Theologies, no matter their designations, are public measures—they disclose as well as gauge the publics (near and far) on which they stand, sit, lie, or fall. Because publics shift and mingle, theologies require reimagining, relocating, and embracing fresh insights and energies. The insights and energies embraced in this work are in three clusters: spaces, bodies, and technologies. The spotlighted spaces are in Africa, Asia, Black America, the Caribbean, and Pasifika—beyond the eyes of mainline theologies; the privileged bodies have survived, with scars from empire and missionary positionings; and the welcomed technologies include Dalit, indigenous, art, poetry, cyborg, and the novel. This collection is troubling in several ways: first, reimagining and relocating are troubling acts upon their subject matter—here, public theologies. On that note, what theology is not public? Second, this work takes theologies in general, and not just the theologies that carry the “public” designation, to be public theologies. Third, this work takes theologies in general to be inherently troubling. In other words, theologies that are not troubling are not public enough.
Jione Havea is research fellow with Trinity Methodist Theological College (Aotearoa New Zealand) and with the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (Charles Sturt University, Australia).
1.Haunting Lazarus: John 11:1–12:11
2.Dare to Hear
Aruna Gogulamanda, Anna Jane Lagi, John Robert Lee, Chad Rimmer, Karen Georgia A. Thompson
rereading (from) public spaces
3.The Bible in Public Places: A Zambian Pentecostal Woman’s Critique of Rev Sumaili’s Use of the Bible
4.Quest for Life: A Postcolonial Dalit Feminist Reading of Qoheleth
5.Engaging Death Publicly: Rereading John 11:38–44 in the Philippines
Maria Fe (Peachy) Labayo
6.Uncovering Mālie in the Bible: Humoring Public Spaces
Brian Fiu Kolia
rereading (with) missioned bodies
7.Reimagining Mission in the Context of British Colonial Rule in Mizoram
8.Deposing “Massa Jesus”: “Magnificat” Moments Amongst a Colonial Mission Archive
9.Brit(ish) Public Liberation Theology: An (Im)migrant’s Proposal
Raj Bharat Patta
10.Rising to Life: A Syrophoenician Woman Invites Jesus to Do Public Theology
Ericka Shawndricka Dunbar
rereading (across) broad technologies
11.Technology, Caste-bodies and Labour: Thinking with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on Leisure
Shiju Sam Varughese
12.Political Theology of Inter-carnation: Being-Human in the Development of Science and Technology
13.Aboriginal Mural of Atayal and Ethics of Sight
14.Does the Wind Speak? An Aeolian Listening to Ruach in Exodus 1–18 with Fairoz Ahmad’s Interpreter of Winds (2019)
LIM Chin Ming Stephen
15.Rise Up and Stir: Doing Theology in Public Spaces
Michael N. Jagessar
Theologies that discern and radically engage (DARE) life will trouble traditional theological positions, perspectives, and biases. This book is a valuable resource for discerning and radical theologies. I appreciate the space it gives to Dalit bodies, wisdom, and visions to radicalize the doing of (public) theologies.
The shift in the geographic centre of gravity in global Christianity is also leading towards a shift in where academic centres of excellence in doing theology are located. This series ‘Theology in the Age of Empire’, and this volume in particular, signal such a shift and thus trouble Eurocentric perceptions in ‘mainstream’ public theology. It questions long-standing distinctions between mission and the missioned, uncovering and recovering the Bible, bodies and land, art and technology, resistance and softness, beginnings and endings. Remarkably, it does so through a sense of humor and celebration.