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Cristina Lledo Gomez

Cristina Lledo Gomez is the Presentation Sisters Theology Lecturer at BBI-The Australian Institute of Theological Education (TAITE). She is also Research Fellow for Charles Sturt University’s Public and Contextual Theology Centre. Her role at BBI-TAITE is directed toward promoting women’s spiritualities, feminist theologies, and ecotheologies. She is the author of the Church as Woman and Mother (2018) and currently co-editing God of Interruption: Mothering and Theology with Julia Brumbaugh and 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines: Postcolonial Perspectives with Agnes Brazal and Ma. Marilou Ibita. In 2020 Cristina was the recipient of the Catherine Mowry Lacugna Award for her essay “Mother Language, Mother Church, Mother Earth”, awarded by the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA). At present, she is Co-Chair of the Women’s Consultation for Constructive Theology at the CTSA and Board Member for the College Theology Society and Ecclesiological Investigations Network. She is published in the areas of ecclesiology, feminist-maternal theology, domestic violence, clerical abuse, integral ecology, migration, and colonialism. She has forthcoming publications in the Oxford Companion to Asian Theologies, SCM Companion to Feminist Theologies, and a special edition of Concilium on racism (expected publication in 2023).

This presentation explores the Christian colonial legacy that continues to contribute to the intersectional oppression of women of colour in Oceania. It works from the premise that oppression occurs at multiple levels and for which Christian teaching is co-opted, particularly to justify violence against women in the region. This violence appears not only in the forms of physical, psychological, and spiritual abuse but also as colonial mentality and internalised oppression. The paper seeks to bring to the fore the role of Churches in interrupting the multiple levels of oppression.

Ignace Ndongala Maduku

Ignace Ndongala Maduku is associate professor at the Institute of Religious Studies at the University of Montreal (Canada). His current research focuses, on the one hand, on the posterity of the theologian Jean-Marc Ela, and on the other hand, on decolonial approaches in French-speaking African theology. Author of several books and articles, he published in 2022, in collaboration with Dieudonné Mushipu Mbombo, at Éditions Karthala in Paris, Les Églises d'Afrique entre fidélité et invention : du synode romain de 1994 aux défis du XXie siècle,, and in 2021 at Éditions L'Harmattan in Paris, Cultures africaines et modernités. Perspectives pour un dialogue prospectif.

My communication revolves essentially around the theological discourse that underlies the approaches of the Church in the Congo from colonization to the present day. It identifies the persistence of coloniality and emphasizes the perspectives of decoloniality as well as the decolonizing actions that are discovered in the 30 years of the episcopate of Cardinal Malula.

Gunter Prüller-Jagenteufel

Gunter Prüller-Jagenteufel, born 1964, is a married lay theologian. After Master’s degrees in Catholic Theology and Mathematics (1990) he finished his doctoral studies in 1997 with a dissertation on Solidarity: “Solidarity – an Option for the Victims” (published in German in 1998). He submitted his habilitation thesis in 2003 at the University of Regensburg (Germany) on the theological foundation of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ethics (published in German in 2004 under the title “Liberated to Take Responsibility”. Since then he works as associate professor for theological ethics at the University of Vienna. Position of the author: Associate Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Vienna, Faculty of Catholic Theology; 2017–2021 Treasurer of INSeCT Email: Affiliation: University of Vienna Department of Systematic Theology and Ethics Faculty of Catholic Theology Schenkenstr. 8–10 1010 Vienna


Ellen Van Stichel

Ellen Van Stichel is assistant professor of Christian Social and Political Ethics at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven (Belgium). She is a member of the Research Unit Theological and Comparative Ethics and director of the Centre of Catholic Social Thought. In 2010 she obtained her doctorate in Theology with a dissertation entitled ‘Out of Love for Justice: Moral Philosophy and Catholic Social Thought on Global Duties’. In 2012, this dissertation was awarded the five-yearly Mgr. Arthur Janssen Prize for Christian Ethics. Focus of her research is how theology can contribute to social issues. Themes such as (global) inequality, poverty and social exclusion are investigated from the perspective of Christian social thought and the question of human flourishing. Key concepts are: relationality, vulnerability, solidarity, justice, common good, Catholic social thought. Her current research aims to focus on political emotions.

