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Report of the ATISCA and the AACC, Joint consultation

Report of the Association of Theological Institutions in Southern and Central Africa (ATISCA) and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) Joint consultation held at the University of Botswana from 11 to 14 November 2010

14 November 2010

Report of the Association of Theological Institutions in Southern and Central Africa (ATISCA) and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)

Joint consultation held at the University of Botswana from 11 to 14 November 2010


Thursday 11th November 2010.

Arrival of delegates and settling in

Brief introductory remarks and an overview of the program for the following two days was given during dinner 

Friday 12th November 2010

Devotion

The meeting started with devotion conducted by Rev. Dr. Simon Dossou.

Basing his reflection on the reading from Matthew 25:14-30, Dr. Dossou reminded the delegates the challenge arising from the passage, namely that we all have received talents in different measure, and as such no one can claim not to have any talent. The question is what is each one of us doing with that talent?

Dr. Dossou further pointed out that even as a region Southern Africa has talents that would make it possible for us to help other regions. He urged delegates to reflect on the  talents Southern Africa has as a region and how the region was using these talents.

He then concluded his reflection by affirming that part of the task of the coming two days was to reflect on how to share our gifts and talents both during the two days meeting and beyond.

Welcome Address by Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities

In his welcome address the deputy dean of the faculty expressed started by stating that he had come to welcome the delegates on behalf of the dean of the school who was unable to come due to other pressing commitments.

He expressed his delight that the ATISCA Consultation was being held at Botswana University. He recollected his previous exposure to ATISCA when he was invited to attend an ATISCA meeting sometime back in Malawi to speak on literature, found lots of similarities with other association like the one on literature which he belonged to. He observed that the work of ATISCA was not only religious but also affects other areas of society.

Turning to the situation in Southern Africa in the context of the African continent, the deputy dean noted that in the past large settler population from Europe made Southern Africa the epicenter of Western Expansion. This gave Southern Africa more exposure to Western civilization (e.g. Southern and Central Africans were viewed to speak English better than other parts of Africa). Even the advancement of Christianity was rapid in Southern Africa. But better communication has made other parts of Africa and especially West Africa more exposed to the Western world such that even the Intensity of Christianity is now stronger in West Africa than Southern Africa, such that Southern Africa is no longer at the centre of Christian expansion. This is a challenge for Southern Africa not to succumb to this.

He observed that the other change was the fact that Christianity did not have the same dominant position as in the past, Southern Africa was now more multi faith. But the attitude of we in Sothern Africa tends to reflect the thinking that Southern Africa was still heterogeneous. This raises the challenge to learn to embrace dialogue because we have different religious groups. Interfaith dialogue was therefore a key issue for Southern Africa.

The deputy dean noted that the ATISCA consultation had come to the University of Botswana at time the University was undergoing transformation. The university was rethinking the programs;

· to make them relevant and responsive to current trends in Botswana and beyond

· to make students function as global citizens

· to take a more at interdisciplinary approach

 

He urged ATISCA to look into how Religious studies can help to enrich this interdisciplinary approach.

Ending with a response to the earlier reflection on the talents, the deputy dean shared that the reading from bible for devotion had led him to ask what talent he had, and he realized that he had the talent for skepticism, doubting, questioning. He cited his personal experience where early in his life he was introduced and became member of a Church that claimed with conviction that it was the only true Church. He started questioning whether there was no other alternative which led him to join another church only to discover that it was also claiming to be the only true church. The deputy dean commended the talent of questioning and urged  members to always ask is there no other point of view?

RESPONSE FROM Prof. Maake Masango

Professor Maake Masango was requested to make a response to the address of the deputy dean.

In his response Prof. Masango pointed out that part of the change taking place in world is in how Africans have been assimilated by the West – Ubuntu is now only in theory because as Africans we have lost our culture…we are swallowed by the global village and ended up working on other agendas instead of our own.

Prof. Masango lamented the change of University of Botswana emblem which had led to loss of some history which had significance not only for Botswana but southern Africa as a whole.

