International Network for Liberation Theology and Interreligious Dialogue

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 mia2@st-andrews.ac.uk

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

Documentary – Michael O’Sullivan in Chile

The Jesuit priest Michael O’Sullivan has just released a documentary with his experiences in Chile during the military regime, the work of the Christian communities and his own forced exit from Arica in northern Chile.

I am delighted that this documentary is available and I highly recommend it.
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0BB3D6oB3Q

Dr O’Sullivan is Executive-Director and Co-Founder, Spirituality Institute for Research and Education (SpIRE) in Dublin, see Website: www.spiritualityinstitute.ie

Professor Mario I. Aguilar elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHist.S)

Professor Mario I. Aguilar has been elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHist.S) in recognition for his extensive work on Latin American ecclesiastical and theological history (A Social History of the Catholic Church in Chile – 9 volumes and The History and Politics of Latin American Theology – 3 volumes), his work on the history of Tibet since 1391 (The Rising of the Dalai Lamas in Tibet: From the First to the Fourth 1391-1617 and The Jesuits in Tibet at the time of the VI and VII Dalai Lamas) and his biographical work of Pope Francis (Pope Francis: His Life and Theological Thought). The RHS was founded in 1868 and it speaks for the interests of history and historian. It consults with and makes representations to government and the funding councils on their behalf; it engages with the professional keepers of the nation’s material heritage such as the National Archives and the British Library to develop the raw materials and resources available for historical scholarship; and its works closely with other historical bodies – such as the Historical Association– to further the serious public discussion of history. The Patron of the RHS is Her Majesty the Queen.