ATU holds Methodology Seminar

ATESEA conducted the Methodology Seminar on July 22-26 at Jakarta Theological Seminary. Fourteen (14) doctoral students from Hong Kong, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines participated in the program.

The Methodology Seminar is an intensive study of the Guidelines for Doing Theologies in Asia as a framework for the doctoral study program. It is designed to instil upon the students the importance of contextualization and the value of networking. It also provides an opportunity for the students to share the output of their study in the colloquia.

The following guest lecturers were invited to present their topics during the seminar:

  • Dr. Lim Teck Peng, Associate Dean, Trinity Theological College, Singapore and ATU Senate Member

Topic: “Re-Visioning the Public Character of Christian Education”

  • Dr. Limatula Longkumer, Dean, Research/Sathri, Senate of Serampore College, India

Topic: “Emerging Contexts of Theologies in India”

  • Dr. Saiful Umam, Saiful Umam, Dean, Faculty of Adab and Humanities, “Syarif Hidayatullah” State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta and Senior Researcher, Centre for the Study of Islam and Society) UIN Jakarta

Topic: “A Portrait of Islam and Christianity in  Indonesia”

  • Dr. Mary Foskett, Wake Forest Kahle Professor, Albritton Fellow, and Associate Chair, Department for the Study of Religions, Wake Forest University, North Carolina

Topic: “Exploring the Three Worlds of the Bible for   Contextual Biblical Interpretation in Asia”

  • Dr. Lester Edwin Ruiz, Director of Accreditation and Global Engagement Association of Theological Schools in the US and Canada

Topic: “Seminar on Method: Critical Interpretation and Social Locations (Positionality, Solidarity, Intersectionality)”

During the closing celebration, the students expressed their appreciation to ATESEA for holding the Methodology seminar. Below were their collective impressions about the program:

“1. The different presentations and lectures broadened our horizon, and    deepened our understanding and reflection on various topics.

  1. The speakers were eager to both share and impart their knowledge, both in their institutional roles and also on their respective field of expertise such as: how to build up cultural and contextual sensitivity; how to do contextual biblical interpretation in Asia, how to have critical interpretation from different locations; how to both think and write a dissertation, etc.
  2. These mentors encouraged us to utilize contextual theology in our specific situation by bringing different academic disciplines (biblical, theology, history and education) as texts as endeavors to remain contextually relevant.
  3. We view these presentations as not merely mental academic calisthenics, but as avenues in developing an atmosphere of ecumenicity among us. These discourses promote camaraderie despite cultural differences and also an opportunity to learn from each other’s culture in a non-judgmental way.”

The following lecturers of JTS served as facilitators/mentors during the presentations of the tentative research proposals of the students: Dr. Yusak Soleiman, President of JTS and history/ecumenism lecturer, Dr. Yongky Karman and Dr. Agustinus Setiawidi, Old Testament lecturers.

Dr Agustinus Setiawidi was the local coordinator of the Methodology Seminar with the assistance of the JTS staff and students.

The members of the ATESEA Theological Union (ATU) Senate likewise met on July 23-24 at Jakarta Theological Seminary to discuss the programs and other matters of ATU. They also engaged in conversations with the doctoral students during the seminar and joined the educational visit to the mosque in Jakarta.

The ATU Colloquium for the doctoral students will be held in June 2020 in Hong Kong.