Call for Papers – Practical Theology Journal Special Issue: Majority World Epistemologies for Practical Theology

Call for Papers – Due May 15th 2022

Epistemology from a majority world perspective requires understanding the lived experiences and ways of knowing people from the majority world. The experience of the present, that is, the context, shapes how they may see the world and construct theologies based on the interaction between culture, social location, and social change within a particular context. Moreover, epistemology is shaped by past experiences, such as colonisation and enslavement. Epistemology is also often expressed in hidden assumptions that structure relationships and inform the ways individuals and communities craft meaning out of the medium of lived experience. When we uncritically impose epistemological values and viewpoints in practical theology, the result can equate a White and western as organizing center for Christian thought and practice.

While epistemology as a formal discipline does not always centre lived experience, practical theology has historically prioritized the importance of wisdom, worldview, and a way of life for individual and collective knowing. At its best, practical theology invites scholars and communities into a collaborative and contextual way of knowing that promotes epistemic justice. An understanding of epistemic justice as a project of centring the knowledges and experiences of those communities that have been historically marginalized through colonization and ongoing violence allows us to reflect our praxis in the increasingly pluralised world. Mindful of this, Practical Theology is seeking expressions of interest from potential contributors for an issue in 2023 looking at Majority World epistemologies in practical theology, as part of its commitment to internationalize, broaden the conversation, and seek epistemic justice.

When the journal Practical Theology was launched from its former incarnation as Contact in 2008 it was conceived as an international move away from a journal which had been almost wholly based in the British and Irish context. However this internationalisation has remained within Europe, North America and Australasia; certainly the journal has expanded into Africa and Asia but remains largely White, western, and Christian in the contributors and the reviewers of submissions. We recognise that the task of further internationalizing the journal in the Majority World is a complex one, but we do wish to take some steps towards it. One of the key issues is what practical theology actually looks like in very different places around the world, particularly what epistemologies are operative which may make one practical theology seem almost incomprehensible to another.

In addition what Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist (to name but a few possibilities) practical theologies look like in conception and method has to be part of this conversation if we are to truly “internationalize”. On top of that, we welcome scholars on genders, sexuality, and class to contribute. In this special issue we would like to examine how the praxis of the people of God may be affected by their contextual theologies.

Possible papers and potential authors

  • Papers that center Latinx or Latin American practical theology as the origin and outcome of contextualized theological reflection.
  • Practical theologies from the perspective of racially/ethnically minoritized communities in the West.
  • Papers that center African practical theology and African public theology as the origin and outcome of contextualized theological reflection.
  • Practical theologies and contextual theologies that draw upon Asian resources and historical experience.
  • Papers that consider the methodological implications of majority world epistemologies for practical theology.
  • Papers that explore how theologies and majority world epistemologies interact normatively with one another.
  • Papers that explore how diasporic scholars and scholars located in the majority world draw upon and develop majority world epistemologies in practical theology.

Peer review
The guest editors will collaborate with Practical Theology’s Editor and Associate Editor to arrange double-blind peer reviews for each submitted article, including, for this work other paper writers and reviewers drawn from the existing Practical Theology Editorial Board or others in the field.

Please submit a 200-word abstract to Practical Theology’s Associate Editor, Dustin Benac, at dustin_benac@baylor.edu by May 15, 2022. You will be informed by 31st May whether we would like you to prepare a full submission for peer-review. Full article submissions that are invited for peer-review should follow PT formatting guidelines including Author-Date (Social Science) references and max 6000 words (including Abstract and References). Submissions will be collected until 30th September, 2022.
Practical Theology journal information, instructions for authors are accessible at http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/yprt20.

Further questions about this special issue can be addressed to Practical Theology’s Associate Editor, Dustin Benac, at dustin_benac@baylor.edu.

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