New publication: Resisting Exclusion - Global Theological Responses to Populism

Resisting Exclusion - Global Theological Responses to Populism - Cover. Photo: LWF/Sean Hawkey
Resisting Exclusion - Global Theological Responses to Populism - Cover. Photo: LWF/Sean Hawkey

Amplifying the churches’ voices for justice and hope in society 

(LWI) - How can churches around the world resist the increasing politically driven aggressive and divisive public discourse and foster societies that embrace respect for diversity and inclusion? 

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) seeks to stimulate discussion around this question through a new publication titled Resisting Exclusion - Global Theological Responses to Populism. The volume in the LWF Studies series (2019/1) offers analyses and theological perspectives on the public role of churches in view of populist exclusionary policies. 

The publication has been developed in collaboration with Church of Sweden, the German Protestant church development agency Bread for the World and the Evangelische Akademie zu Berlin (Protestant Academy in Berlin). The three organizations supported the LWF in hosting 65 theologians at an international conference in 2018, during which most of the papers in the current volume were first presented.

Co-editors Rev. Dr Simone Sinn and Rev. Dr. Eva Harasta highlight the serious challenges that populist political movements pose to churches and theology in various global contexts. When such groups “misappropriate Christian rhetoric to justify their aspirations, churches cannot remain silent, but need to resist exclusionary strategies” and their effect on the “shrinking” of public space. 

The 33 contributing authors share their experience of populist strategies, inviting readers to engage with these contextual views and action. They cover a wide range of topics grouped under five chapters on: churches as agents of change; analyses of the politics of populism; public theology in the context of resisting exclusion; responding to sexism; and populism and truth. 

The new volume contributes to LWF’s theological study processes that support churches in living out their calling. Exclusionary populism “perverts basic norms and values of how we want to live together as society and as an international community. Therefore, it is vital to jointly address these challenges by scrutinizing its ideological foundations and denouncing its harmful assumptions,” LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge notes in the publication's preface.  

Resisting Exclusion - Global Theological Responses to Populism will be launched on 21 November in Geneva at an event attended by members of the LWF Executive Committee, staff and invited guests. Explore the topics in the publication and order copies.

 

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