Professor Philip Jenkins (University of Pennsylvania), renowned for his book "The Next Christiandom, The Coming of Global Christianity " (2002), argues that the future of Christianity lies in the Southern Hemisphere and in migrant Christianity around the world. Next to the shift towards the South, the expression of Christianity will be more conservative and sometimes fundamentalist than Christianity in the Western world.
How Christian migrant communities relate to and can contribute to society - in this case the Netherlands - will be the key topic of this symposium together with Philip Jenkins. Migrant churches are primarily known as vital communities closely involved in the daily lives of believers. In addition to providing spiritual support, they also offer practical assistance and a social network. But what are the views of these believers with regard to Dutch society, with regard to politics and the relationship between church and state? And what is the role of religious beliefs, the migration background and traditions in the various ways migrant Christians participate in society?
The symposium is initiated due to the publication of the book Beelddragen: the world church and its political mission, edited by Madelon Grant, with contributions of migrant theologians and various representatives of Christian migrant communities in the Netherlands. In addition to Prof. Jenkins, speakers at this symposium include the national theologian of the year 2020 and director of the center of Theology of Migration at the Vrije Universiteit Dr. Samuel Lee, Prof. Ruard Ganzevoort, Dr. Simon Rirhena, drs. Godian Ejiogu, ds. Rhoinde Mijnals-Doth and Dr. Jorge Castillo Guerra Godian.
Dr. Miranda Klaver hosts the panel discussions, drs. Madelon Grant, author of “Beelddragen” interviews the guests and drs. Miranda van Holland is the chair of the day.
9:35 Intro VU
9:45 Intro WI and book presentation of Beelddragen: de wereldkerk en haar politieke opdracht
10:00 Introduction Jenkins. Developments in the last decennia: Christianity in the southern hemisphere & political structures
10:30 Interview 1: Gems from my tradition
10:45 Panel 1: Our past: what is its role and how can we handle it?
11:40 Interview 2: Gems from my tradition
11:55 Panel 2: Our future: how can we connect to eachother in a meaningful way?
13:20 Interview 3: Gems from my tradition
13:35 Panel 3: Political implications: what does growth of southern christianity mean for a poltical party rooted in a Dutch christian-social tradition? What does it take for christian communities, in domestic and international reations?
14:30 Peroration Jenkins. Looking ahead: Changing relations between North and South, The challenges and chances in relation to the political aspects.
15:10 Closing of the day
15:15 Informal gathering
The lingua franca of the seminar is English.
When: Wednesday 11 March 2020, 9:30-16:00
Waar: Symphony Building, dependance Vrije Universiteit, Gustav Mahlerplein 3, close to station Amsterdam Zuid. Route description
The seminar World Christianity, politics and public life is organized by the Faculty of Religion and Theology of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in collaboration with Wetenschappelijk Instituut (Scientific Institute) of the ChristenUnie
Registration and costs
Tickets cost €25, ex. reservation fee.