“Bible Darshan”: An International Conference at The United Theological College, Bangalore

Posted: February 5, 2014 in General

UTC Logo“‘Bible Darshan’-An International Conference”, under the auspices of The United Theological College, Bangalore, was held at the Ecumenical Resource Center (ERC), from 30th January till 1st February 2014. The central theme of the conference was: “Exploring New Frontiers for Post-western Biblical Studies”. Dr. J. R. John Samuel Raj, Principal of UTC, delivered the inaugural address. In his speech, Dr. John Samuel Raj emphasized the key word “perseverance” in relation to the scholarly pursuit. He opined: “Perseverance does not simply happen. It is an attitude and an approach to life”. Later on Dr. David J. Chalcraft, Dr. Chilkuri Vasant Rao, Dr. Monica Jyotsna Melanchton, and Dr. P. Mohan Larbeer welcomed the delegates. On 31st evening a Public Reception along with a Cultural Night program was organized in honor of delegates attending Bible Darshan at the Tagore Hall. The program was conducted with much effort and it was blessed with the presence of Rt. Rev. Dr. J. S. Sadananda, Rt. Rev. Dr. G. Devakadasham, and Rev. Dr. J. R. John Samuel Raj. Dr. Dexter Maben, the Head of the Department of Biblical Studies, United Theological College, was the coordinator of the whole Bible Darshan program. Dr. Dexter’s able leadership and hardwork deserve special appreciation.

The web-link of the conference explains the theme as follows: “The Bible continues to enlighten, renew and challenge individuals and communities, communicating the ‘gospel’ in diverse context(s). Glaring realities of identity, caste, poverty, plurality, and ecological issues continue to challenge, the study of the Bible in India/Asia. Biblical studies as a theological discipline, continues to evolve with positive contributions from the West. However, there is a need to move beyond the enlightenment framework, to rediscover cultural, religious and indigenous resources, which can make the Bible intelligible in our contexts, because they are closer to the Mediterranean world. Further, the need for an inter-disciplinary approach is significant than ever before, which can draw us closer to our cultural and religious heritage. The conference is an attempt to challenge biblical scholars in India and in the West to engage with one another, share insights with each other and evolve new frontiers for further research in India/Asia, thereby creating a new identity for biblical studies in the country”.For more details, go to the following web-link: http://utcbibledarshan.wordpress.com/.

The following were the twenty papers presented during the conference:

(1) “Sociology and the Study of Cultural Context in Global Biblical Interpretation” by Dr. David J. Chalcraft, Sheffield University, UK. Moderator: Dr. Daniel Jones Muthunayagom

(2) “‘The Other Side of the Coin’: Some Reflections on Post-Western Reawakening” by Dr. J. G. Muthuraj, UTC, Bangalore. Moderator: Dr. Gudrun Löwner

(3) “The Parables of Two Rich Men and a Beggar (Luke 12:16-20 and 16:19-31): Their Relevance for Interpreting the Bible in India Today” by Dr. V. J. John, Bishop’s College, Kolkota. Moderator: Dr. M. O. John

(4) “The Politics of ‘Invasion’ of Greek and the ‘Demise’ of Hebrew of Late Antiquity” by Dr. Royce M. Victor, KUTS, Trivandrum. Moderator: Dr. Evangeline Anderson Rajkumar

(5) “Holiness School’s Response to Economic Injustice in Leviticus 25: Its Relevance to Multi-religious and Cultural Context of India Today” by Dr. P. Joseph Titus, Bangalore. Moderator: Dr. Vasant Rao

(6) “Ephesians through a Postcolonial Lens” by Dr. Jayachitra Lalitha. Moderator: Dr. Lalrinawmi Ralte

(7) “Nation and Text: Britain, India and the Bible” by Dr. Hugh S. Pyper, Sheffield University, UK. Moderator: Dr. Joseph George

(8) “A Postcolonial Christological Shift in India: Converging Possibilities” by Dr. C. I. David Joy, UTC, Bangalore. Moderator: Rev. J. Jeyakumar

(9) “Biblical Prophets as Transformative Leaders” by Dr. Joy Philip Kakkanattu. Dr. Sahayadhas

(10) “Living in the Perilous Times: An African Reading of 2 Tim. 3:1-5” by Dr. Olubiyi Adewale, Laos, Nigeria. Moderator: Dr. Nalini Arles

(11) “Pluralistic Hermeneutics” by Dr. Cherian Thomas, ECC, Bangalore. Moderator: Sr. Dr. Rani Joseph Mary Shruti

(12) “Reading Amos 6:1-7 in the Light of the Mizo Values and Ethos” by Dr. K. Lallawmzua, Aizwal. Moderator: Dr. Jacob

(13) “Can Anything Good Come out of India for New Testament Background?” by Dr. Sam P. Mathew, Allahabad. Moderator: Fr. Jerry Kurian

(14) “Biblical Concepts and the Religious ‘Other’ in India Today” by Ms. Anita Yadala Suneson, Uppsala, Sweden. Moderator: Mrs. Geetha Basappa

(15) “The Theme of Ordination in the Pastoral Epistles” by Dr. Reji Mathew, OTS, Kottayam. Moderator: Dr. J. R. John Samuel Raj

(16) “Reading Rizpah Across Borders, Cultures, Belongings” by Dr. Monica Jyotsna Melanchton, Melbourne, Australia. Moderator: Dr. George Zachariah

(17) “Creation and Human Movement: Prolegomena for a Biblical Migrant Hermeneutics” by Dr. Andreas Kunz-Löbcke, Hermansburg, Germany. Moderator: Dr. Mervin Shinoj Boaz

(18) “A Dialogue between the ‘Eastern’ and the ‘Western’ in New Testament Scholarship: A Proposal” by Rev. (Dr.) Johnson Thomaskutty, UBS, Pune. Moderator: Dr. Abraham Saggu

(19) “Text, Textures of Life and Diaspora: A Search for Theoretical Connections” by Rev. Sam Koshy, Kuwait City. Moderator: Dr. Allan Samuel Palanna

(20) “Marcan Apocalypse (Collapsarian Mark 13) as Jesus’ Prescience: A Post-western Critic” by Rev. G. Soleman, Salem. Moderator: Rev. J. Chellappa Packiaraj

Compiled by Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

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