, visible, in the president being anointed by Edir Macedo, the supreme bishop of the Universal Church of God’s Kingdom. A genuinely theological dialogue and criticism is needed that would evaluate not only cognitive, but also affective and spiritual arguments and aspects.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology