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In Fannie Lou Hamer’s Revolutionary Practical Theology Crozier acknowledges, analyses, and constructs the civil and human rights leader’s Christian thought and practice. Commonly known for her political activism, Hamer is presented as a religious thought leader whose embodiment of ideas and ideals helped to disrupt and transform the Jim Crow of the South within and beyond electoral politics.

Through primary source documents of Hamer’s oral history interviews, autobiographical writings, speeches, and multimedia publications on or about her life and legacy, Crozier allows Hamer to have her say on racial and environmental justice concerns. Crozier introduces Hamer as a revolutionary practical theologian who resided on the margins of the church, academy, and society.
Author: Mirella Klomp
In what is often considered ‘a society “after God”’, millions of Dutch participate annually in a public multi-media performance of Christ's Passion. What to make of this paradox? In Playing On: Re-staging the Passion after the Death of God, Mirella Klomp offers a theological analysis of this performance and those involved in it. Working in an interdisciplinary fashion and utilizing creative interludes, she demonstrates how precisely this production of Jesus' last hours carves out a new and unexpected space for God in a (post-)secular culture. Klomp argues compellingly that understanding God's presence in the Western world requires looking beyond the church and at the public domain; that is the future of practical theology. She lays out this agenda for practical theology by showing how the Dutch playfully rediscover Christian tradition, and – perhaps – even God.
Author: Benjamin S. Day

Abstract

This article draws on the Old Testament book of Amos as a lens for thinking about the aid-giving behaviour of ‘traditional donor’ states at a time of international uncertainty. In the emerging ‘beyond aid’ environment, achieving international development outcomes will require much more than the provision of aid. States and individuals that are serious about contributing to international development will need to ‘go deeper’, actively assessing the development impacts that a wide array of their own behaviours may have on individuals beyond their borders. By bringing key themes from Amos into conversation with characteristics of the international development regime, this article demonstrates why moving away from an aid-centric approach to international development—symbolised by the 0.7% spending target—is proving difficult. At the same time, it reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to function as a critical juncture for reimagining international development in line with the message of Amos.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Cecilia Jacob

Abstract

This article considers avenues for fruitful engagement between international relations and public theology in order to ask what an ethical Christian response to global conflict should entail. The process of mediating principles of biblical justice into a contemporary international context requires interpretation in a reality of territorial bounded states, with rules and norms governing international interactions that are unique to the present day. This article draws on two theologically oriented contributions to international relations, Christian realism and political reconciliation to probe the question as to how we conceptualise justice as a pursuit in international relations from a Christian worldview. It reflects on the contingencies of the present-day context of global conflict, and the implications for praxis from a public theology standpoint.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Alana Moore

Abstract

International Relations scholars routinely credit Christian actors with helping to create the modern international humanitarian order by institutionalizing principles of care and assistance within global governance. As this humanitarian order has become more secularized, however, faith-based reflections have been sidelined in secular academic work on humanitarian issues. This article reflects on the opportunities for dialogue and mutual engagement following the critical turn in International Relations scholarship over recent years. It highlights the development of International Relations thinking on the normative dimensions of the international humanitarian order and shows how their critiques of a secular order have created a window for engagement with the intellectual resources of the Christian traditions. Developing meeting places for engaging on deeper questions of ontologies of practice provides an opportunity to pursue a richer vision of global humanitarian endeavours, to the benefit of all.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Michael Cohen

Abstract

A long Christian tradition has argued that the possession and coercive/physical use of nuclear weapons is morally indefensible and advocated nuclear disarmament. This article takes stock of what we now know about nuclear weapons and advocates a Christian responsibility to redirect initiatives from eliminating nuclear weapons to eliminating the hatred, fear and insecurity that creates a demand for them. It notes the small number of nuclear powers despite many states that could develop a nuclear capability and argues that the United States holds the most responsibility for their limited spread. It also notes that the tendency for nuclear weapons to provide otherwise elusive solutions to deeply pressing security challenges facing the nine nuclear powers means that these states will likely never eliminate them. The article advocates for the removal of the insecurity that generates the demand for nuclear weapons, and briefly illustrates how this might look like in contemporary North Korea.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

The world confronts an enormous range of challenges in the global economy. A far-reaching enterprise has arisen to meet these challenges by producing laws and regulations to shape and protect global commercial and financial markets. This article considers how a Christian theology can guide the highly consequential processes of creating law for world commerce. First, from the perspective of the sociology of globalization, law and markets, the article describes findings from current research on who makes global law and how they make that law in the United Nations’ principal body for the creation of private international law. Second, the article proposes that public theology offers Christian theological principles and middle level axioms to deepen and extend the dimensionality of global lawmaking, thereby offering ethical guidance for prospective global lawmaking. It sharpens focus by appraising the participation and creativity of weak actors in global lawmaking. Third, the article turns to praxis for weak actors in global lawmaking and concludes with considerations that may foster mutually productive dialog between social scientists and public theologians of the global.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Luke Glanville

