Cities vibrate, shine, resonate. They are vibrant, tourist brochures tell us – lively, that is, interesting for those who seek for good food, nightlife, and entertainment. But much more than that, public life is vibrating. What do these vibrations mean? What kind of vibrations are we feeling? Which ones are we systematically closing our senses to? Cities are both precious and precarious. They represent the precious: creativity, mobility, sound, colour, construction, organization, interaction. But they also feature the precarious: poverty, traffic jams, noise, smog, destruction, chaos, exclusion. A diversity of publics, of interests, of beliefs, of needs, of longings and belongings emerge from the cities. Thus, by amplifying our understanding on publics and theologies, by appreciating the preciousness and discovering the precariousness, by realizing that there is preciousness in what is considered precarious, and that there is precarity in what is regarded as precious, we believe that there may be a more complete analysis of cities’ ambiguities and the critical and constructive role public theology can play in this context.
These are some of the issues the upcoming 6th Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT) Consultation intends to address. Alongside panels and lectures, our Working Groups will help us think through current challenges and possibilities for public theologies in vibrating cities. As a new development in the GNPT Consultations, we invite you to send us Working Group proposals first, and individual proposals per Working Group later, following a second call. This initiative follows the purpose of articulating continuous research and exchange of different groups connected to the network, beyond and in-between Consultations. Such Working Groups need not
necessarily reflect the above-mentioned Consultation theme; however, they have to show a clear connection to public theology. There could be, for instance, a “Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Public Theology Working Group”, joining those for whom research on Bonhoeffer in this perspective ranks high in their interest, academic and practical engagement.
The call will be open for application till the end of June. Thereafter, the Executive shall analyse the proposals and decide either to accept, to ask for amendment (also asking for possible mergers of similar groups), or to reject the application. In a second call, in early 2022, for individual papers, the application will be directly sent to a specific Working Group whose leadership will be responsible for the acceptance, amendment, or rejection of the paper proposals. The Working Groups Call is open to different institutions, but there should be at least one representative of a
GNPT Member Institution in each proposal.
The proposal must contain:
- At least two and at most three proponents representing different institutions, preferentially from different countries. At least one proponent should be connected to a GNPT Member Institution.
- A short academic biography of each proponent.
- A Title.
- An Abstract. The abstract, written in English, should be no longer than 250 words. It should
give a succinct account of context, the objectives, and significance of the matter the Working
Group is aiming to address. It should also mention previous collaboration within or beyond the
GNPT on the proposed topic.
Proposals shall be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30, 2021, 18.00 hours BRT. The GNPT Executive will then proceed to analysis and make a decision by August 15, 2021, whereafter the proposers will be informed about the decision taken.