Dr. Wati Longchar, who is pretty much an ‘authority’ on the subject, spoke on tribal theology issues. He took the traditional approach of contextual theology which is… to derride traditional/dogmatic “institution” theology… and promote contextual/tribal theology as the answer.

Hence traditional theology is a response to western theology, and people’s (contextual/tribal) theology is a response to dehumanization and colonialism. Or even, traditional theology rejects local belief and culture while people’s theology respects local culture.

Dr. Chris would rightly call this straw-man argument, which is like building a man out of straw (no substance) and then beating him up.

There were three main assertions that can be summarised from the presentation on Tribal Theology.

1. Tribal Theology is different from other ‘liberationalist’ theologies, like feminist, dalit, etc. Because Tribal theology does not focus so much on liberation, but rather it is deeply rooted in creation and longs for justice for all creation.

2. Tribal Theology offers a new way of doing theology (can teach the Church). Some points,
– Salvation not personal or social but for all creation.
– not caught up in the written word, but discovers practical meaning for daily life.
– Less focus on scientific issues of text/historicity, rather the stories are held on as alive and meaningful.

3. Keeping in mind creation as central issue, even seeing God as participating in creation rather than just history, there is much more freedom for expoloration of ideas… and no need to dogmatise Christian theology. Hence tribal theology is not simply land theology, or people theology or justice theology. It attempts to see all issues in relation to the whole.

So a long day came to an end, we had classes from 9:00 to 7:00 pm.

Tomorrow is a special lunch, and certificate giving “ceremony”? Effectively, classes are over.

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