Here is a round-up of some of the latest news relating to Child Theology and the Child Theology Movement.
Christian Theology and Human Development: a retrospective on the work of Professor James E. Loder
The Child Theology Movement convened this symposium to review, assess and develop the work of James Loder at the interface of Christian Theology and Human Development Theory. It was held from 10th to 14th March 2012 at the School of Christian Vocation and Mission at Princeton Theological Seminary. The contributions included papers from: Jerome Berryman; Beth Barnett; Mark Koonz; Thomas J Hastings; Ajit Prasadam; Keith White; Haddon Willmer; Dana R. Wright. We were grateful to Karissa Glanville for offering to facilitate and administer the conference.
It was agreed at the conference that Dana Wright and Keith J. White would edit and prepare for publication a collection of the papers with reference to some of the group discussion and recommendations, and this is progressing well.
The ABC of Child Theology
This introduction to Child Theology has begun, and can be found on the website of the South African Theological Seminary and the Child Theology Movement: www.sats.edu.za .The link is on the home page, under Free Courses (please note that it is a series of short articles, not a course!). The first issue focused on the subject, or Alpha, of Child Theology, and the second on the Bible as a source of Child Theology. C will be on the Cross, D for Disciples and E for Everyone.
CTM Booklet Series
Two of the first three booklets have recently been reprinted, and a fourth has just been published: Child Theology and the African Context by Jan Grobbelaar and brings an African perspective on Child Theology (ISBN: 978-0-9560993-4-1). Other subjects in the pipeline include a consideration of Child Theology in relation to Liberation, Black and Feminist Theologies, and reflection on the relation of missiology and theology with Child Theology as a hermeneutic.
Research and Community of Scholars
It is encouraging to see an increase in graduates enquiring about research using the insights of Child Theology. CTM seeks to connect such students with appropriate academic supervisors and institutions worldwide. Among those of whom we are aware at present are Beth Barnett, Stuart Christine, Lynn Clack, D.J. Konz, and Vivienne Mountain. Our overall aim is to facilitate the development of an international community of scholars connected because of their commitment to exploring the theological implications of Child Theology. Those who have completed PhDs informed by Child Theology include John McNeill, David Sims and Bill Prevette.
The two most recent meetings of the directors were in March and June 2012. At the latter there was a very warm vote of thanks for all the work that Dr John Collier had done for CTM from the outset of the movement in his honorary role of Company Secretary. Among his achievements have been the design and setting up of the website, the arranging and convening of twenty or so meetings and consultations around the world, the editing and production of reports of CTM consultations, the design of the CTM booklet series, and the editing and design of Toddling to the Kingdom. In a very real sense John is irreplaceable, and so we are encouraged that he will still be assisting CTM with specific events and projects. We know his heart is in it!
CTM Publication Depots
We are pleased to say that we now have depots of CTM publications around the world. These include: Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Canada, India, Australia and the UK. Further details will be available via the CTM website. Our policy of making as much material as possible available for download free on the website is continuing.
Child Theology Related Publications
The long-awaited book by Haddon Willmer and Keith J. White will be published by WTL Publications. This company launched the NIrV Narrative and Illustrated Bible. The MS is virtually complete with finishing touches being put to the seventh and final chapter.
Marcia Bunge’s third book in the series that began with The Child in Christian Thought is underway. It is a series of theological reflections on aspects of systematic theology with a child in the foreground.
Johannes Malherbe’s book, Saved by the Lion? Stories of African Children Encountering Outsiders, was published by ChildNet in 2011. It is an apt companion to the booklet written by Jan Grobbelaar.
Introducing Child Theology: Theological Foundations for HCD. A second and revised edition was published in August 2012, available in hard copy and for download on the HCD Global Alliance website.
Bill Prevette’s Child, Church and Compassion: Towards Child Theology in Romania was published by Regnum in 2012.
Future Conferences and Consultations
Among the future meetings that are being discussed are the following:
Faith and Thought (formerly the Victoria Institute): ‘Unless you become as little children’: Children’s Spirituality meets Christian Theology, at Kings Cross Baptist Church, London on Saturday 20th October 2013.
Since Now and Next there have been two meetings with Corneliu Constantineanu, and colleagues in Eastern Europe. Corneliu is director of the Theological Pentecostal Institute, Bucharest. The idea is to hold a conference for leaders of theological seminaries in Eastern Europe in 2013. The provisional title is “Reimagining the Seminary: exploring the nature, culture and praxis of theological education as modelled by Jesus”. A further planning meeting will be held in Oxford in November 2012.
Introducing Child Theology: this is a training conference convened by the Salvation Army in Norway in February 2013 (12-14th) at which Keith J. White will be speaking.
Australia 2013: following several events in the past two years, including a visit from Marcia Bunge, there is a head of steam for a conference that gives space for emerging research and themes.
Nordic area: following previous events in Sweden and Finland, some Nordic participants of the Loder conference suggested that there should be a Nordic conference. Among those hoping to be present are Beth Barnett, Marcia Bunge and Keith J. White
A pan-African gathering based on African work and publications such as Jan Grobbelaar’s booklet and Johannes Malherbe’s book, Saved by the Lion.
A Call for News
If you are aware of information that might be usefully shared by and through CTM please let me know.
Keith J. White
Chair of CTM