Deepening Lutheran theology to engage with economic and political realities

Photo: LWF/H. Martinussen
Photo: LWF/H. Martinussen

GENEVA, 20 October 2015 (LWI) – How do theological questions that triggered the Reformation movement 500 years ago relate to the political and economic realities that face church and society in the 21st century?

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is bringing together 70 leading theologians from around the world, 28 October - 1 November in Windhoek, Namibia, to look at this interaction under the theme “Global Perspectives on the Reformation – Interactions between Theology, Politics and Economics.”

The conference is part of LWF’s preparation for both the 2017 Reformation anniversary and the Twelfth Assembly under the theme “Liberated by God’s Grace.” Together with the participants, the LWF seeks to encourage its member churches and partner organizations to explore how understanding of the doctrine of justification can empower Christians for service to the neighbour and advocate against attitudes and policies that are incompatible with the gospel.

As discourse evolves from the “distinction between church and state” to increasing emphasis on the role of the citizen, participants will discuss the role of theology and the church in developing space for public participation in civil societies.

Participants will also examine how today’s global economic system and its central focus on the notion of a self-regulated market affects people’s lives and the environment. Plenary and panel presentations on topics such as justification and justice; the quest of good life and sustainable societies will be complemented by workshops on gender justice, interreligious relations and theological education, among others.

Daily Bible studies are part of the four-day event, which kicks off with the opening worship at the Paulinum United Lutheran Theological Seminary, with Namibian Bishop em. Dr Zephania Kameeta preaching and Argentine pastor Rev. Sonia Skupsch presiding, followed by the opening presentation by LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge.

The three Lutheran churches in Namibia will host the Twelfth Assembly of the LWF in 2017, together with the Reformation anniversary celebrations.

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