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In: Exchange

Abstract

The war in Ukraine has generated a debate both within the orthodox church and on an inter-Christian level regarding the religious legitimation of military conflicts. The inability of inter-Orthodox and ecumenical bodies to formulate a common stance in the face of war has raised questions about the current methodology employed by ecumenical assemblies. Some have suggested exhausting the instruments of dialogue, while others have proposed expelling churches with a pro-war profile from ecumenical organisations. This article aims to demonstrate how this problem also arises from the politicisation of ecumenical assemblies, which detracts them from the ecclesiological principle that should guide Christian witness.

In: Exchange
In: Exchange
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In: Exchange
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Abstract

The Iglesia Filipina Independiente was established in 1902, in the context of the US occupation of the Philippines. The church has become known for its outspoken emancipatory political stance in the course of the 20th century. Yet, in its early days, the church wrestled with the question how to negotiate the restrictions that had been imposed regarding explicit political agitation. This paper argues that the church found a way forward regarding this by developing a prefigurative self-understanding, according to which the church, in its self-organization, theology and liturgy, foreshadowed the future of the nation of the Philippines as a whole. The ecclesiology of the church became its political program. Using insights from the study of prefigurative politics, it is shown how this course of action becomes evident in the Iglesia Filipina Independiente’s publications, such as journals and liturgical books.

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Abstract

The defining sign of our time in relation to violent conflict is the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war. It impacts not only European countries, but also the Global South. From an African postcolonial theological perspective, the question is how to discern the ‘neutral’ stance of South Africa and various other African countries on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Therefore, this article aims to present a postcolonial African analysis of violent conflict and trauma in Africa. This will be done referring to the debate between Tinyiko Maluleke and Emmanuel Katongole on the future of African theology. It concludes that the churches in Africa and theology can play their role in a posture of humility, leading in performing rituals of lament in the face of trauma. The narrative of a future African theology (and African ecclesiology) may not adhere to Eurocentric (neocolonial) dictates, or to reductionist analysis of the context.

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Abstract

This article explores how the pursuit of peace can inspire ecumenical theological discourses. Discussing the theme of the approaching Swedish Ecumenical Centennial in 2025, “Time for God’s Peace,” the article calls attention to voices of ecumenists who gathered in Sweden in the interwar and postwar periods, in the context of the Life and Work and the Faith and Order movements. By means of taking the endeavours of pioneers in ecumenical history into regard, the investigation focuses on how theology can be constructed with a peacebuilding purpose. Considering that the churches have not only played a peaceful role in face of conflict and war, the article entails exploring the role of self-critical introspection in such ecumenical theological work. Moreover, with regard to the future oriented nature of this work, the article pays particular attention to how it has engaged young ecumenists.

In: Exchange
Free access
In: Exchange