Theologians Around the World Convene to Observe "Black Theology"

( [email protected] ) Jul 17, 2004 06:26 PM EDT

Representative theologians from the US, UK, the Pacific, India, Jamaica, and South Africa have gathered at Roots and Routes, an International Conference on Black Theology, at the Wilson Carlile College of Evangelism in Sheffield, England. The three-day conference which began on Thursday, July 15 will conclude today, July 17.

Reverend Dr. Inderjit Bhogal, former President of the Methodist Conference and current Director of the Urban Theology Unit, which trains Methodist ministers has co-organized the conference with the Black Theology center of Birmingham University to challenge participants to further expand Black Theology.

Noting a significant movement in Black Theology in the UK since the last International Conference which was held a decade ago, Dr. Bhogal explained: "Black theologians have come forward with distinctive and intelligent contributions to black theology. Roots and Routes will challenge participants to push the frontiers of black theology even further."

He added: "To say 'God is Black' reflects on the way God identifies with black people and our experience of God. Over the last twenty years Black Theology has emerged from black people reflecting on their experiences of God, especially in relation to our varied roots - our heritages, our histories, our hurts, our hopes - and routes, by which I mean the ways that we will flag up markers for our continuing journeys."

Roots and Routes is supported by the Racial Justice office of The Methodist Church. Naboth Muchopa, Secretary for Racial Justice, said: "Black theology underpins the challenge for racial justice and equality. This Conference will further raise the profile of black theology, and will help us in our long term aims of integrating black theology and racism awareness training into the theological training programs for lay and ordained people."

Following the conference, a Black Theology Reader will be published.