World Council of Churches (WCC) deputy general secretary Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri presented at the ReDI Conference, held 12-14 September at the headquarters of Diakonie Deutschland in Berlin.
The lecture, entitled “Globalisation and Justice from a Theological Perspective: AGAPE to NIFEA” offered examples of the effects of land grabbing on ordinary people, reflected on globalisation transforming the global economic landscape, discussed the WCC’s theological critique of globalisation, and reflected on how the Pilgrimage of Justice relates specifically to economic justice.
Phiri also relayed how an “Economy for Life” challenges agents of ecumenical diakonia by arguing that respect for the dignity of every woman and man is central to a Christian understanding of life in all its fullness.
The Seventh Biannual ReDI Conference, with the theme “Beyond Services - Towards Justice,” was organized by Diakonie Deutschland, the Institute for the Study of Christian Social Services at the University of Heidelberg, Eurodiaconia and ReDi.
Phiri described how, as an ecumenical body of Christian churches from around the world, the WCC envisioned and continues to uphold a vision of a whole and dynamic oikoumene where all life has a place to flourish.
“Notwithstanding this, the WCC had from the very start espoused a more skeptical view of globalisation as it was actually playing out,” Phiri said. “Though globalisation may have lost some of its original luster, many of the structural changes it has wrought over several decades are unlikely to go away soon and continue to demand personal and institutional repentance as well as national and global rules governed by justice and the common good.”