He pointed out some challenges Africa is facing such as;

· Gender insensitivity which has led to the killing of gender initiatives; Young male theologians study with passion the gender commitment but forget quickly when they become Bishops,

· The growing culture of alcoholism among young people who are drinking and destroying the body, one wonders what will become of their bodies when they are over forty!

 

Prof. Masango emphasized that in this changing context we need to relook at ourselves as to who we are.

He then thanked the deputy dean and requested him to convey the thanks of ATISCA to the Dean of the School.

The deputy dean then excused himself to attend to other matters.

 

Introductions

Members were requested to introduce themselves and also indicate their expectations for the meeting. Below is a summary of some of the expectations:

· to create network

· Hoping that with involvement of SA once ATISCA is revived it will not die again, networking will be encouraged

· More networking among Africa Scholars building a theology responsive to issues of Africa

· Linking in area of research and publication to do joint research and publication among Africa Scholars

· hopes that through ATISCA institutions can be connected to the Associations in South Africa , hopes ATISCA can revive a journal and make it our mouth piece. Bring on board other institutions which are doing training but are unknown

· to learn what is going on at different faculties

· Hopes this to be a platform for ecumenical encounter and dialogue and exchange

· Hope that ATISCA will become a forum for mutual strengthening and sharing to impact people. How we can move from teaching the head to teaching the heart and the hands.

· ATISCA will develop a website for better communication

· Start to empower each other especially those who are weak; raise the voice of women

· ATISCA to be revitalized and be functional, the gains of South Africa to be reflected in other institutions

· Hope to find ways to respond to the challenge of Humanities and Theology being subservient to Sciences making it difficult to have students and resources in our faculties and schools of theology

· The process of revitalization will lead to the next step of keeping the Associations alive

· Make connections, revive old friendships, and see what each can contribute

· Hope ATISCA will revive to continue attaining the vision for which it was established


ATISCA – Strengths and Weaknesses – Prof. James Amanze

Professor James Amanze started the presentation by giving a brief background of ATISCA. He pointed out that ATISCA was formed in 1986 during a time of divisions in Southern Africa, especially with regards to institutions in South Africa with which there was no communication because of apartheid.

He noted that the functioning and operations of ATISCA over the years have been up and down, but currently ATISCA has 26 member institutions.

He summed up the objective of ATISCA as that of fostering and enhancing theological scholarship in the various faculties, seminaries and theological colleges, and thus help Churches train their people well in Theology.

 

He reported that over the years ATISCA has planned to carry out various projects – e.g.       Church history project aimed at producing Church history text books; the project of producing commentaries in the context of Africa; project of encouraging contextual theology project; and the ATISCA Bulleting. Most of these projects were not however fully accomplished and most have discontinued owing to the current state of ATISCA.

In terms of the purpose for the existence of ATISCA, Prof. Amanze noted that these were spelled out in the ATISCA constitution, namely;

 

· To serve as staff institute where staff can meet to debate issues

· To stimulate research and publications and be forum for academic discussion, and capacity building

· To foster and enhance the study of religion and theology relevant to the African situation

· To encourage and support graduate and post graduate studies

· To coordinate Theological education and religious studies in the Region and upgrade these in the region

· To serve as advisor to member institutions

 

In terms of the way forward, Prof Amanze noted that after the last ATISCA conference in Swaziland in 2009, the following were noted as key areas for the way forward;

 

· Need to expand – bring in more members

· Strengthen the financial situation – members to include ATISCA in their budget; raise membership fee; produce text books to sell.

 

He concluded by stressing that the key question now is how do we move forward? It is not time to apportion blame as to who is responsible for the current state of ATISCA, it is not time for blame sharing, but to critically respond to the question, where do we go from here with this organization?

After Prof Amanze’s report, the following responses were made by the members:

Affirmation was made that fellowship is important and therefore a body like ATISCA was still relevant.

A question was raised as to what “Religious” means, and where other religions were in relation to ATISCA.

It was noted with concern that gender issues were absent from the ATISCA programs and projects?

It was further observed that what was raised as ATISCA weaknesses could also be strengths e.g. The structural problems could lead to a relook at the constitution which would be key in moving forward.

