Princeton Theological Seminary, USA
2–6 May 2007
In the beautiful spring in Princeton, New Jersey, and in the prestigious surroundings of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, the Center of Theological Inquiry hosted the first consultation of the Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT). Twenty-five academic institutions and research centres around the world, represented by more than forty-five participants, took part in this event.
The five days of intensive meetings were organized in four parts: theological forums; workshops; business meetings; informal networking sessions. The quality of the presentations, both in plenary sessions and workshops, discussions and interactions during the formal and informal sessions was outstanding. The deliberations were enhanced by the excellent hospitality of the staff of CTI and the organizing committee of the consultation.
In the opening session Max Stackhouse welcomed the participants followed by Will Storrar who emphasized the importance of the consultation as a forum for talking, reflecting and planning together.
Storrar described passionately the vision of the Global Network as the interaction of global and local by hearing the others’ voices, contributing critical theological reflections and engaging in public issues with a deep theological commitment. He illustrated these aspects by narrating his own journey as a public theologian, and this was echoed by the participants who have followed a variety of personal journeys to come to be involved in public theology.
The consultation was significant in many ways: it has established a formal platform for those who are involved in pubic theology to interact with one another at a variety of levels; it has demonstrated the commitment of public theologians to be engaged in both global and local issues and in developing appropriate methodology for complex issues in contemporary society; it has exhibited the inclusive method of public theology which promotes conversation with other academic disciplines, between different regions of the world, and with those of differing socio-political and theological emphases; it has set the future direction for the pursuit of public theology by engaging in concrete research projects.
Source: Kim, S. (2007). Editorial, International Journal of Public Theology, 1(3), 285-289. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/156973207X231626