Theologians to deliberate on gender equality
Theologians from 12 seminaries across Sub-Saharan Africa will congregate at Stellenbosch University (SU) from 1 to 3 August for a workshop on gender equality. Themed Understanding the challenge of Gender Equality locally, the workshop is hosted jointly by the Faculty of Theology, NetACT (Network for African Congregational Theology) and EFSA (the Ecumenical Foundation of South Africa).
The three-day workshop forms part of the Faculty’s initiative, Focus on the Promotion of Human Dignity, which in turn forms part of the University’s HOPE Project and will see international and local theologians reflect on the role of theology and eventually the local church in the promotion of gender equality in Africa. The HOPE Project is a campus-wide initiative through which the University is using its academic excellence and cutting-edge scientific research to find solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing South Africa, the rest of the continent and the world at large.
Prof Jurgens Hendriks of SU’s Faculty of Theology and Executive Director of NetACT, says that there is a strong link between hope in Africa and the position, role and influence of women. “Gender equality is a key to unlocking hope in Africa,” he says.
The workshop will also mark the beginning of a three-year research project on how theological education can address the challenge of gender equality in seminary, church and public life. The aim is to publish extensively on issues related to gender equality and to help theological seminaries make gender equality part of their institutional culture.
International speakers at the workshop include Ms Chimwemwe Harawa Katumbi, Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Chancellor College, Zomba, Malawi, Prof Hazel Ayanga, East Africa Coordinator of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians Kenya and Dr Ezra Chitando of the World Council of Churches, HIV/Aids Desk, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Among local speakers are Professors Elna Mouton and Julie Claassens of SU’s Faculty of Theology, and Ms Lisa le Roux of the Unit for Religious and Development Research at SU.
NetACT is a network of theological institutions in the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was formed in 2000 to assist member institutions in preparing leaders for missional congregations.
EFSA promotes dialogue and consensus among church members, business people, academics, politicians, the media and community organisations on specific problems in our society. This institute works closely with the Africa Centre for HIV/aids Management at SU, the Department of Social Development, the Western Cape Provincial Government, the Western Cape Provincial Council of Churches, the National Religious Leaders’ Forum (NRLF), South Africa and the Protestant Churches in Germany.
- Contact Prof Jurgens Hendriks at 021 808-3260 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.