Interfaith consultation: religious life and public space in Asia

Youth event at Tao Fong Shan Christian Center, Hong Kong, in 2014. Credit: Dr Wing-sze Tong
Youth event at Tao Fong Shan Christian Center, Hong Kong, in 2014. Credit: Dr Wing-sze Tong


LWF member churches live in religiously plural societies with different configurations. There are a variety of ways in which churches relate to the state, to other religious communities and to other actors in society. These configurations are shaped by constitutional and legal frameworks on the one hand, public discourse and living encounter on the other. In the midst of all varieties, there are some global trends for how the relationship between the spiritual and the worldly realms is conceived of.

It is important for churches to give account of the reasons for why they engage in what kind of way with others in the public space. Providing theological reflection on their engagement is a core dimension of the churches’ public witness. It gives clarity and credibility to the churches’ advocacy work, diaconal engagement and public relations.

This consultation will bring together about 30 participants from Hong Kong and the rest of Asia for four days of study on the concepts of public space from the perspective of different religious traditions and how to work in those public spaces, and theological discernment to explore the distinction between the spiritual and political spheres.

Participants are invited to submit an academic paper addressing the topic, religious life and public space in Asia. For more details, see the consultation concept paper. Young Asian Lutherans are also encouraged to submit papers.


Keynote speakers:

Salvation is one-sidedly related to Jesus Christ and emphasized in the Lutheran tradition with strong exclusivist solus/sola (alone/only) expressions such as “Christ alone”, “Scripture alone”, “grace alone” and “faith alone.” Prof. Notto Reidar Thelle will discuss these “alones” in light of the critical context in which they were formulated. Read his abstract.


Professor Min approaches the proposition, “The Constitution and Dialectic of Public Space in a Pluralist Society in the Age of Globalization” in three steps: by presenting a theory of how the public or public space is constituted, by discussing some of the basic issues facing this dialectic in the age of globalization, and by discussing the tasks and challenges facing religions in humanizing this dialectic of public space, especially in Asia. Read his abstract.

Open to All
7:00 AM GMT+08:00
03 September 2015
3:00 PM GMT+08:00
07 September 2015

Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre

33 Tao Fong Shan Road Shatin, New Territories
Hong Kong 


Asia consultation
Public Space
religious life