Plugged-in Theology

Adapted from ACNS

The Anglican Communion’s Mission Theology Project convened a three-day conference of theologians via the web. The conference, which met March 27-30 through St. George’s College in Jerusalem, was led by the Rt. Rev. Graham Kings, mission theologian in the Anglican Communion, and Muthuraj Swamy, associate professor in theology and religion in Pune, India.

The webinar included theologians from Brazil, Egypt, Japan, the Middle East, Nigeria, Myanmar, South Sudan. They prepared papers on reconciliation and mission that will appear in a book on that theme before the Lambeth Conference of 2020.

The Rt. Rev. Samuel Enosa Peni Tari, Bishop of Nzara in South Sudan, traveled to Uganda for a reliable connection.

“I was impressed with the vitality of the webinar,” Bishop Kings said. “The format worked very well indeed. We had a lot of fun and fellowship, as well as banter, combined with serious discussion.”

The theologians circulated nine papers for advance reading, so the webinar was a chance to discuss the contents. Each presenter had 10 minutes to talk about a paper, followed by a 35-minute discussion.

Professor Swamy said the webinar was extremely effective. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it felt like it was the Anglican Communion connected on one screen,” he said. “The discussions were very good and there were lots of constructive suggestions.”

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Conference Papers

  • The Rev. Naim Ateek, founder of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem: “Reconciliation and Justice in Palestine-Israel”
  • Joanildo Burity, lead researcher and professor at the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation: “Mission and Reconciliation: Can Embattled Faiths Listen to Powerless Theologies?”
  • The Rev. Yohanna Katanacho, academic dean, Nazareth Evangelical College: “The King of Peace and His Young Followers”
  • Abiola Mbamalu, academic in Nigeria specializing in Pentecostalism: “Christian-Muslim Encounter in Nigeria Especially in Light of Boko Haram”
  • Naw Myatt Hsu Mon, academic dean, Holy Cross Theological College: “Missio deo in the Context of Myanmar Anglicans”
  • The Rev. Lydia Mwaniki, director of theology, family life, and gender justice in the All-Africa Conference of Churches: “Women, Reconciliation, and Mission an Africa: A Biblical Mandate”
  • The Rev. Gustavo Gilson Oliveira, vicar of the Anglican Parish of Bom Samaritano, Recife, and professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco: “Reconciliation, Conflict, and Renewal: Dilemmas and Paths of Missionary Action in the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil”
  • The Rt. Rev. Samy Shehata, Bishop of North Africa and principal of the Alexandria School of Theology: “Reconciliation and Mission: Church as Communion in Contemporary Egypt”
  • Muthuraj Swamy, dean of the faculty of theology and formation, Union Biblical Seminary: “Reconciliation Grounded in Self-Criticism, Pro-activism and Justice: Lessons from Jesus’ Encounter with the Syrophoenician Woman”
  • The Rt. Rev. Samuel Enosa Peni Tari, Bishop of Nzara: “Reconciliation and Mission”
  • The Rev. John Tsukada, priest in the Diocese of Tokyo: “To Be the Reconciled Priority”

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