Theology has been defined as ‘faith seeking understanding’: understanding what we believe, and how we live in the light of what we believe. Our theology shapes how we perceive our contexts, but our contexts also shape our theology. Similarly, how we use the Bible – as a key resource for Christian theology – both shapes how we perceive our contexts and is shaped by our context.
The primary purpose of this unit is to examine the need and challenge of doing theology in the particular contexts of poverty and injustice. After a review of fundamental principles of theology, attention will be given to the use of the Bible in shaping emerging theologies in the global South – especially “reading the Bible from underneath” in contexts of poverty, violence and oppression. The relevance of these theologies for Christian faith-based development and advocacy practitioners working among the poor and marginalised, and their agencies and organisations, will be examined and critiqued, with a view to learners being able to propose a relevant theology for their context. Particular attention will be given to the challenges and opportunities of cross-faith and multi-faith dialogue.