Ever since the promulgation of Rerum Novarum more than 130 years ago, Catholic Social Teaching has addressed social concerns, with the aim to do justice to our common human dignity and in the prospect of the common good. While before the 1960s its approach was definitely very Eurocentric, a global awareness grew steadily and slowly since the pontificate of John XXIII, with an increasing attention not only to social issues, but also to ecological issues and especially their interplay as recognized by pope Francis with the publication of Laudato si’. However, was this move from a Eurocentric to a global perspective enough to decolonize CST? And to what extent does the idea of Catholic social teaching itself, as referring to a ‘corpus’ of text considered as the social tradition itself contribute to colonizing theology? What approaches to CST offer opportunities to contribute to decolonizing theology instead? These are the question which this paper aims to tackle.

Gunda Werner

Gunda Werner is a highly respected theologian, holding a Ph.D. in Dogmatic Theology from the University of Münster, Germany, and a Habilitation from Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. She has held numerous academic positions, including that of a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, USA, and Visiting Scholar at Boston College, Boston and Fordham University, New York, USA. Since March 2023, she is a Full Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Chair for Dogmatic and History of Dogma at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. Prior to this, she served as a Full Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Head of the Institute for Dogmatic Theology at the University of Graz in Austria. Dr. Werner has received numerous accolades for her work, including the Venia Legendi Award for Dogmatic Theology and History of Dogma from Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. She has also been an Editor for the topic 'Christianity' in the subject area "Churches and Religious Culture" for Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit: Aktualisierungen und Erweiterungen. Since 2019 she is the Chair Person of AGENDA – Forum for catholic female Theologians. Dr. Werner's vast experience, expertise, and impressive education record have made her a sought-after scholar in her field, and her commitment to the advancement of theological knowledge is truly inspiring.

Gender thinking is "godless" and "atheistic," it "manipulates language" and "subjugates" people to an ideology in which the focus is no longer on the relationship with God, nor on the love between man and woman, but only on the "ethical relationship between sexual partners," in which - and here the collective indignation reaches a first climax - neither sexual orientation nor the covenant of sacramental marriage is important. Finally, the criticism of gender theories (which, by the way, never exist in the plural among the relevant authors, but always only as "the" gender theory of Judith Butler) culminated in the accusation that this was the ultimate attack on the idea of creation, that God had created man as man and woman. And with this we have finally arrived at anti-feminism: Exclusion from office and public life, poorer educational opportunities and lower pay have to be accepted, because "the" woman wants to be with the children as a mother and take care of the home, she puts the family first in her priorities. Even if this means that she earns less, does not have a career and has fewer opportunities, she is still realizing her nature as a woman. In a world in which "specifically male" and "specifically female" characteristics are not inherent in human beings by God's will, the biologistic justification of male supremacy in society would be deprived of its breeding ground.

John Blanco

John D. (Jody) Blanco teaches modern Philippine, Latin American, and Asian-American literatures, with a focus on the literatures and cultures of early modern globalization under the Spanish Empire (Philippine, Latin American, and Asian), at the University of California, San Diego. His forthcoming book, Counter-Hispanization in the Colonial Philippines: Literature, Law, Religion, and Native Custom, examines the “co-invention” of Philippine Christianity and native custom in the literature of spiritual Conquest in the Philippines between the 16th-18th centuries, highlighting the processes of counter-Hispanization and the law as phantasmagoria. He is the author of Frontier Constitutions: Christianity and Colonial Empire in the 19th Century Philippines (UC Press, 2009) and the translator of Julio Ramos, Divergent Modernities of Latin America: Culture and Politics in the 19th Century (Duke UP, 2001). He has also edited two special issue journals: one on the political philosopher Carl Schmitt in the study of the early modern Americas (Política común v.5) and the second on Colonialism-Capitalism-Catholicism (with Daniel Nemser) (Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies 19.2).

Following Marcelo H. del Pilar’s insight that “Spain abdicated its sovereignty in favor of monk rule in the Philippines,” this talk establishes the legal and institutional bases of Spanish rule overseas, with attention to the role assigned to the religious Orders in the aftermath of the incomplete conquest of the Philippines. Specifically, I analyze the peculiar character of friar and Jesuit authority: while both served as agents of the Crown, neither were subject to the Crown or even official Church laws and authority. The exploration of this paradox reveals the full implications of the institutional anarchy of Spanish rule overseas. These included numerous cases of violence, contraband, rape, and fraud perpetrated and masked by the religious Orders. The net effect of this institutional anarchy was the perpetuation of an unfinished conquest that left a lasting cultural legacy of native resistance to both the conquest and Christianity in the Philippines.