An observation was also made that the problems seen as at the heart of ATISCA’s non functional state were not unique to ATISCA but general issues and problems being faced by other institutions within area of Religion and Theology. Generally the South is seen as new centre of Christianity, yet it (the South) is impotent in terms of influence.

This point was re-emphasized by the AACC who revealed that ATISCA struggles were similar to those being faced by other regional associations in Eastern, Central and West Africa, and the situation and process was same in other continents e.g. Latin America. Part of the problem is ownership because the start was motivated from outside. With this realization, AACC had suggested that the process of revitalization should start with the institutions themselves. ATISCA institutions should first ask the relevance and then find a way to carry out the revitalization and stabilization themselves.

On the other had it was noted that the revitalization and stabilization of ATISCA was very possible because even though there are problems ridden associations, there are also many organizations similar to ATISCA which are well organized and have managed to go on for many years. Part of ATISCA’s problem is an effective organizational structure. One example of successful associations and societies are those in South African Universities who organize according to interest groups and do research and publication in those interest groups.

 

Dr. Dossou emphasized that as far as AACC was concerned their task was to facilitate the holding of the consultation as it had done for other regional associations, but the decision to continue with ATISCA and how to go about it has to come from the ATISCA membership.

Question was raised as to what led to the failure of the good projects set out by ATISCA in the past, and what were the plans for fundraising? In response it was observed that the failure was due to a combination of factors mainly; Lack of ownership, lack of effective coordination, and lack of interest in the projects proposed.

As a way of moving forward the following suggestions were made:

· That there was evident need to relook at and work through the structural issues

· Owing to the nature of the consultation, constitutional issues could not be dealt with immediately but would be dealt with next year at the ATISCA general conference

· It was further suggested that two small groups be formed to look at further at the various issues needing attention for the way forward, then the two groups to report and from there find a way forward. Need for the groups to look wider and consider the global scenario and have a wider strategy.

AACC and the situation in Africa by Rev. Dr. Andre Karamaga, General Secretary of the AACC

Dr Karamaga informed the meeting that in his presentation he would focus on situation in Africa because information on the AACC was available in the AACC program booklet and the General Secretary’s report to the General committee, and these two documents were available to the members

Dr. Karamaga then started with a brief background of the AACC, highlighting the founding, number of members, and the role of AACC.

He noted that some of the European and North American Mission agencies involved in the formation of AACC have now been affected by secularization, the older generation of leaders in these agencies who were also members and leaders in the Churches have been replaced by younger people who do not go to Church and don’t see the need to be Christians. This has made the access of funds by WCC, AACC, and local Christian Councils more difficult.

He revealed that now there are even European agencies raising money from Europe to use in Africa. These agencies wanted to have a say in WCC, AACC because they claim to be doing humanitarian work, but they failed, so they moved to create their own funding agency now called ACT Alliance.

He noted that the Church in the south had a lot of challenges, some of which being that;

· The Churches in the south have the power of numbers but not of financial resources

· African church has the responsibility of preparing the young generation for the future of the Church

· Need to move the process of doing theology to seek for a theology that would respond to the current situation of Africa and the church in Africa which has become regional, tribal, ethnic. We need an ecumenical theology to inform and foster the process of Ecumenism.

A related special challenge in Africa is that of interfaith. There are places in North of Africa where Christian Mission is prohibited. There are also places in the Southern and central part of Africa where Muslim mission is prohibited. We need to find our own way of propagating interfaith dialogue because our situation is unique.

Dr. Karamaga further pointed out that the “dependency syndrome” was one of the things hampering the progress of the Church in Africa. He noted that this dependency had gone beyond just money to even theological thinking and reflection, as a result we end up towing other peoples agendas and priorities.

In response to the dependency syndrome the AACC had initiated a “Campaign for African dignity”, which involves raising money from the local Churches and individuals. So far the campaign has worked well and has promising results. Africa is not a poor continent, we just need to think how we creatively reach and inspire the churches to own and contribute to mission.

