A Springfull of Gifts-1

A bitter and cold winter in Chicago – but in its midst, a spring-full of gift, chief among them, 4 month residence and company of priest friends (Stan & Ken especially) at St. Clement Church Lincoln Park, while serving as a senior fellow at the De Paul Center for World Christianity and Intercultural Theology (thanks especially to Bill and Mike), working on a manuscript: Born of Lament: The Theology and Politics of Hope in Africa I am happy with the first draft, and will hopefully be ready to submit to publishers a revised manuscript in the Fall. For a preview of the Why, How and What of Born of Lament, watch here at vimeo   


Regrounding the Church in Africa: A Theological Experiment

Complex economic, political, cultural and policy factors have contributed to the current ecological crisis. However, at the basis of these complex factors lies a fundamental theological problem which has to do with our failure to live as creatures who are fashioned out of the earth  and have been given the vocation to till the land and take care of it.” (Gen 2:15).  It is this vocation we have been running away from and the effects are disastrous especially in Africa……..

But since as the Congolese theologian Ka Mana has reminded us, “The goal of African theology must be to transform Africa rather than just explain it; to change it positively rather than just study it; to create history rather than just to interpret it,” what I wish to do is to present The Bethany Land Institute is one concrete experiment that reflects the invitation to  “till the land and take care of it.” Keynote address at the 2015 HNGR symposiumThe Hungry Shall be Filled“. Wheaton University. Feb 2–28, 2015.  Listen to the lecture and other sessions at the symposium.


On Learning to Betray one’s People

On Learning to Betray One’s People: The Gospel and a Culture of Peace in Africa.” The 2014 Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Lecture on Mission and Culture Chicago Theological Union, Chicago 9/29, 2014

For Christian faith to offer a radical interruption to the endless cycles of violence in Africa, it has to be grounded within an explicit missiological vision of “Ephesian” identities and communities, for which the story of the 40 young students of Buta provides a most illuminating example. In the Fall of 1997, roused from their sleep by a group of militia and ordered to separate, Hutu on one side, and Tutsi on the other., the students refused. The commander order the militia to shoot. In all 40 students were killed. One of the students who had been wounded ran to the rector’s house, and gasping for breath told the rector: “Father, we have won. They told us to separate and we refused. We have won.” He then collapsed and died.

Missiological reflection in Africa must seek to illumine the logic of that odd “winning” and about the kind of practices that make it possible….. click on link to read the 2014 Luzbetak Lecture