Practicing Peace: Towards an Asian Feminist Theology of Liberation
Fourth Biennial Conference
(For Information on the on the Papers/Abstracts already approved, please refer to the comment below)
Venue: Hua Hin, Thailand
Date: August 26-29, 2009 (participants arrive August 26, leave August 30)
(Please note that the conference date has been moved one day ahead so the welcome dinner will be on the 26th)

Who We Are

Ecclesia of Women in Asia (EWA) is an academic forum of Catholic women theologians in Asia. Our mission is to encourage and assist women in Asia to engage in a theological task that: 1) is inculturated and contextualized in Asian realities; 2) built on the religious experience and praxis of the socially excluded; 3) promotes gender mutuality and the integrity of creation; and 4) fosters dialogue with other disciplines and faiths.

This Call for Papers/Participants is extended to all Catholic women “doing theology” in Asia on the grassroots, pastoral and/or professional level.

Theme and Context:

Our world and the context within which we live our lives are increasingly marked by violence and conflict within public/ private spaces. Within Asia, there are increasing movements of peoples in the faces of migrant workers, “brides” for sale, trafficking in women and children, wars among ethnic groups and peoples of different religious traditions and clash of civilizations. In this feminization of conflict and confrontation where women and girls are differently and disproportionately impacted, the need of Peace is urgently felt. It is within this context that women theologians in Asia are invited to reflect and theologize on the contemporary relevance of this theme and uncover the distinct contribution to the world’s desire for “peace in the world” that comes from the heart of an Asian feminist theology of liberation. Among the many aspects under consideration are:
• Theology of liberation – what are the shackles binding our common humanity that make peace-building in our homes, workplaces, faith communities so difficult to achieve?
• Peace / Ministers of Reconciliation – what is the peace that Jesus gives? What kind of “alternate world” do we envision for the future of our children, communities and world?
• More than ever, efforts for peace are needed – a peace that is not just an absence of conflict but a peace built on the praxis of the Reign of God. What does this mean within the context of Asia’s poverty and religious and cultural plurality within a neocolonial context?
• What is distinctly Asian that is the hallmark of an Asian feminist theology of liberation? How do we practice peace though our bodies that are marked by differences that matter—sex, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality?

To this end and to engage this conversation, the 4th Biennial Conference of the Ecclesia of Women in Asia sends out this Call for Papers on “Practicing Peace: Towards an Asian Feminist Theology of Liberation.” What do Asian women, in reflecting on and working for peace within the Asian context, have to say to the church, academia and society on this theme. Some suggested areas for discussion follow:

• Scripture/Biblical –in what ways are insights on war, peace, conflict, reconciliation mediated by the challenge of Jesus’ proclamation of the Reign of God?
• Moral Theology –is the “just war” theory still justifiable in the face of war, peace and communalism in this 3rd millennium? What is the price of peace at all costs within public/ private and gendered spaces?
• Inter-religious – within the Asian context of religious pluralism, how does the call to peace manifest itself from the depths of the different religious traditions – across cultural, ethnic and linguistic borders?
• Systematic Theology – what are the “many poor” within Asia who are at the mercy of the many “wars” teaching us – what is their word of truth to Asia and the world at this time of history? How have we in liberating theology, “decolonized” truth?
• Spirituality/ Hermeneutics of Peace – how does one speak of peace in an increasingly fractured world? Within secular/ sacred space, what place do restorative justice, social ethics and rights discourse have within a hermeneutics of peace?
• Pastoral Theology – within global/ local spaces, to what extent is the movement in Asia from Basic Christian Communities (BCC’s) to inter-religious Basic Human Communities (BHC’s), a movement toward peace?

In this “Call for Papers” – the “papers” can take the form of written essays or performed through poetry, art, dance and/or music, even role-play involving audience participation. More unconventionally, hypertext explorations and multimedia texts are also welcome. Submitted texts must be theological in scope, contextualized in Asian women’s lived realities and provide an avenue for critique and ongoing discussion. We aim to publish quality ‘papers.’