Dr. Karamaga concluded his presentation by announcing that AACC had also embarked on reviving its theological book publishing project.

 

ATISCA and Southern Africa Theological Institutions by Isabel Phiri and Maake Masango

Prof. Isabel Phiri and Prof. Maake Masango gave a Power point presentation on ATISCA and South Africa.

Outline of presentation:

1. South African societies

2. South African journals

3. Areas of cooperation between ATISCA and  South African Societies

4. Towards a Vision for an All African Academy of Theology and Religious Studies

1. South African societies 15

· There are 15 South African Theological and Religious societies

· South African societies are discipline based.

· Some scholars are members of more than one society because they see themselves working interdisciplinary

· members come from all the theological institutions in South Africa.

· For those societies that add “Southern Africa” to their name, they see their membership coming from scholars who reside beyond South Africa.

· Each society has a conference once every year at different venues within the South African Theological Institutions.

· Each member pays membership fees at the annual meetings.

· They also pay for their own travel and accommodation

· Postgraduate students participate in these conferences.

· Their participation is paid for by the institutions where they come from or by their professors research accounts

2. South African journals

· Almost all the societies own a journal where the researched papers are published

· There are 23 journals

· All Journals are accredited by the Department of Higher Education

· Currently all journals are going through Peer review

· Annual research output paid to institutions

· Research output to staff and their students

· Research output  research fellows etc

· All the members of the association subscribe to their journals through membership fees.

· Most of these journals also have an international database.

· 5 of such journals are housed in the School of Religion and Theology at the University of KwaZulu Natal

 

3. Areas of cooperation between ATISCA and South African Societies

 

the presenters pointed out that corporation was possible

· At the level of conferences

· Joint research projects funded by NRF

· Joint publications  e.g. co-authoring papers

· Joint supervision of postgraduate students through cross registration

· Acting as each other’s external examiners

· Staff and student exchange programmes

 

4. Towards a Vision for an All African Academy of Theology and Religious Studies

The first joint meeting of South African societies took place in June 2009, which was hosted by the Faculty of Theology, at the Stellenbosch University.

· It was also attended by scholars from the continent and abroad.

· This joint conference was a success.

· The societies expressed the need of having such joint meetings regularly.

 

The next joint conference will be held in 2012 and it will be hosted by the School of Religion and Theology at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

 

Should we be exploring and preparing something like an All African Academy of Theology and Religious Studies (AAATR) to be held each second or third year?

The aim is to create an independent African continental platform for African theological researches so that we can be more independent from the AAR (American Academy of Religion) which tends to present itself as the most important world forum on theological research.

The future importance of African Christianity needs to be reflected also in its own continental forum for Theological and Academic theological Research to which then people from other continents would make a pilgrimage instead of prominent African theologians always travelling to occasions like AAR in the US.

Responses, comments and questions

It was observed that the practice of hosting people in homes is an African advantage, which does not only cut on costs but also facilitates the building of relationships.

The system of the government giving grants for published articles which is practiced in South Africa was a practice worth understanding clearly how the system works so ATISCA members in other countries can explore possibilities of challenging their governments to consider supporting academic scholarship in their own countries

 

The effort of the 2009 joint conference of societies of Religion and Theology held in Stellenbosch, where invitations were extended to scholars from outside Africa was a great success and an example that it could be continued. WCC ETE had supported the Stellenbosch conference and brought scholars even from outside Africa. It was further observed that this could be a model to lead to holding the All Africa Academy of Religion, the idea could be launched at the 2012 joint theological conference to be held in Pietermaritzburg. The results of that conference could feed into the AACC 50th Anniversary Assembly, and into the WCC Assembly in 2013.

Presentation by Dr. Rachel Fiedler

Dr Fiedler gave an overview of her experience in teaching feminist theology at Mzuzu University in Malawi. She shared the challenges she faced of great opposition. She shared that her main effort was to work at the Integration of feminist and women theology in theological college curriculum in Africa

She noted that the rejection of Feminist theology is mainly due to misunderstanding of the whole purpose and content.

