Department ofReligious Studies


Faculty Update: Teresia Hinga

Teresia Hinga has had several book chapters published this year. This fall her article “Teaching to Transform: Theological Education , Global Consciousness and the Making of Global Citizenship” was published as a chapter in the volume Teaching Global Theologies, edited by Kwok Puilan et al. (Baylor University). The book is a culmination of several years of collaboration , consultation and discussion  among the authors  on the role and place of theological education and or religious studies /education in the making of global citizens. In this chapter she discusses case studies, namely Jesuit education (exemplified by SCU and its emphasis on pedagogies of engagement) as well as the World Council Of Churches and its leveraging of theological education in the search for viable solutions to the challenges posed by HIV/AIDS as a Global Syndemic. The chapter highlights  the importance, even imperative, of theological/religious education as humanity navigates the perils and promises of globalization.

Earlier this year another of her articles, “Of Empty Granaries , Stolen Harvests , and Weapon of Grain : Applied Ethics in search of Food Security in Africa,” was published in volume Just Sustainability: Ecology, Technology and Resources Extraction edited by Andrea Vicini and Christian Peppard (Orbis).

Her chapter explores the multiple intersecting barriers to food security/food sovereignty  in Africa and calls for the creation of what she calls “a ministry of the granary” consisting of task forces and think-tanks within  the Glo-cal Church, who would keep a vigilant watch over the issue of food sovereignty and who would facilitate the construction and application  of  viable prophylactic strategies to  ensure food sovereignty    in Africa. The book is one of the several in a series on Catholic Ethics World Wide facilitated by Jim Keenan, S.J., of Boston College.

In September, Teresia participated in the Inaugural World Religions World Church Conference entitled “Finding Beauty in the Other,” which was convened at the University of Notre Dame. The Conference was in response to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” in which he encourages Christians to “foster a renewed esteem of beauty as a means of touching the human heart.” The conference explored how beauty can be found in religions and cultures of the world and how the beauty of the Christian gospel should be communicated in different religious and cultural settings.

At the conference Teresia presented a paper entitled “Of Kente Cloth, Rainbow Nations and Virtue Of Pluralism: Navigating The Beauty And Dignity Of The Other In Africa.” The paper refers to the thinking and writings of two African exemplars, namely Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, who imagines the emergence of a beautiful “rainbow people of God” characterized by mutual respect and acceptance of each other’s beauty and dignity born out of the fact that we are all made in Gods image, and Mercy Amba Oduyoye, founder of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, who urges the weaving of diverse cultures, religions and peoples into a beautiful community reminiscent of Kente Cloth. Such a community is held together by the virtue of pluralism that entails seeing and finding beauty and dignity in the other. The weaving of such a “Global Kente Cloth,” i.e. a global community marked by mutual respect and pluralism, is an urgent and pertinent task for all, especially African women.

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