IHL representative Tobias Schuckert participated in CCSCF conference “Indigenous People and the Christian Faith: A New Way Forward”
From May 2 until May 7, IHL LIMRIS (Liebenzell Institute for Missiological, Religious, Intercultural and Social Studies) research associate Rev. Dr. Tobias Schuckert visited the partner university Concordia University of Edmonton in Edmonton (CUE), Canada.
Tobias Schuckert was shown around on campus as well as being able to meet with former CUE president Rev. Prof. Dr. Gerald Krispin who also studied at Liebenzell for two years. In the first session of the conference, Prof. Dr. Bill Anderson, director of the Canadian Centre for Scholarship and the Christian Faith, which hosted the conference, emphasized the vivid partnership between IHL and CUE.
During the conference, a variety of issues concerning the culture, spirituality and life of indigenous people were discussed, and new ways of an encounter between the people groups were suggested.
Tobias Schuckert presented on “Postcolonial Considerations on Shusaku Endô's Silence and Indigeneity”. In his paper, Schuckert proposed a postcolonial reading of Silence and thus, gave perspectives from Japan. He introduced indigenous Asian views on missions, ecclesiology, and Christology based on insights from Endô's famous novel, relevant for a global theory on indigeneity. Thus, he proposed not only new ways of intercultural encounters of Christians from different cultures, but also delivered new indigenous forms of Christian living based on a Christology that starts from Christ's weakness rather than his victorious character. Moreover, the paper attempted to foster cultural identity of indigenous groups as it related crucial theological insights from Silence to current global issues of indigeneity. By doing so, it led to a theory of church in poverty characterized by hospitality and inclusivity.
In the evening of Saturday, Schuckert attended a banquet which ended the conference where he met also with students of CUE. Schuckert summarizes this trip with the following words: “It was an amazing time with new insights on culture and missions from the perspective of indigenous people. Moreover, I am thankful for the hospitality of the faculty, students and staff of Concordia University of Edmonton, and hope to advance our partnership even more. I am thankful for friends like Prof. Dr. Bill Anderson and Prof. Dr. Jonathan Strand, and their endless efforts to advance the Christian education at Concordia and elsewhere.”