Anabaptist theological educators will gather in Paraguay

By staff writers
March 16, 2009

Theological educators in Anabaptist-related institutions around the world are being invited to a Consultation on Theological Education just before Mennonite World Conference's fifteenth assembly in Paraguay.

The theme of the consultation is “Theological Education and Meta-Theology: Our Cultures in Light of the Bible.” It will be held at CEMTA (Centro Evangélico Mennonita de Teología Asunción) in San Lorenzo, a city close to the capital city, Asunción, from Thursday evening, 9 July 2009, until Saturday 11 July.

Key issues to be addressed relating to theological education include: the search for a biblical theology beyond cultural identities; community hermeneutics; culture, liturgy and Christian worship; the contribution of the interaction of numerous cultures in the Paraguayan Chaco; Meta-theology in relation to discipleship, the reign of God and the local congregation and God's mission in the light of eschatology.

Speakers include Werner Franz, Artur Dück, Jakob Lepp, Antonio González, Jacob Thiessen, Heinz Fast, Martín Eitzen and Alfred Neufeld - reports MWC.

Representatives from institutions of theological education in South America, North America, Asia, Africa and Europe will make presentations at various sessions with a five-person panel concluding the consultation on the Saturday night of 11 July.

The consultation is being organized by three Paraguayan institutes of theological education: CEMTA, IBA (Instituto Bíblico Asunción) and IBI (Instituto Biblico Indígena).

The Anabaptist movement had its genesis as the radical wing of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. It began in Zurich in 1525 when a small group of men and women gathered to baptise one another. This group and those that followed them became known as 'anabaptists' because they believed that Christians must choose baptism as consenting adults. They rejected the Christendom model in which baptism of infants served as entry into both the church and the state.

Anabaptists were hunted down by both the Catholic and Protestant authorities for their voluntary initiation of believers which was seen as subversive, their rejection of the sword and the swearing of oaths, and their emphasis on holding goods in common.

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