Connecting faith and action
A new centre to help Christians explore questions about justice and how we understand and live out our faith in today’s world launches this week
The Centre for Theology and Justice is a collaborative initiative to encourage, support and make available the results of theological reflection on current issues of justice.
The Centre is a network of partner bodies and collaborators rather than a physical location, explained co-ordinator, Baptist minister the Revd Dr Simon Oxley. ‘The centre will be more of a virtual centre,’ he said, ‘it will find its expression on its website and social media, and in events and processes which promote theological reflection on issues of justice.’
Its core partners are Christian Aid, Church Action on Poverty, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and Luther King House, Manchester.
The need for theological reflection ‘has been raised acutely by the refugee crisis’, the website states, ‘and there are many other pressing areas of social justice which demand our attention.’
The Centre will ‘draw on the theological reflection and contextual theology already being done; linking to action and underpinned by a commitment to justice.
‘We will consider what else needs to be done and how that can be achieved,' the website continues. 'We will work to resource the grassroots to engage in their own contexts.’
It will work in a number of ways, including:
Provide a series of lectures aimed at developing the capacity of Churches to reflect theologically on issues of justice, including the annual David Goodbourn lecture.
Build a network of speakers who can advocate on issues of justice.
Run workshops, research days, theme weeks and conferences on issues of justice.
Propose, sponsor and oversee research projects on specific issues.
Contribute to various partners’ specific projects when appropriate.
Gather and share grassroots stories.
Contribute resources to churches in the area of justice, spirituality and liturgy.
Offer placements through partners for internships.
Inform and enrich theologically the work of all of the partners.
The launch took place at Luther King House on Wednesday (10 May).
It was held at the inaugural lecture in memory of ecumenical educator and leader David Goodbourn. Father Augusto Zampini, an Argentine Roman Catholic priest and theological adviser to CAFOD, spoke on the topic 'Is justice enough? A radical Christian response to the current humanitarian and ecological crisis'. A full report and video will be shared by the Centre in due course.
David was the former General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and a former President of Luther King House.
‘It was felt appropriate that the lecture and centre, because it chimed with his concerns,’ said Simon. The lecture will take place annually.
Commenting on the launch of the centre, Bob Fyffe, General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, said, ‘We are faced with many challenging issues which raise questions about justice and how we understand and live out our faith in today’s world.
‘The Centre for Theology and Justice will enable more Christians to reflect theologically on these issues, and make a public, prophetic voice heard.’
The Centre for Theology and Justice will share resources and news of its work at www.theologyjustice.org
Follow it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theologyjustice/
And on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theologyjustice
Other organisations can become Associate Partners of the Centre and undertake specific or collaborate in pieces of work under the name of the Centre for Theology and Justice.