Post-colonial theology and sovereignty

 Jul 13, 2019

Post-colonial theology is a form of contextual theology that takes seriously the need to deal with the impact of colonial powers on colonised people, and on the theology that arises within colonial contexts. It is a theological conversation that goes hand in hand with Empire studies and discourse theory (and what, in sociology, is called ‘the social construction of reality’) – i.e. the stories and practices we use to construct the world and explain and defend power. 

A central issue is power, and how the church’s relationship to power has shaped the gospel message – particularly around issues of the sovereignty of God, and the way we understand the work of Jesus. The presentation will focus on three significant discursive events in Australia that illustrate issues around post-colonial theology and claims to sovereignty by First Peoples. The first is the Preamble to the Constitution of the Uniting Church with its affirmation of the presence of God prior to colonization. The second is the debate about Australia Day, and the third is the Statement from the Heart and its pathway to sovereignty and reconciliation. It will ask people to consider whose interests their theologies serve, and what other meaning narratives they support (e.g. neoliberalism and the prosperity gospel).

About Chris Budden

Chris Budden

Chris Budden has been a Minister of the Uniting Church for over 40 years. Sydney Brown once described him as a theological activist; the title he most appreciates. Besides local ministry he has been a...