Identification of Paper Presenters/Participants
Because of EWA’s emphasis on promoting theological research, a fundamental criterion for participation in this Conference is the ability and willingness to write and present an original, creative theological paper that has never before been published. The deadline for submission of an abstract of about 300 words is 15 April, 2009.

A screening committee will then conduct a blind-review of the abstracts to identity those who could be Paper-Presenters, taking into account the following criteria: relevance to the theme, consideration of the Asian contextual perspective, originality of insight, methodology and organization of the paper, as well as, representation by country. In terms of methodology, dialogue with feminist theories and other disciplines (i.e. sociology, gender studies, peace studies, race and ethnicity, postcolonial and development studies, human rights, international relations, etc) and faith is highly encouraged.
By the end of April, those who submitted abstracts will be informed if they have been accepted as Paper-Presenters at the conference. All are expected to submit their completed paper (3,000 – 5 000 words) by 1 August, 2009.

Non-Asian and Non-paper Presenting Participants

An open invitation is extended to leading women theologians from other continents who might be interested and willing to come and share their experiences with us. Such guests are limited to 10% of the total number of participants. They will not be asked to present a paper. Those who would like to attend as non-paper presenting participants (Asian or non-Asian), are also invited to complete the application form as part of the “RSVP” (see below). The extent to which we will be able to accommodate and notify non-paper presenters is subject to space limitations but we expect to be able to notify applicants by second week of May.

Process of the Conference

The papers will be circulated to all participants for reading before they arrive at the Conference. The conference will consist of plenary and small group sessions and it is anticipated that there will also be invited guest speakers. The small group sessions will be a time for further discussion and critique of the papers. The Conference will provide opportunities for deep reflection and expanding awareness of issues from other Asian countries, input, discussion, prayer and networking.

Schedule of the Conference:

Aug 26 – last minute preparations for the conference
– arrival of conference pax
– 5 pm registration
– informal start
Aug. 27-29 noon – EWA IV conference
29 pm till evening – EWA Business mtng./Ratification of CBL
Aug 30 Departure of CT and other pax

Funding

EWA will cover the conference fee, room, and board of all participants. We are raising funds to cover the plane tickets of paper writers but the subsidy we can actually give will be subject to budget limitations. Non-paper writers are expected to seek funds from their institution (university, seminary, pastoral centre, diocesan office, parish movement, religious congregation, etc.) for travel to and from Bangkok.

RSVP

Those interested in participating in this Conference, either as Paper-Presenters or as non-Paper Presenters, are asked to submit their applications on or before 15 April 2008. Please fill up the on-line form provided with the link below. Abstracts and Papers shall be sent through e-mail to lizaresandrea@yahoo.com. Indicate on the subject line “EWA 4 Abstract” or “EWA 4 Paper”.


EWA 4 Application Form

If clicking on the above link doesn’t open the application page for you, try the link below.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=pQjqJWwgG3jud9WTSnyAmPw…

Future Correspondence
It is preferable that all correspondence – including sending of the final paper – be done through e-mail. As earlier mentioned, Abstracts and Papers shall be sent through e-mail to lizaresandrea@yahoo.com. Indicate on the subject line “EWA 4 Abstract” or “EWA 4 Paper”.If you do not have access to e-mail, a FAX number will be provided.

EWA Coordinating Team
Sharon A. Bong (Malaysia)
Andrea Lizares Si (Philippines)
Astrid Lobo Gajiwala (India)
Antoinette (Nonie) Gutzler (Taiwan)
Jeanne Peracullo (Philippines)

Advisors
Agnes M. Brazal
Annette Meuthrath
Evelyn Monteiro
Virginia Saldanha

Please send all emails to Andrea Lizares Si
E-mail: lizaresandrea@yahoo.com