Symposium on African Theologies and the Reformation Legacies
February 18-23, 2016
Opening and Introductory Remarks to the Symposium
The well expected conference on the African Christian theologies and the Reformation legacies’, jointly prepared and organized by the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social sciences (PIASS) in collaboration with the University of Bochum, Germany, started on the 18th February 2016 in Bethany, Karongi.
This Symposium gathers 89 participants who come from universities in Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA, South Africa, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, Cameroun, Central Africa Republic, Tchad. Half of the participants are young theologians and students who are interacting with scholars, on various subtopics including: (1) African Theologies: Past & Present, (2) Christianity and Reformation in today’s Germany and Europe, (3) Sola Scriptura. Translating and interpreting the Bible in the African and European contexts.
Theological and ecclesiological challenges (4) AACC and African theologies: (a) Role of Theologians Associations (b) The contribution of the circle of Women concerned by theology in the development of African theological thought (5) Cultures Encountering Christianity. Traditional religions and philosophies (6) Creation theology & ethics of sustainability (7) Diversity and Pluralism. Christianity in a changing landscape (8) Sola Gratia. Sola Fide. Faith, Love and Men’s works (9) Women in Ministry: Living and expressing faith in Africa (10) Leaderships, Discipleship and Priesthood for all.
Opening and Introductory Remarks to the Symposium on African theologies and the impact of the Protestant Reformation were done by Rev. Prof. Elisee Musemakweli, the Vice Chancellor of Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS), and Prof. Traugott Jähnichen, from Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.
Rev Prof. Musemakweli, after addressing his thankful to all participants for having responded positively to the invitation, he also indicated the purpose of the symposium: Firstly, the importance to draw lessons learnt from the Protestant Reformation, both in Europe and Africa, on the eve of the celebration of its five hundredth anniversary, secondly, the necessity to overview the situation of theologies in order to strengthen, adapt or reformulate them for a greater adaptability to the current context characterized by the emergence of new realities in every domain and, thirdly, according to Rev Prof. Musemakweli, the symposium is also an opportunity to create a framework of dialogue and cooperation for the benefit of younger generations of the institutions and churches.
Rev Prof. Jähnichen, called to mind the origins of the Reformation and the context in which the 500th anniversary takes place: the Protestant churches in Europe is characterized by crises, while in Africa, this anniversary has “an indirect role to play, since it is a memory of European Christianity from the distant past”. He noticed that the Christian tradition is concentrated on the Bible and on faith in God’s grace rooted Jesus Christ. Thus, the task of Christianity in Europe and in Africa as well is to let Christ be appropriated brought to bear as the benchmark for the continued inculturation and be in the central of the Christians’ faith in their daily lives. Rev Prof. Jähnichen, underlined also a hope that the symposium of African theology and Reformation may serve as an opportunity for mutual learning and the enrichment that comes from dialogue.
Download here :Symposium_Opening ceremony.pdf
Download, First subtopic 1 : African Theologies Past and Present.pdf