ForATL Consultation & Workshop 2006
Emerging Tasks of Theological Education and
the Role of Scholars and Theological Librarians
in Asian Theological Formation
Impact of nation-building and globalization on theological
education in Asia
Critical Asian Principle (CAP)
Understanding the roots of the present situation
Churches and nations together did not only need to
contend with a missionary and colonial past. More
urgently, they had to grapple with a more formidable
issue, the formation of independent nation-states
and churches within short spans of time.
Nation-building processes result in destruction of
traditional ethnic identities. New social identities
are constructed along the newly configured political
- The wide use of electronic means of communication
destroys this unity, and re-defines our understanding
of reality, leading to a new form of religious literalism.
- Governments incorporate religious groups within
nation building processes, making religion more formalized,
expressed mainly as institutions and orthodoxies.
Present church growth and evangelization tactics aggravate
The issue today is not simply whether theological
education should become more ‘Asian’;
churches are asking whether we need theological education
Consequences for theological education: which Christianity?
The varied contexts that have survived the missionary
past are bulldozed during the engineering processes
in the past sixty years.
students come to seminaries with a fundamental problem
in their understanding of reality. They see what is
real as something that is purely intellectual and
text based that can read off intuitively and arbitrarily
formation need to help churches understand their Christian
Particularly theological education needs to help Christians
to discover their local Christian heritage.
Common efforts in strengthening churches in Asia today
The unique opportunity for seminary teachers and librarians
to work together to counter the impact of nation-building
- Documentation and historical research
- Creating fresh interpretation and bibliographies
- Recovering the servant role of scholars and librarians
for the local churches