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Interrogating and Redefining Power - Consultation of Younger Theologians from the South

Taking place in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in February 2004, its purpose was to explore these theologians' distinct perspectives on power as people whose theology is shaped in contexts of intense struggles for life, justice and liberation.

01 February 2004

Taking place in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in February 2004, its purpose was to explore these theologians' distinct perspectives on power as people whose theology is shaped in contexts of intense struggles for life, justice and liberation.

The co-sponsorship of this pioneering venture by the theological concerns desk of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), together with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and the logistical support offered by McGilvary Faculty of Theology, Chiang Mai, and the Church of Christ in Thailand, all contributed to making this a very productive event.

The 27 participants - theological educators and social activists - came from Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific, and brought with them their specific contextual and experiential perspectives as well as their distinct tools of analysis to interrogate and redefine power.

The consultation was preceded by an intensive preparatory process. Each participant came with a paper on the theme from his/her own contextual/ experiential perspective. These were placed under three broad categories - people's power versus political power, biblical and theological perspectives on power, and power in interpersonal relationships - and were discussed in groups.

In listening to each other, the participants were led to discern points of convergence as well as of difference, and to set a common agenda for further exploration.

The challenges/issues thus identified were clustered into four main groups:

  • biblical and theological perspectives
  • faces and experiences of power
  • unity and solidarity, and
  • the power of religion and culture These topics provided the agendas for the working groups for the rest of the meeting, culminating in a spirited discussion in the plenary on the last day.

An outcome of this process was an outline of common understandings for further exploration:

Download the text:
Interrogating and Redefining Power - Chiang Mai (pdf)
Interrogating and Redefining Power - Chiang Mai (Word)

Download : fo2004_16_chiangmai_report_en.pdf