Montserrat Escribano-Cárcel

Montserrat Escribano-Cárcel. PhD in Philosophy, Program in Ethics and Democracy, Department of Philosophy of Law, Moral, and Politics, Faculty of Philosophy and Science of Education, Universitat de València, Valencia, Spain. Received International Doctor Mention / Outstanding PhD. Thesis 2016-2017 for her Doctoral Thesis: Identidad y naturaleza humana desde una perspectiva neuroteológica fundamental [Identity and Human Nature from a Fundamental Neurotheology Perspective]. Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL/MDiv), Faculty of Theology San Vicente Ferrer, Valencia. Licentiate in Humanities, BA, University of Valencia, Valencia. Is currently professor at Faculty of Theology San Vicente Ferrer, Universidad Católica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain

“Decolonization as an unfinished Project” is one of the proposals of this congress. However, this ambitious affirmation cannot be carried out in our theologies without taking into account what are the origins and understandings that generated the Spanish imperial colonial thought. It is a question, therefore, of situating the genealogies of these epistemologies that transformed the human condition, reality, and the known world and that many name today as the first globalization. Hence, approaching the relations between the Philippines and the Spanish empire is necessary to locate and trace those beginnings. The approximation between these two worlds and its consequences can be studied, beyond the historical facts, through the history of the ideas that appeared, by the effects that they caused in political, economic and religious relations, and also by looking at the transformation that they exercised over the natural world and its resources turned into merchandise. Locating the genesis of these colonizing processes allows us to broaden the matrix of our theological intelligibility, since it forces us to resignify: the genealogies, the epistemic memories, the inductive methodologies, as well as the theological places from which we are elaborating our theological production. The decolonial perspective in times of Vatican II, in addition to a review of theological frameworks, is on the one hand an impulse to move away from «theologies of naivety» or «theologies of limbo» that are alien to epistemic or ecocidal injustice. On the other hand, decolonial hermeneutics becomes a challenge to elaborate «theologies of the common» produced by those who have not yet been «validated» nor have they had «the right of appearance».

Karl Gaspar

Bro. Carlito (Karl) Gaspar, CSsR is a Redemptorist Brother who is a professor at the St. Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute (SATMI), based in Davao City. He was born in Davao City and did his college studies at the Ateneo de Davao University (AB Sociology) and did graduate studies at the Asian Social Institute (M.S. Economics) and UP Diliman (PhD Philippine Studies). Xavier University also granted him an honorary PhD Humanities degree. He is a member of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) and the Philippine Catholic Theological Association (DAKAEO). Among his books: Manobo Dreams in Arakan won the National Book award for Social Science, Desperately Seeking God's Saving Action the Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Award (Best in Spirituality and Ministry) and Handumanan (Remembrance) Digging for Indigenous Wellspring (same award for Spirituality in 2021) and DIWANG BALAAN/BANAL: A DECOLONIAL DISCOURSE ON PINOY SPIRITUALITY (2022).

Today the Philippines is third in the list of countries with the most number of Catholics. Of a total of 105 million people, 89% are affiliated to the Roman Catholic Church.In 2021, the Philippines celebrated the 500th year anniversary of the arrival of Christianity when a tribal settlement agreed to take part in a mass baptism initiated by the captain of the colonizing expedition, Fernando Magellan. However, it was the expedition led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565 that cemented Spanish colonial rule in the archipelago leading to the establishment of the institutional/hierarchical Church. Taking into context the close interfacing of the Vatican and Madrid (as manifested in the passage of Papal Bulls establishing the legitimacy of Patronato Real), there was a close collaboration between the processes of colonization and evangelization. The colonial rule was abusive in regard to how the colonizers treated the native population. First they established the reduccion system, patterned after their colonial strategy in Central/Latin America to hasten proselytization. Given the theological and pastoral praxis of the medieval Church, this meant an aggressive drive to vanquish all aspects of the indigenous belief system practiced by the indigenous communities for thousands of years. Eventually as a result of their brutal subjugation, there erupted hundreds of revolts across the archipelago. In the course of history, a greater sense of unity evolved among some of the lowland peasant communities that consolidate the collective will of the oppressed to rise up against their oppressors. The Union waged a revolutionary war against the Spanish colonial forces for five years until finally the Spanish rule was vanquished which led to the establishment of a Republic, the first to be declared in Asia. The first seeds of what could be referred to as the beginnings of a “native liberation theology” arose in various forms with some of the insurrections that erupted against Spanish colonial rule. This constituted the nascent decolonization of the manner of interpreting the Bible highlighting its liberation content which would reach a new height in theological circles in the Philippines in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. In the 1960s, the political-economic-social structures of the Philippines worsened in regard to its governance system. This led to the worsening poverty situation of the majority and the lack of social justice in all fronts. Vatican II and eventually the declaration of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos who ruled from 1972 to 1986 heighted the development of what would be decolonial theologizing. The Marcos dictatorial regime was eventually vanquished through a People Power revolution in February 1986 which led to the restoration of democratic practices in the Republic. However, despite the reforms under Mrs. Cory Aquino until today, the poverty situation worsened owing to the neo-liberal policies imposed by the State apparatus. This was further worsened with gross human rights violations and in-attention to the need to push for ecological justice under President Rodrigo Duterte who won the elections in 2016. Owing to the persistence of this kind of socio-eco-political situation, a movement within faith-based institutions has once more arose with a strong decolonial with a theological perspective advocating for a militant response that listens to both the cry of the oppressed poor and the harassed planet!