Responses and questions:

It was suggested that to avoid opposition the name of the course should be changed from Feminist or women studies to Gender Studies.

In response it was observed that Title does not matter but the approach was more important. It was recommended to use the positive approach to feminism rather than negative attack on men, seek to focus more on issues!

An observation was made that what was perceived as attacks on men was a reaction arising from the continued oppression of women. It was further observed that there was need to be scholarly and avoid stereotyping. A starting point in approaching the feminist debate would be to encourage reading some of the writings of female theologians so that there is a basic understanding of what the women are saying.

Men need to do a lot of introspection and acknowledgement of the pain we have caused and continue to cause. The perception of what it means to be a man is defined in relation to women! e.g. you are a man if you do not behave like a woman!

EVALUATION OF THE DAY

The following points were raised in the evaluation of the work done during the day:

· The letter of James is a good yard stick with which to measure ourselves daily

· Talents was a key word of launching our day (consultation), it was a correct note of looking at the life of ATISCA, to revive or resurrect ATISCA

· We affirm that the resurrection of ATISCA network should be possible

· Ways of working together:

· Identify ways of getting works published through ATISCA e.g. using Kachele Series

· Great desire and good ideas is not enough, we should take ownership and have commitment in order for the process to work. Need to create strategies to go beyond the theories into action. Finance should not be a limiting factor

· Francophone and Lusophone Universities can benefit from societies in South Africa.

· There was a strong sense of commitment to renew ATISCA, but this required getting rid of the dependency syndrome.

· A group must be constituted to revise the constitution

· Communication should be improved and one practical way was the development of a website

· As a way forward, the formation of specialist groups must be pursued, groups based on passions and areas of interest.

· The participation of ATISCA in the 2012 South African joint Conference

· To support the struggle of female theologians, a deliberate policy where in seminars and conferences the same topic should be given to a woman and a man for them to research and present papers so that both perspectives are heard

· In discussions intellectuals must start from point of information. The reading of publications by women theologians must be encouraged.

· The model of teaching feminist theology created in Malawi plus other models from other institutions should be shared

· Work towards making ATISCA a standardizing and accrediting body.

 

DAY TWO – Saturday 13th November

DEVOTION by Prof Masango

Prof. Masango gave the morning devotion based on the reading from the Gospel of John… He raised the following points:

· You can never preach the gospel with hate!

· Pharisees bring the woman to Jesus – they use Moses’ Leviticus law in order to trap Jesus

· When you deal with stories of the Bible, you are dealing with people who are troubled souls

 

What problems does the story present?

· The woman is brought alone

· They confess having caught the woman in the very act…it means they were peeping in the wrong place

· They quoted Leviticus wrongly, because Leviticus required that if the person is caught with another man’s wife they both should be stoned to death

· The allegation might have been false just to trap Jesus


Information about other regions - Dr. Dossou

All networks still exist but not very effective – the process now is not to look back and lament but to find a way of revitalizing the networks (associations). AACC and ETE thought of organizing the consultations to give an opportunity for networks/associations to reflect and decide on their own which way to go.

The first was the Francophone – consultation in Younde, but the DRC Associations were not present, so DRC was visited only to find many Theological Association. Francophone Association felt they needed to revive, had many projects proposed but one key one was agreed upon namely the revival of the Journal “Flambo”

Second was East Africa (ATIEA) – Agreed to revive and also start with the journal.

Third was West Africa Anglophone – the consultation was jointly with EDAN – They agreed to revive and start with project of interfaith.

 

Fourth is Southern and Central Africa - ATISCA

Comments and questions:

The situation in DRC – country is vast, Mobutu era forced Churches to unite and what would be a council of Churches is a Church, but they are not really together and each of the member Church wants to have its own. The oldest Church is Kimbanguist Church who at the moment have doctrinal problem.

The role of Associations as they are revived seems to focus on research and publication, but previously it has also included accreditation and Standardization. Associations should have a more binding role such as one of setting and monitoring standards according to theological terms and standards.

This question has been raised in other associations and it requires further discussion. It is advisable for the issue to be brought to the Advisory Committee.

