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Transfiguring Lutheran Identities and Theological Education in Tanzania
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Church and Mission studies, Science of Mission.
2017 (English)In: Mending the World?: Possibilities and Obstacles for Religion, Church, and Theology. / [ed] Niclas Bl├ąder and Kristina Helgesson Kjellin, Eugene: Oregon.: Pickwick Publications, 2017, p. 469-485Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this chapter is to explore some of the perceptions of Lutheran identity in the context of theological education in Tanzania in past and present time. Two different types of material have specifically been of relevance, namely Africa Theological Journal, that was launched in 1968 in a Lutheran academic context in Tanzania and that ever since has been an important platform for theological reflection amongst churches and institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Moreover, a current perspective on Lutheran identity will be further discussed in relation to a number of interviews recently conducted in Tanzania amongst theological educators and Lutheran church leaders.[1]

This chapter will be divided into two sections. The first section draws attention to three aspects of Lutheran identity in the life of the ELCT. First, it highlights the theological and socio-political context in the mid 1960s onwards when Lutheran identity was problematized and discussed in the wake of decolonization. Second, it focuses on the Lutheran Reformation anniversary from the mid 1980s when the African Lutheran debate was situated in its wider global and ecumenical context. Third, it pinpoints the Lutheran call for denominational consciousness in the 21st century. With these three examples in mind, the issue of Lutheran identity will be further discussed in relation to the educational discourse on higher theological education in in the ELCT in specific and in sub-Saharan Africa more broadly. Thus this chapter will show that the reflections on denominational identity and the current interpretations of Lutheran tradition draw attention to the complex interplay between theology and theological education.

[1] The interviews were conducted during my fieldwork in northern Tanzania in January 2016 and will be further elaborated upon in my PhD thesis on visions and debates of theological education amongst Lutherans in Tanzania (forthcoming 2018).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eugene: Oregon.: Pickwick Publications, 2017. p. 469-485
Series
Church of Sweden Research Series ; 14
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Studies of Missions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335775Libris ID: 20911155ISBN: 9781532610646 (print)ISBN: 9781532610660 (print)ISBN: 9781532610653 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-335775DiVA, id: diva2:1163782
Projects
Theological education, Lutheran identity, Tanzania, Ministerial formation, ELCT, Tanzania, MakumiraAvailable from: 2017-12-08 Created: 2017-12-08 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Zeiler, Johannes

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