Wednesday, October 15, 2014

indigenous women’s Christologies project

The indigenous women’s Christologies project began tonight. It began with an indigenous Adnyamathanha woman, Aunty Denise, speaking at our theology class, talking about how she does Christology. It was an extraordinary performance, with an hour of what was essentially an extremely sophisticated hermeneutic, laced through with stories of how the oral stories of culture help her address “Who is Jesus for her.” So the Jesus theology class got an outstanding example of contextual theology. The evening was open to the public and it was great to have a few visitors join us, and catch a glimpse of the edges that contemporary theology at Uniting College is currently exploring.

A second evening will occur on October 22, when Eseta Meneilly will join us, offering an indigenous Fijian Christology.

Around this speaking, two further processes are at work. The talk was being recorded, for future reference. In addition a researcher was in the room, listening and recording. The aim is the production of a written and video resource study guide, which in conversation with the presenters can be used more widely – by other classes and by other theologians.

I introduced the lecture today with the following:

“This breakthrough that occurred in early Christianity via dialogue with the different cosmologies is an important precedent and model for the conversations that should take place today between cosmology and Christology.”

Now change three words (worldviews and cultures).

“This breakthrough that occurred in early Christianity via dialogue with the different [worldviews and cultures] is an important precedent and model for the conversations that should take place today between [worldviews and cultures] and Christology.”

In hearing the theology of another, their conversation between their local worldview and a Christology, it helps us begin to form and refine our “model.”

So the class are now processing three questions
– How does Aunty Denise do theology?
– Who is Jesus for Aunty Denise?
– What can I and my community learn for how we do theology?

Posted by steve at 09:25 PM


  1. What a very interesting project. Having been the pioneer IFES staff worker seconded to the University of the South Pacific Christian Fellowship in Fiji many moons ago, honored and privileged to be employed, managed and in many ways taught by Pacific island students as we began PSFC, I particularly wish I could be there for the Fijian Christology session! Unfortunately its more than a hop from Lancaster , UK! Maybe one day…

    Comment by Roger Haydon Mitchell — October 15, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

  2. Roger,

    The lecture is broadcast live, so you could join us from UK if you wanted


    Comment by steve — October 16, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

  3. Thanks for sharing – sorry to miss this

    Comment by Jenny B — October 16, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

  4. Still one more Jenny – is October 22, 6 pm at College. (There will be soup from 5:30 pm :))


    Comment by steve — October 16, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

  5. Are the recordings going to be made available? ~ I would love to listen to both the 15th & 22nd sessions 🙂

    Comment by Nel — October 19, 2014 @ 8:00 am

  6. Hi Nel,
    We’re still working on how to make them available beyond the class – whether by video or on paper. We need to do this slowly, in constant conversation with the sharers of wisdom.

    There is the sad, but true story, of a whitefella researcher who recorded the dreaming stories of the Adnyamathanha people and now charges them if they want to use them.

    So, yes, available publicly, but slowly.

    However if you want to join the lecture on the 22nd (6 pm Adelaide time), let me know, and we can connect you digitally if you want. All our classes are now using digital technologies to connect folk,


    Comment by steve — October 19, 2014 @ 11:27 am

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