- BACKGROUND / CONTEXT
The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), Conference Des Eglises de Toute L’Afrique (CETA) through its Department of Theology, Interfaith Relations and Ecclesial Leadership Development is committed to promoting proper theology that is contextual and relevant to the life of people in the African context. Correct and sound doctrine is crucial to salvation and growth in spiritual maturity
and this is why AACC continues to accompany member churches and theological institutions to addressing emerging misleading theologies in modern Africa. Following this commitment, the AACC has been holding annual theological symposiums. The 1st symposium was held in October 2019 where critical areas of misleading theologies were identified. After the identification, a series of symposiums have already taken place annually addressing thematic areas of Complexities of Theologies of Wealth and Prosperity (on 23rd -27th November 2020) and Controversies about Theologies of Health and Healing (on 22nd -24th November 2021) respectively. This year, we are planning to hold the 4th symposium under the theme: Addressing Contextual Theologies of Power and Authority in African Churches.
The rationale for this year’s annual symposium is underpinned by AACC’s agenda of accompanying the African Churches in promoting relevant contextual theologies in the continent, to engage with churches in theological conversations that promote life with dignity, by engaging church leaders, scholars and leadership of theological institutions in identifying, analyzing and deconstructing misleading theologies on power and authority.
Theologically, Power and Authority belong to God as a Supreme Being1, however, the current theological trends being exercised and experienced in Africa are on how self-proclaimed prophets, church leaders, and pastors do apply the same power and authority to bless and condemn, to heal and curse, direct and mislead people in the name of God. This is gradually developing into misleading theologies on power and authority based on;
- Misrepresentation and misapplication of the scripture on divine authority and power of God.
- Ascertainment on the works of divine authority and power in a church leader, preacher, or a prophet.
- Application and misuse of persuasive biblical teachings on divine authority and power.
- The impact of the use of authority and power on human psychology, spirituality, and resources of believers in African churches
- African cosmological understanding of authority and power.
- Application of the theology of divine power and authority in an African church context.
- Emergence of the phenomenon of the CEO model of leadership in the ecclesial landscape in the continent.
To explore ways of addressing misleading theologies on Power and Authority manifesting in African Churches today.
Further, the symposium will attempt to respond to the following issues:
- Personalization of divine power and authority by religious leaders and self-proclaimed prophets and preachers.
- Theology of power and authority and its cosmological understanding in Africa’s religious thought.
- Impact of the Self-proclaimed prophets and preachers on the manipulation of vulnerable Christians.
- The adoption of the CEO model of church leadership in contemporary churches in Africa.
- Application of divine power and authority in responding to misleading theologies where self-proclaimed prophets and preachers are challenging the sovereignty of God, demanding respect, instilling fear, and forming personality cults.
- Hermeneutics of personalization of divine power and authority and how is shared in the church ministries.
This symposium will target 100 people where 80 will be from Africa (40 church leaders and 40 leading theologians or preachers—preferably those propagating particular theologies in their countries), 20 from partners and Africans in the diaspora who may be interested.
The methodology to be used will include paper presentations, panel discussions, plenary discussions, group discussions, case studies, and sharing of perspectives from the regions through short videos/clips.
- IMMEDIATE AND SHORT-TERM EXPECTED OUTCOMES
- Consensus reached on the criteria for determining theologies of power and authority as misleading.
- Examined proper biblical hermeneutical approach to power and authority. ∙ Analyzed possible gaps causing the misuse and application of divine power and authority.
- Proposed approaches to how church leadership and theologians can best address misleading theologies of power and authority.
- Addressed contextualization of African cosmological understanding of power and authority.
- Published the symposium papers/articles into a book series addressing contextual misleading theologies in Africa.
Speakers will be identified and selected from the list of applicants who will have submitted abstracts as per the symposium requirements (requirements will be published together with the symposium advert at: www.aacc-ceta.org). We intend to benefit from the expertise of church leaders, professionals, theologians, and lecturers in theological schools across Africa and beyond. Speakers will be selected from their areas of theological expertise and experiences. They will be notified on time preferably during the 1st week of the month of September.
- DATES AND VENUE
This symposium is planned to take place for 3 days in September 2022 with the arrivals slated on 19th September 2022 and departures on 23rd September 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya at The Desmond Tutu Hotel and Conference Centre.
Interested participants are encouraged to contribute towards the Symposium through travel costs and conference fees (accommodation and meals).
The deadline for submission of the Application form is 30th June 2022.
The form can be filled online through the following link: https://forms.gle/TAghRE5hV14nqBAH7(Application forms to be uploaded in due time). PDF or MS-Word version of the application can be sent upon request. Due to limited space, the final decision on applications will be communicated on or before 31st July 2022.
- SELECTION PROCESS
For maximized participation, the criteria for selection will include the following among others: ∙ Church leaders and non-church leaders
∙ Theologians and Theology/Religious Studies experts
∙ Age mix intergeneration balance
∙ Regional balances
∙ Financial possibilities
∙ Gender equity
1 Genesis 1:1, Matthew 28: 18, Acts 1:7 among other biblical texts