Sunday, November 06, 2005

Emerging Church, circa 1970s

In recent months both Andrew Jones and Dan Kimball have noted books from the 1970s with "emerging" titles.

I'd like to add another title to the discussion: Sergio Torres and Virginia Fabella, editors, The Emergent Gospel: Theology from the Underside of History (Orbis, 1978).

This is a collection of essays from the 1976 Ecumenical Dialogue of Third World Theologians held at Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). Interestingly, the voices here present interrogate the hegemony of Western theological trends (see below); these words remain true today.

One hopes, as I did in a recent paper, that Emergent (US) voices continue to adopt global postures.

From the Final Statement of the Ecumenical Dialogue of Third World Theologians (1976):

"The theologies from Europe and North America are dominant today in our churches and represent one form of cultural domination. They must be understood to have arisen out of situations related to those countires, and therefore must not be uncritically adopted without our raising the question of their relavance in the context of our countries....We reject as irrelevant an academic type of theology that is divorced from action. We are prepared for a radical break in epistemology which makes commitment the first act of theology and engages critical reflection on praxis of the reality of the Third World" (from the Introduction, p. x).

Any thoughts?


Andrew Jones said...

wow. i need to buy that book, if i can find it.
thanks for bringing my attention to it.
let me know if you write more on it!

jazztheo said...

I enjoyed your paper. We are truly fortunate to live during times in which we can know what our brothers and sisters are thinking and it would do us well to join the world's communion of saints.

Len Hjalmarson said...

Very striking... Reminds me of discovering RIchard Quebedeaux last year where he was writing on the need for moral leadership around 1975.. in part meaning a willingness to sacrifice our own status and agendas.. and I thought that need has not changed. How do we escape the pragmatism we are immersed in, the "how-to's" and get back to the core issues...

LKH said...

I think there is a lot more worldwide dialogue pertaining to this subject than we know of... what a find!