 

Funding for Theological Education – Dr. Dietrich Werner

· Background of ETE – started as TEF Programme in Africa at Mission Conference in Ghana 1958

· ETE happy to accompany AACC in revitalizing the theological Association

· New urgency for strengthening African theological education due to massive changes that have occurred on the African continent especially the unprecedented growth which is unmatched by institutional growth to provide quality theological education

· Theological Education is not only useful and important to the Church but to other areas of society

· Voice of African Theological Scholarship ought to be strengthened and made more visible

· Edinburgh 2010 process (centenary conference) highlighted new challenges in theological education worldwide (Global study report on theological education; Handbook on Theological Education in World Christianity)

· Need an African Scholar to do work on the History of Theological Education in Africa

 

5 Major roles and functions of Theological Associations:

1. Common curriculum planning

2. Teacher’s exchange

3. Sharing best practice models

4. Standards and accreditation

5. Retraining of Teachers and academic staff (in service training) for theological Associations

 

Towards an African Fund for Theological Education – Project proposal was suggested and copy circulated

 

Theological Handbook for Africa – Isabel in charge and target is to have the project concluded for the 50 year celebration of AACC.

Making Resources and books available for Theological Training – Global Ethics Net; there is also a process at work of creating another network for theological studies, Global Digital Library of Theology and Ecumenism.

Question was raised as to whether there was a possibility of raising some capital which can be used for the publications.

Publications from Africa are difficult to market abroad because the quality is regarded as low.

Process by WCC to produce a Code of conduct on Mission and Conversion – work done by WCC, Catholic, and Evangelicals.

Group Discussions

Delegates were divided into three (3) groups to deal with the following tasks:

1. Viability of ATISCA

2. Specific points to take to Advisory Committee

3. Strategies for Networking

 

Group Reports

1. GROUP THREE – Networking

· A website be created to serve the basic immediate tasks of

· Communicating the vision of ATISCA

· Share information with stake holders and potential members of ATISCA and also to facilitate information sharing among ATISCA current members

· The group felt there should be continuity to the next ATISCA meeting

· The group requested that they be allowed to continue as a working group to ensure that this networking proposal is implemented. The request was granted with clarification that this was a working group for this specific task and not the ATISCA leadership.

· In terms of content of the website, the group would formulate the entries and send them to ATISCA members for comments and feedback. The entries will only be posted on the website when there is general consensus among the ATISCA members

 

2. GROUP TWO – Proposals or Issues for Advisory Committee

· Revive ATISCA in a different form (Re-look at the constitution) to become a body that standardizes and accredits according to standards that affirm life

· Conferences must be funded from within not depending only on outside funding, members must be asked to pay, but for those unable to pay:

· There should be connections between institutions e.g. Scholars from one university can publish at UKZN and the income is used to fund the cost of conference

· Students must be included and made to travel together to cut on cost, e.g. travel by bus or joint use of vehicles

· The Churches should be used to host people so that the fact that we are training for Churches.

· (Some of these strategies might not work for next year because of the time lead. Therefore there should be a combination of methods both self funding and seeking sponsorship. The committee is planned for June 2011)

· ATISCA chooses the theme of HIV and AIDS as a pandemic that continues to eliminate God’s people. We recognize that despite the effort the problem still persist and therefore suggest looking for indigenous ways of responding to the pandemic. This should also be the theme of the ATISCA Conference. Is it possible to effectively use the rites of passage that affirm life in the midst HIV/AIDS. We are looking for elements in the African cultural way of life which affirms life. Reconstruction of UBUNTU. The pandemic also has a gender dimension.

