3rd Symposium on Addressing Misleading Theologies
Theme: Controversies about Theologies of Health and Healing
Since October 2019, the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC-CETA) has initiated a series of annual symposium on different issues related to Misleading Theologies. This is a strategy put in place by AACC in its 2019-2023 strategy plan to continue accompanying churches in Africa in the area of promoting relevant contextual theology as the continent encounter proliferation of different theologies and misinterpretation of the scripture leading to false doctrinal teachings and practices.
After the first and second symposium which respectively dealt with issues of addressing contextual misleading theologies and the theologies of wealth and prosperity, AACC is intending to organize the 3rd annual symposium which will deal with the issue of Health and Healing as the main theme.
There has long been a Christian involvement in healing, but in recent years healing has become a subject of much wider interest in the church at all levels. On one hand we see the emergence of faith healers who usually are professed Christians who belong to either mission or African independent churches, or traditionalists in form of animists who mostly heal through prayer, laying hands on patients, providing holy water and medicinal herbs. Faith healers believe that their healing power comes from God through ecstatic states and trance-contact with a Christian Holy Spirit and/or ancestral spirit and sometimes go to practices that not biblically recommended. On the other hand, we have churches that teach sound doctrine but in which health and healing is not practiced or do not have any place at all as like the practice is not part of biblical doctrine. It is against this background that AACC is planning to have the 3rd symposium on the topic at hand.
To explore ways of how to properly address the theologies of Health and healing in the African church. This will cover particular theological issues on the above theme which are troubling our member churches. The symposium will also be an open eye for our member churches to evaluate the place given or not of the health and healing practices in our churches.
The specific objectives are:
Gather theologians, pastors, member of theological associations and church leaders and practisers of healing out of AACC circle to engage in looking ways to frame positively theologies of health and healing.
Discuss on ways to theologize the use of healing practices in the African church.
Discuss the importance of promoting contextual theologies of health and healing.
The methodology to be used will includes among others a call for papers, a keynote address, papers presentation, panel presentations, plenary discussions, group discussions, case studies and sharing of perspectives from the region through short videos/clips etc.
This symposium will target 100 people across the continent including the Chair and Secretary of the theological associations and ecumenical partners and church leaders out of the AACC circle.
We would like to benefit from the expertise of participants and therefore request applicants to indicate areas where they could be able to contribute and send a proposal of the subtheme and abstract.
6. Dates and venue
This symposium is planned to take place for 4 days in November 2021 with the arrivals slated on 21nd November 2021 and departures on 27 November 2021 in Nairobi, Kenya at the Desmond Tutu Conference Centre.
Interested participants are encouraged to source for own funding to cover their own conference fees (US$400) and travel expenses. Sponsorship by congregations, churches, partners, etc. is strongly encouraged. AACC will try to source some funds to partially subsidize those who will not succeed to raise sufficient funding for their participation.
The deadline for submission of the Application form is anticipated for August 30, 2021.
The form can be filled online through the following link: www.aacc-ceta.org/en/ . Due to limited space, final decision of applications will be informed on or before September 30, 2021.
9. Implementation plan
Information about the symposium will be posted to the AACC website. Information will be disseminated to member churches, council of churches and theological associations and others.
10. Expected outcomes
Theologians, pastors, members of theological associations and church leaders are engaged in looking in to ways to frame positively the practice of healing in the church.
The importance of promoting contextual theologies of healing has been discussed and way forward has been proposed.
Publication of a book on the theme is undergone.
11. Criteria for assessing evidence of change
A tool for accessing the general performance pertaining to symposium will be made available in both French and English.
Participants will be requested to share success and failure stories on their effort to implement the recommendation of the symposium.
They will be requested to send a brief report how theologies of healing is taught in their respective churches and the feedback received from member churches.
12. Selection process
The criteria for selection will include the following among others: