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Congress of Asian
Theologians VII:
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Sound the Bamboo
[CCA Hymnal]



Highlights of the CATS IV meeting

CATS IV calls for repentance, conversion and communion
"In the context of economic and political violence, social disintegration and cultural alienation, it becomes an urgent imperative for the churches in Asia to build communities of resistance for peace and justice. These are communities that are inclusive, life-affirming, healing and transforming. But for the churches to build such transforming communities, they have themselves to be transformed -- through repentance, conversion and communion... This means that churches recognize their own complicity in the maintenance of exploitative and oppressive forces in society."

This is part of the statement made by the participants of the Fourth Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS IV) at their final session in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on August 9, 2003.

A total of 100 participants from 15 Asian countries and 11 other countries attended the Congress. Of this number, 64 were men and 36 women. There was also a good presence of younger theologians.

Unique to CATS IV was the one-day Women's Forum held on August 4 before the opening of CATS proper. Sharing on the forum's deliberations during the CATS proper, the women called the attention of all Congress participants to the continuing discrimination, exploitation and oppression of women and children in church and society. They pointed out that even if globalization, militarization and wars cause sufferings to all, women and children are the worst victims. They emphasized that unless patriarchy is named and understood as the root of all oppressions, and interlocked with other systems of structural injustice, our quest for authentic Asian theologies would have no basis.

"Unless churches and theologians struggle and overcome patriarchal values and structures in their own institutions, they cannot denounce patriarchy in society with credibility and effectivity," the women stated.

CATS IV included keynote address by Dr. Wong Wai Ching, co-moderator of CATS IV and president of CCA; and input presentations on the CATS IV theme, "Building Communities: Asians in Search of New Pedagogies of Encounter," by Dr. Clive Pearson, a professor from Australia, and Dr. Ninan Koshy, from India. Their respective respondents were Dr. Noh Jung Sun from Korea, Sr. Dr. Mary John Mananzan from the Philippines, and Rev. Sylvanna Ranti-Apituley from Indonesia.

The full statement of the Congress will be published in CCA News, September issue.

Continuation Committee Members for CATS V
Members of the Continuation Committee which will plan for the Fifth Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS V) were selected from among the participants of CATS IV during the business session on August 9.

Chosen as co-moderators were Dr. Nam Soon Kang and Rev. Fr. Soosai Arokiasamy. Namsoon comes from Korea and thus represents North Asia as well as the Programme for Theologies and Cultures (PTCA). Soosai comes from India, and hence, represents South Asia as well as the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC).

Chosen as secretary was Dr. Hope S. Antone, CCA's newly appointed Joint Executive Secretary for Faith, Mission and Unity. Chosen as treasurer was Rev. Yangrae Son, a pastor of the Uniting Church in Australia, representing the Pacific sub-region.

Members-at-large include Ms. Hannah Chen of Taiwan, Sr. Dr. Mary John Mananzan of the Philippines, Rev. Sylvana Maria Ranti-Apituley of Indonesia, and Dr. Samuel Ngun Ling of Myanmar.

Other institutional representatives on the committee are: Dr. Sientje Merentek Abram of the Association of Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA), Bro. Edmund Chia of FABC, and Dr. Samson Prabhakar of the South Asia Theological Research Institute (SATHRI).

posted by hope on Monday, September 15, 2003  

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