 

· Formation of an All Africa Academy of Religion and Theology – AACC to coordinate the formation by calling representatives from all the Associations to propose a structure and guidelines for criteria, standards, evaluation for theology and Theological education in Africa (This will be similar to the American Academy. It should be created outside South Africa. The concept must be drawn to present at the Advisory Committee. A think Tank group from the advisory group to be set up to work on this)

 

· ATISCA supports the project of the Hand Book of Theological Education in Africa – AACC to help identify key theological scholars from all three language groups in Africa (Francophone, Lusophone, Anglophone) to spearhead the project

· Foster relations between ATISCA and Associations of Theology and Religion and their Journals in South Africa for mutual benefit


GROUP 1 - Viability of ATISCA

That the ATISCA Constitution be set aside

· Elect an interim committee to spearhead the process of reviving ATISCA. (The committee should include some old members and someone from South Africa). The committee will work with specific guidelines

 

· Term of office bearers must be extended to at least four years (clarified that the executive was elected for two years renewable)

 

· Make concrete proposals for way forward which will include revising the constitution

 

 

 

Interim Committee to follow up the strategies of the consultation until the next ATISCA Conference:

 

1. Maaraidzo Mtambara (Zimbabwe)

2. Maake Masango (South Africa)

3. Dinis Matsolo (Mozambique)

4. Francois Nsengyumva (Malawi)

5. James Amanze (Botswana)

6. Ross Olivier (South Africa)

 

An additional area needing to be addressed through ATISCA is “What is the future of theological education in the face of changing patterns of education in Universities and Seminaries?”

SUGGESTED REFORMULATION OF TOPIC

 

1. Theological cultural dynamics on Land in the face of HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa

2. African cultures and the identity of the Church: Case studies in HIV and AIDS and Land Issues

3. HIV and AIDS: Emergent issues and indigenous responses

4. Land and HIV&AIDS: Theological responses from Southern Africa (The theme combines ATISCA and AACC Theme)

 

The fourth topic “Land and HIV&AIDS: Theological responses from Southern Africa” was chosen because it embraced the other themes and that it also combines the ATISCA theme and the AACC theme.

Ross, Isabel, and Maake to work on the subthemes and send to the rest of the members for feed back before finalizing the theme and sub-themes.

Our (ATISCA) purpose is to foster and strengthen networking and cooperation among institutions of Theological Education within Southern Africa in order to promote care, compassion, healing and transformation as core emphases within the curricula for theological education.

 

Within this broad framework we recommend that for the time being the crisis of HIV&AIDS with its many social and cultural issues (e.g. land, gender etc) should be our common primary focus. Theme number four above is therefore selected

 

Prof. Maake Masango and Prof. James Amanze were chosen to represent ATISCA at AACC Advisory Committee

 

· The venue for the 2011 Conference will be Johannesburg to coincide with WOCATI

 

· The venue of the 2012 Conference will be in Pietermaritzburg to coincide with the meeting of Associations of South Africa

 

Financial Report by Prof. James Amanze

 

Prof. Amanze gave a brief on the finances reporting that ETE had given the grant for 2010 amounting to US$4,000 (P 30,000). It was agreed that the account be maintained with the University of Botswana School of Religion, for the time being.

 

The following will be the Signatories Prof. James Amanze, Prof. Joseph Gaie, Dr. Obed Kealotswe.

 

The signing arrangement will be Prof James Amanze will be the principal signatory and any one of the other two

 

Proposed by Francis (Malawi), seconded and unanimously agreed

 

How do we carry the message back? The aim is to have the minutes in a week’s time.

 

It was further suggested that there be a communiqué to go out to Churches and other Association, the interim ATISCA Committee to work on this communiqué

 

Prof. Maake Masango then gave some remarks to wind up the session:

He observed that important decisions had been made in the consultation and therefore there is need

· To pray

· Communicate with each other

· Invite others to join ATISCA

 

Concluding

Dr. Dossou: thanked Masango for chairing, thanked the preparatory committee which had worked on the preparation of the meeting.

 

Dr. Karamaga: Thanked the leadership of the meeting, especially the work of Prof. Amanze who had played an important coordinating role. Pledged full support of AACC that priority is theology.

 

Acknowledged the commitment of Dr. Dietrich Werner who has done a lot in supporting theological work in Africa. The context is difficult, but we should remember the strategy of Jesus who used 11 people to carry on the mission. Urged the participants that they have a special responsibility to tell AACC if it is deviating from the vision

 

The consultation was closed with prayer