This initiative by South African scholars working across theology, development, diaconia and integral mission seeks to bring together expert scholars and practitioners to reflect on the social challenges facing the African continent and the role of Christian faith and actors in meeting those challenges. Most of these scholars are members of the International Society for the Research and Study of Diaconia and Christian Social Practice (REDI), which has a large European base but recognises the importance of expanding its networks with reference to the global South.

The call for papers aims to converge African scholars and practitioners in the above-mentioned fields to engage in discussion on the conference theme – and strengthen their voices in wider international development debates. However, as a partnership initiative in collaboration with ReDI and NetACT, the call is extended to international scholars and practitioners to contribute as part of a South-North dialogue on conference theme tracks.

New conversations are emerging between the fields of international diaconia, integral mission, theology/religion and development around transforming Christian social practices to more authentically meet glocal challenges of social injustice and exclusion. One example is the conversation on diaconia and development within the 10th Assembly of the WCC in Busan, Republic of Korea, in 2013. Known as Ecumenical Conversation 21, several affirmations emanated from the topic, “Compelled to Serve: Diakonia and Development in a Rapidly Changing World”,  including the need for churches and ecumenical partners to:

• form cross-denominational alliances to add value to diaconal/integral mission work;
• develop a common diaconal language in line with both faith and rights-based values;
• claim political space, with other faiths, within a shrinking global political environment;
• appreciate and support diaconal/integral mission work at grassroots level;
• emphasise the social impact of gender, economic and climate injustice;
• engage with new forms of biblical and theological reflection.

The call for papers invites contributions that bring the fields of integral mission, diaconia and theology/religion and development into closer conversation around the conference topic. With the notion of “community” as a central concern, this call is interested to learn from participants what new theoretical directions the aforementioned fields have to offer when relating this focus to the concepts of social justice and social inclusion, by linking theory to faith practice.

The deadline for submission of Abstracts is 15th March 2018 and must be submitted to with a cc to To download the full Call for Proposal, click here.