On the 8th of July, on the 7th anniversary of Pope Francis’ visit to the island of Lampedusa where he spoke about “globalised indifference” the new International Network for Liberation Theology and Interreligious Dialogue was launched. The aims and objectives of the network are the following:
To foster a monthly conversation between those engaged in academic liberation theology and practitioners with the poor and the marginalised.
To foster the development of theological voices arising out of the experience of the poor and the marginalised as outlined in liberation theology’s orthodoxy and orthopraxis.
To meet monthly online in order to foster the input of regional conferences on themes such as “poverty”, “injustice”, “the churches and injustice”, “post-pandemic theology and interreligious dialogue” so as to create a forum in which theological reflection from liberation and praxis will be articulated after listening to the reality of the poor and God’s preferential option for the marginalised. During 2020/2021 the Network will take part in the CSRP conferences “African Theology Today” and “Indian Theology after the pandemic”.
To reflect on the pandemic internationally with the methodology of liberation theology (action precedes the writing of theology) incorporating dialogue with practitioners of all religions as to discuss the possibility of common action and reflection.
The challenges of Liberation Theology and Interreligious Dialogue have been outlined in M.I. Aguilar, After Pestilence: An Interreligious Theology of the Poor (London: SCM Press, 2020). The challenges of “universal responsibility” rather than a “globalised indifference” have been outlined in M.I. Aguilar, The XIV Dalai Lama: Peacekeeping and Universal Responsibility (New Delhi: Routledge India, 2020).
The Network will function as a research group with expected 200 members with significant membership in Latin America (Brazil), Asia (India), and Africa (Liberia). There will be an open annual international conference. Membership is free and it is still available.
The Network will be coordinated by Dr Eve Parker (University of Durham), Dr James Morris (University of Tsukuba, Japan), and Professor Mario I. Aguilar (University of St. Andrews). It will be based at the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (CSRP), University of St. Andrews, Scotland with a strong connection to the publishing side of Liberation Theology at De Gruyter Publishers in Berlin, Germany.
The first meeting will take place in August 2020. Membership is now open. Please email me with a copy of your CV at firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership is open to theologians, activists, NGOs, and particularly to members of all world religions , and particularly members of the “majority churches”.
Mario I. Aguilar