“Visions in Frames”: Forming New Theological Narratives on Dalits and Adivasi concerns
Friday, Sep 27, 2019

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Eighty young theologians of the Church of South India (CSI) from predominantly Dalit and Adivasi background came together to present their voices, which are the new visions and affirmations of the 21st-century theologians from the marginalised communities, at the CSI LITE Auditorium on the 25th September 2019. Twenty- four of them presented papers and the others responded to them, which created a fruitful time of deliberations and suggestions.

Rt. Rev. Dr Vadapalli Prasada Rao, the Deputy Moderator of the CSI, inaugurated the colloquium. Rt. Rev. Dr J. George Stephen, the Chairperson of the Dalit and Adivasi Concerns Department of the CSI, presided over the meeting. Rev. Dr Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary of the CSI presented the Keynote Address and encouraged the young theologians to adapt the language of the common people to tell them the latest theological affirmations from the perspectives of the marginalised communities.

Rev. Dr Manual Titus; Secretary, CSI Madras Diocese, and Prof. Dr J. Samuel Cornelius; Treasurer, CSI Madras Diocese, shared greetings to the theologians.

Rev. Dr. Praveen Perumalla; the Liaison Officer of CSI- EMS, Rev. James Cecil Victor; Director, Pastoral Concerns Department of CSI Synod, Rev. Maxcin John; Director, Mission and Evangelism Department of CSI Synod, and Rev. Solomon Paul; Director, Youth Dept., CSI Synod moderated the sessions of presentations of papers.

Rev. Christy; Karnataka Central Diocese, Rev. Dr. D. Manohar Chandra Prasad; Karnataka Central Diocese, Rev. Solomon Raj; Medak Diocese, Rev. Sunil Varakumar; Rayalaseema Diocese, Rev. Hemalatha; Karnataka Central Diocese, Rev. George E. Mathew, Kollam Kottarakkara Diocese, Rev. Shibu P. L.; Madhya Kerala Diocese, Rev. Dhivya; Vellore Diocese; Rev. Immanuel Nehemiah; Karnataka Central Diocese, Rev. Rajan Moses; East Kerala Diocese (KUTS), Rev. Jenu John; Madhya Kerala Diocese, Rev. M. Rajendran; Vellore Diocese, Rev. Naga Bhushanam Kondapalli; Dornakal Diocese, Rev. Y. L. Babu Rao; Madras Diocese, Rev. K. Jason; Medak Diocese, Rev. Dr. Babu Masilamani; Vellore Diocese, Mr. Dhivin Paul; Malabar Diocese, Mr. Sibin Stanly, Malabar Diocese, Rev. Abidanandhar; Madras Diocese, Rev. Sabin John Benson; Madhya Kerala Diocese, Rev. Belshiya Ruth; Madras Diocese, and Rev. Paul Lawrence; Madras Diocese presented papers.

The papers presented in the colloquium will be published as a book.

You can read the concept of the programme below:
Dalit Theology, which drew inspiration from the liberation theology and at the same time rejected its exclusive ‘class-based’ analysis of social analysis and relocated the discourse to the intricacies of casteism that discriminate different communities into a heinous hierarchical order, has its journey for the last three decades. As any other theology, Dalit theology is also not having any immunity from criticisms. But, the Dalit Theologians in India are willing to accept the criticisms and to have a self-critical approach. Dalit theology is criticised in various levels: it is not willing to continuously reinvent, and more of reciprocity with the current social sciences and theologies are needed are a couple of criticisms. Another criticism is that many a Dalit Theologian are not either from the Dalit background or do not face the real Dalit experiences. Hence, this programme aims at giving space for the young Dalit and Adivasi theologians to voice their concerns and add their perspectives to the Dalit and Adivasi theologies.

Aims and Objectives

  • Encouraging the young Dalit and Adivasi Theologians to critically evaluate the Dalit and Adivasi Theologies.
  • Helping the young Dalit and Adivasi Theologians to articulate relevant Dalit and Adivasi Theologies for the current times.
  • Bringing in a new phase of the ‘mainstreaming of Dalit and Adivasi concerns’ in the other perspectives of the departments of the CSI Synod.
  • Influencing and contributing to the formation of the mission priorities of the Church of South India for the coming decades with the Dalit and Adivasi perspectives.

Rev. Sunil Raj Philip,
Dalit and Adivasi Concerns Dept.,
CSI Synod.

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