Indonesia to host largest pan-Asian theological summit

By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi, August 2, 2019: Indonesia’s Medan in North Sumatra is all set to host the ninth edition of the triennial Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS), the largest pan-Asian theological summit.

The summit that begins on August 5 will bring together around 120 Asian and Asian Diaspora theologians, a press release from the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) which initiated the program in 1997 to deliberate on innovative and refreshing approaches towards doing theology in the context of a rapidly-changing Asia.

The CATS-IX will focus on the theme, ‘Reconciliation, Renewal, and Restoration: Divine Indicative and Human Imperative’.

Eminent Asian theologians will present papers on the main theme and subthemes. ‘Reconciliation: Towards the Harmony of Creation’, ‘Renewal: Towards the Fullness of Life’, and ‘Restoration: Towards the Will of God.’

Explaining the significance of the major event, CCA general secretary Reverend Mathews George Chunakara said the CATS- IX will address vital concerns and emerging challenges pertinent to Asian realities.

“It will convey profound theological visions of divine indicative and human imperative on reconciliation, renewal, and restoration of God’s creation.”

The pan-Asian summit, he added, will also offer an opportunity for Asian theologians to search for the relevance of the Gospel in reconciling with God in Christ.

Issues and themes addressed in various workshop sessions will include topics such as the ethics of sustainability of creation; the healing of broken relationships among people and nations; the restoration of the dignity and rights of the stateless, trafficked, and marginalized; and the ecumenical prioritization of eco-ethics in an era of post-humanism.

CATS-IX will address the theme from interfaith standpoints. A panel of religious leaders from Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity will examine ‘the theological undergirding of reconciliation, renewal, and restoration of creation’ from their respective religious perspectives, especially at a time when Asia is witnessing heightened levels of religious intolerance throughout communities.

The women theologians at CATS- IX will have a special session to discuss their insights and initiatives on ‘women doing pastoral ministry and theology.’

Keluarga Besar Gereja Bethel Indonesia (GBI) Medan Plaza will be the host for CATS-IX.

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