IAPT São Leopoldo 2019 conference
Theme: (De)coloniality and Religious Practices: Liberating Hope
Date: 4-8 April 2019
Faculdades EST, São Leopoldo, Brazil
Below you can find more information about the theme, as discussed during the IAPT-conference in Oslo.
Professors and researchers of Practical Theology in Brazil and Latin America have been engaged in discussing a theme proposal for the 2019 Conference. These discussions have taken in account issues relevant to Practical Theology in Latin America, considering determinant the challenges of the context in which we live. In this sense, we recognized that Liberation Theology has significantly impacted during decades in most of the continent’s Practical Theology theory and practices, often even overlapping with it. Liberation and hope are the central motives of Liberation Theologies, deeply rooted in the Latin American cultures. Today we recognize a plurality of theological approaches. They require that Practical Theology positions itself in face of these new, sometimes difficult challenges, evaluating how they contribute to a new culture of liberation and hope.
It is important to acknowledge that Latin America continues to be marked by social and economic contrasts, by violence and corruption, ecological destruction in addition to cultural and religious effervescence and diversity that permeate all social levels. In contrast, hope and joy are an intrinsic part of our culture. They are a source of resilience that originates in the heritage of different spiritualties’. Conviviality, hospitality, hope, sensuality, music and dance are expressions that link us to the hope for a better future. Undoubtedly, this surprises and causes astonishment due to the intense contradictions. This paradoxical or contrasting reality is evident in the different ways in which religions, theologies and institutions articulate their reflections and practical proposals, whether through traditional, contextual theologies, Pentecostal theology, prosperity theology and neopentecostal movements.
We understand that it is up to Practical Theology to get in touch with different social and cultural realities and reflect critically on the different spaces and religious expressions and theologies. It is necessary to talk about epistemological oppression, fundamentalism, (De)coloniality with the possibility of unveiling the economic, political, cultural mechanisms to which we are linked and that subjugate the knowledge and daily life of those who are in vulnerability (indigenous peoples, blacks, women, children, nature, etc.).