Abstract

Some Christian political theorists and theologians counter calls for greater generosity toward refugees by appealing to the prerogatives of state sovereignty, the preferential love for fellow-citizens, and the priority of loving nearby neighbours over distant strangers. This article responds to each argument, arguing that the right to exclude outsiders is not an immutable aspect of sovereignty, the construction of a social contract among fellow-citizens does not justify abandoning duties to non-citizens, and, in a highly globalized world, the obligation to love one’s neighbour is not rightly circumscribed by geography. It further argues that Jesus’s parable of the good Samaritan serves as a foil through which it can be seen that many sovereign states not only fail to love the displaced neighbour by providing refuge, but, like the priest and the Levite, go out of their way to keep refugees at a distance—and, like the robbers, even contribute to their vulnerability and suffering.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article documents how the formation of a Scholarly Circle led to the development of the articles published in this issue. We outline how our Scholarly Circle developed across three stages over a period of seven years. By doing so, we hope to encourage others to consider the Scholarly Circle as a potential model to guide small communities of scholars seeking to integrate their faith and scholarship in a deeper and more deliberate way.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Roman Soloviy

Abstract

In recent decades we have observed the recovery of the Christian tradition of hospitality. Christian theologians mostly view hospitality as a fundamental spiritual virtue, an obligation, that is essential for the dynamic expression of authentic Christian faith. Emphasis is given to the moral significance of hospitality. The intention of this article is to demonstrate that a theological framework of hospitality can be enriched by dialoguing with the interpretation of hospitality in continental philosophy. The philosophical approach calls attention to the fact that hospitality is not only a moral virtue that inspires the response of Christian communities to the needs of and the most vulnerable. First and foremost, hospitality should be regarded as unconditional exposure to the Other. This article will conclude with an analysis of preliminary outcomes and of prospects for the further development of a truly hospitable attitude to the other in Ukrainian evangelical communities.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

With the collapse of the USSR in 1991 evangelicals received unprecedented opportunity to raise their voices in the public arena. However, as the events during the Revolution of Dignity (2013–2014) in Ukraine demonstrated, most evangelicals could not formulate their attitude towards these events. Instead they assumed existing positions which sometimes were fundamentally opposite to the Christian narrative. This article seeks to explore perspectives of the one of the pioneers of Baptism in the Russian Empire, Vasilii V. Ivanov-Klyshnikov (1846–1919), on the church, Kingdom of God and society with the view to find elements for a public theology. Ivanov’s perspectives are expanded through the concept of the church as visible and political.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article is based on a case-study of the public debate in Ukraine on the so-called Istanbul Convention ‘on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence’. The debate polarizes churches and more liberal parts of society. The author seeks for the roots of the churches’ position not to address the structural causes of domestic violence as gender-based violence. How does this relate to embracing dignity of the human being as a core principle of the Maidan revolution and of Christian anthropology? Influential documents on moral theology play a detrimental role. The author makes suggestions to address more adequately domestic violence in public theology in Ukrainian context. The coordinates of the proposal are the need for a gender-critical dignity discourse, the need for reimagining the sacramental theology of marriage, and insights for the methodology of a public theology that wants to be both deeply engaged and truly academic.

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

Abstract

The response of the Church to the Revolution of Dignity (Революція гідності) in Ukraine in 2013–14 signalled a seismic shift in Christian public engagement with post-Soviet society. The implications and significance of the Revolution extended beyond the national boundaries of Ukraine. The revolutionary events became a symbol of hope for the church and society. Theologians and Christian leaders throughout the nations of the former Soviet Union began to reconsider the public witness of the church. This article uses the notion of public theology to explore how Ukrainian evangelical Christians can engage with matters of public significance in the aftermath of the Revolution of Dignity. I conclude with a proposal for the application of three principles (freedom, compassion and creativity) as appropriate points of departure for evangelical theological reflection on public issues in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union today.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

The context of Eastern Europe, where faith was hidden and restricted to the private life of believers for so many decades, requires a rediscovery of the public dimension of faith. This article explores the issue of justice in Paul’s letter to the Romans and shows how this could represent an important resource for thinking afresh about justice in the context of Eastern Europe. There is also an important and necessary discussion on the righteousness, justification, justice, terminology in Paul. Paul has a particular understanding of justice as an integral part of the gospel, and that the believers in Christ are empowered to act as ‘instruments of justice.’

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Cyril Hovorun

Abstract

Since its national awakening in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Ukrainian people have had two options for development: to pursue the modernist program of nation-building or to submit itself to the imperial projects that first the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires, then the Soviet Union, and lastly Vladimir Putin were trying to build. The Ukrainian Maidans of 2004 and 2013–14 indicated a third way, a via tertia: to developing a civil society based on civil values, such as transparency, justice, and solidarity. This third option is a way towards modernization. The Ukrainian churches found themselves at the crossroads facing the same choices—the modernist, imperialist, or civil. A public theology that advocates for a ‘symphony’ with civil society, instead of a traditional symphonic relationship with the state, suggests a way for the churches: it would make them coherent with the social developments in the country.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: Ecclesiology