Just faith: Glocal Responses to Planetary Urbanization

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Volume editor: Stephan de Beer

Synopsis

The purpose of this scholarly book is to expand the body of knowledge available on urban theology. It introduces readers to the concept of planetary urbanisation, with the view of deepening an understanding of urbanisation and its all-pervasive impact on the planet, people and places from a theological perspective. On the occasions when theological consideration has been given to urban challenges, it has often been done almost exclusively from the Global North. This book provides a critical theological reading of ‘the urban’, deliberating on bridging the divide between voices from the Global South and the Global North. In doing so, it simultaneously seeks out robust and dynamic faith constructs, expressed in various forms and embodiments of justice. The methodology chosen transcended narrow disciplinary boundaries, situating reflections between and across disciplines, in the interface between scholarly reflection and an activist faith, as well as between local rootedness and global connectedness. A collective of authors was gathered, spanning all continents, various Christian faith traditions and multiple disciplines, as well as a range of methodological approaches. Authors were requested to consider faith constructs expressed in justice, against the backdrop of planetary urbanisation, but to do so while being true to their own paradigmatic and methodological approaches. This was done intentionally to reflect the complexity and interconnectedness of the planetary urban reality. What holds the book together is the rare commitment of all the authors to practise engaged scholarship, bridging the gap between intellectual reflection and concrete urban engagement. Their contributions are mostly the fruit of grass-roots urban action, culminating in critical reflection, prompting deeper, critical action. The book endeavours to contribute to knowledge production in a number of ways. Firstly, it suggests the inadequacy of most dominant faith expressions in the face of all-pervasive forces of urbanisation, and it also provides clues as to the possibility of fostering potent alternative imaginaries. Secondly, it explores a decolonial faith that is expressed in various forms of justice. It is an attempt to offer concrete embodiments of what such a faith could look like in the context of planetary urbanisation. Thirdly, the book does not focus on one specific urban challenge or mode of ministry but rather introduces the concept of planetary urbanisation and then offers critical lenses with which to interrogate its consequences and challenges. It considers concrete and liberating faith constructs in areas ranging from gender, race, economic inequality, a solidarity economics and housing to urban violence, indigeneity and urbanisation, the interface between economic and environmental sustainability, and grass-roots theological education. The main target audience will be specialists in the field of Practical Theology, contextual theology and political theology. A more focused target audience would be scholars in the humanities and social sciences investigating sustainable and just urban futures, as well as urbanity from theological and missional perspectives. This book is the result of original research and no part of the book was plagiarised from another publication or published elsewhere. In cases where authors refer to other scholarly work, or their own, proper methods of referencing have been followed.

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Chapters
Chapter 1: Just Faith and Planetary Urbanisation
Stephan de Beer
Chapter 2: Eco-Critical Imagination, Indigenous Political Liberation and White Settler Decolonisation: ‘Animating’ Accountability as the City Congeals and the Heat Rises
James W. Perkinson
Chapter 3: Babaylan Healing and Indigenous ‘Religion’ at the Postcolonial Crossroads: Learning from Our Deep History as the Planet Grows Apocalyptic
S. Lily Mendoza
Chapter 4: Guatemalan Grass-Roots Theology as Resistance to Global Sacrificial Theology
Joel Aguilar
Chapter 5: Households of Freedom? Faith’s Role in Challenging Gendered Geographies of Violence in Our Cities
Selina Palm, Elisabet le Roux
Chapter 6: Churches, Urban Geographies and Contested Immigration in the United States
R. Drew Smith
Chapter 7: Dwelling as Just Faith: Migrant Housing, Precarity and the Activities of Faith-Based Organisations in Tshwane and Atlanta
Adrian J. Bailey, Stephan de Beer, Katherine Hankins
Chapter 8: The Informal God: Outside Schools of Theology
Sheth O. Oguok, Colin Smith
Chapter 9: At Many Tables of Discernment: Faith and Shalom in the Polis
Andre van Eymeren
Chapter 10: Innovative Faith in an Urban Planet: The Use of e-Trading Platforms Between the Urban and Rural Poor in the Philippines. A Case Study
Benigno P. Beltran

De Beer, S. (ed.), 2018, Just Faith: Glocal Responses to Planetary Urbanisation, in HTS Religion & Society Series Volume 3, pp. i–364, AOSIS, Cape Town

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