Insular theology

“Theologians must strongly reject the current pedagogical schemas that separate missionary texts from theological texts, missiology from theology, both historical and systematic. The current practice of teaching systematic theology (and all its varieties – dogmatic, pastoral and so forth – and all its historical epochs) and then of teaching of missions (historically conceived) or intercultural studies or both as separate realities only slightly related may in some instances be pedagogically defensible, but ultimately it is immoral in the current situation.

The immorality here lies in the loss of historical consciousness: the world of theology and the theological world of Christianity changed with the moment of discovery of the new worlds. . . Theologians are still at a loss to grasp the deeper connections between theology on the ground in the New World and theology in the Old World. Theology was sealed off from the theology on the ground of the priests and the merchants. Freed from being asked to make sense of the New World and the world’s new flesh, theologians turned their attention to safeguarding [conservative] or refashioning [liberal] Christian intellectual life as that life entered the deep waters of modernity.” (The Christian Imagination, p. 116)

To rehash Einstein’s words, theology without mission is lame and mission without theology is blind. Theology awaits and is ripe to be liberated from its current insular condition. Thus, it is also appropriate to call liberation theology as liberated theology.


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