Sunday, September 02, 2007

This is a Native American theologian's Call to Action.

A few years ago, a Filipino theologian suggested that I should become a member of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) - US Minorities group. I told her that I am not a theologian and she insisted that I am because "a theologian is anyone who is interested in the questions about the meaning of Life;" she said that what she has read of my work, this is exactly what I do. (and my doubtful self says -- it is?).

Todate, I have been accepted as a member of EATWOT but I have yet to attend any of their meetings. From looking at the membership list, I note that many of them are affiliated with Christian seminaries or Religious Studies Departments in universities (primarily Christian in orientation). I don't feel compelled to engage in discourse about "third world theology" when the implied frame of reference is always the christian perspective. I would like to be engaged in more inclusive discourses.

That is why Tink Tinker's address to CTA (above) inspires me because he articulates for me my difficulty in reconciling Christianity with indigenous spirituality. Perhaps it is because the history still pains me and I have not yet transcended fully. Or maybe I haven't challenged myself enough to venture out even further. Or perhaps I need to find a new community (like EATWOT?). Something is definitely shifting...quite deeply, too. (help...am drowning...!)

Last year a group of Korean American theologians asked if I would contribute an article to their journal. I told them that I'm not sure if their readership would be interested in issues of decolonization and indigenization. In subsequent email exchanges, the editor told me that decolonization is definitely an issue that the Korean American Christian community has yet to deal with. But I never heard from him again. hhmmm...

I write this because I am thinking aloud...wondering what the next bend in the road would be for me. And because I need to design a seminar course on these topics for Spring 08.

On this labor day weekend...these thoughts are laborious enough...

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