[國際研討會]Religionization of Politics
An inter-religious dialogue on "Religionization of Politics"
- Asian Theological Academy (ATA)
- Gereja Batak Karo Protestan (GBKP)
- Global Kairos Asia Pacific Palestinian Solidarity (GKAPPS)
- Presbyterian Church of Taiwan (PCT)
- Grace Foundation/Academy of Contextual Theology in Taiwan (ACTT)
- Tainan Theological College and Seminary (TTCS)
- Tainan Theological College
Date: February 19 - 23, 2023
Venue: Tainan Theological College and Seminary, Tainan, Taiwan
We live at a Kairotic time, as reminded by children around the world. Statement by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg before the British Parliament on April 24, 2019 is indicative of this impending threat. "Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilization as we know it. The civilization is in crisis due to the neo-liberal economic agenda of growth that has been promoted by the big economic powers of the world. Life giving prowess of mother earth is dying. Resources necessary for maintaining life has seriously depleted, and besides, pollution has deraied the normal function on earth.
The growth model also led to massive inequality that leads to social instabilities around the globe. According to Oxfam report 2022, 62 people - 53 men and 9 women - own the same wealth as half the world. The richest 1% now own more than the combined wealth of the remaining 99%. When poverty and malnutrition are increasing in an alarming speed around the globe in the post covid period, the world's ten richest men more than doubled their fortunes from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion -at a rate of $15,000 per second or $1.3 billion a day- during the first two years of the COVID pandemic. Meanwhile, the incomes of 99 percent of humanity fell and over 160 million more people have been forced into poverty.
United Nations report reminds that 25,000 people are dying per day due to hunger. That means around 17 people dying per minute due to hunger. This number is double than the reported covid death, which is nearly seven people per minute. Yet the media while giving massive attention to covid related death remain totally silent on poverty related death.
This debilitating inequality and the growth model that promotes it are the root of the present politics. The only means to hide the inequality and poverty along with the destruction of environment is by diverting political attention to other issues. Thus, we are going through a period of "Religionization of Politics" in which religion assumes the place of the sole political subject, where political consciousness is determined by religious identity. Elections are fought and decisions are made with the promise of protecting certain religious customs, symbols, and theological interpretations. Political issues, such as civil rights, economic and social planning have been taken over by bureaucrats who function as agents of the big economic power houses. As a result, religious movements started to focus on creating identities and thus reducing it as a social construct. God is reduced as an object for social engineering. A majority of the Asian nations are going through this crisis now where religious issues divide people and instigate violence at the behest of the political elites.
Asian Theological Academy [ATA], Gereja Batak Karo Protestan (GBKP), Global Kairos Asia Pacific Palestine Solidarity [GKAPPS] and the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan [PCT], Academy for Contextual Theologies in Taiwan/Grace Foundation [ACTT], Tainan Theological College and Seminary [TTCS], Tainan Theological College in collaboration with Sinlau Christian Hospital are proposing to organize a four-day conference in early December to unravel the ramifications of the process of "Religionization of Politics."
Conference will examine:
- The present growth of Empires in Asia and (a) its role in promoting neo-liberal economic model and (b) of depriving people of their political subjecthood.
- Examine the growth of fundamentalist/political religions, Hinduvta, political Islam, political Buddhism, Shinto nationalism, Zionism and similar developments and its role in replacing the political discourse.
- Analyze how the resurgence of fundamentalist religious formation silence the voice of the marginalized, women, ethnic minorities, indigenous people and the poor in general.
- How we redefine mission and theology in this context.
Participants: 15 international scholars, representing the Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Primal Religions and Christian faith and 15 national scholars.