Decolonise theology – the path to social transformation
The retired Anglican Bishop of Kingston, The Rt Rev Robert Thompson, has challenged the local church to adopt a new approach to theology that reflects the lived experiences of its members and the wider population.
In his newly published book, Redemption Song: Reading the Scripture for Social Change Bishop Thompson says that almost 60 years since the nation gained independence from Britain, “the deep legacy of colonialism continues to stifle” the nation’s development. He suggests that the “established Church,” which is a product of the colonial heritage, has a critical role in dismantling traditional Euro-American interpretations of the Bible and engaging a theology that “embraces and affirms all people across class and culture”.
The bishop, who has served for 47 years as an ordained minister, argues that the application of Scripture in a context of social transformation is possible, and he calls for the Church “to emerge from the shadows of continued silence” to reshape the social agenda in the quest for equity and justice.
In his support for the book, the Most Rev Howard Gregory, archbishop of the West Indies and Bishop of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands (Anglican), commended the publication for theological educators and students as well as lay leaders involved in “serious study of the Bible and gospel as ‘midwives’ for social transformation”.
The release of Redemption Song: Reading the Scripture for Social Change comes amid the ongoing public discourse about the role of the Anglican Church as part of the colonial establishment. It also coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Disestablishment of the Church from Government control.
Published by Ian Randle Publishers, Re demption Song: Reading the Scripture for Social Change is available directly from the publishers as well as from bookshops islandwide, and online on Amazon Kindle and BookFusion, and it will be officially launched at a virtual ceremony on March 25.