Idesbald Goddeeris

Idesbald Goddeeris (1972) is professor of history and teaches courses on colonial history, migration history, oral history, and the history of India and Poland. He is affiliated with the Research Unit MoSa (Modernity and Society 1800-2000) and researches the Flemish/Belgian/European relationship with other regions, particularly in the postwar era. He currently examines the decolonization of the Catholic Church by studying Belgian missionaries and local clergy in India after 1947 and Congo after 1960.


Judith Gruber

Judith Gruber is professor of systematic theology at KU Leuven, Belgium, and the director of KU Leuven’s Centre for Liberation Theologies. She received her PhD (summa cum laude) in Catholic Systematic Theology from the University of Salzburg, Austria, in 2012 and subsequently held a tenure track position at Loyola University New Orleans from 2012-2017. Her research focuses on the intersection of systematic theology and critical cultural studies, with particular specializations in intercultural theology and postcolonial theology. Her first book, Theologie nach dem Cultural Turn. Interkulturalität als theologische Ressource (Kohlhammer 2013), was awarded with the “Encounter of Cultures” Prize for excellent monographs from the Theological-Philosophical College SVD St. Augustin (Bonn, Germany). A revised and updated version has been published in English translation as Intercultural Theology. Exploring World Christianity after the Cultural Turn (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Research in Contemporary Religion 25, 2017). She is editor or co-editor of 7 multi-authored volumes (published by Brill and other international presses) and special issues of peer-reviewed journals. Other work has appeared, inter alia, in Louvain Studies, Theological Studies, Journal for the Feminist Study of Religion and in a number of peer-reviewed edited volumes. She serves on the editorial boards of the series Brill Research Perspectives in Theology, Transforming Political Theologies (Routledge) and Religion in Geschichte und Gesellschaft (Lit-Verlag), and is currently the representative of the European Society for Catholic Theology in the International Network for Societies of Catholic Theologies.


Ma. Maricel S. Ibita

Ma. Maricel S. Ibita, STD, Ph.D is Associate Professor at the Department of Theology-Ateneo de Manila University. She also lectures at St. Vincent School of Theology-Adamson University, the Ecclesiastical Faculties-University of Sto. Tomas, and Loyola School of Theology-Ateneo de Manila University. She finished her postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven, BELGIUM in 2015, working on Micah 6:1–8: Rereading the Metaphors for YHWH, Israel and Non-Human Creation. Her research focus include narrative, poetry and metaphor studies in the Bible; postcolonial, liberationist, feminist, social science, trauma, ecological-sustainability-eschatological hermeneutics; and the use of Jewish-Christian sources in interpreting the Scriptures. In 2022, she finished coordinating the Urban Poor Women and Children with Academics for Delivering on UNSDGs in the Philippines (UPWARD-UP), funded by VLIR-UOS Belgium and her research fellowship on Theology: Biographical, Contextual, Intersectional at the Arbeitsstelle für Theologische Genderforschung, WWU-Muenster. She is currently working on her Research and Creative Work project entitled Shalom: Learning, Teaching and Living Sustainability Theology.

INSeCT’s theme for this year’s twin conference at KU Leuven, BELGIUM and the Ateneo de Manila University, PHILIPPINES is aptly titled “Decolonizing Theologies. Glocal Histories, Contemporary Challenges". In analyzing our contemporary ecological crisis as one of the major consequences of colonization and in the hope of changing our habitus toward the world, the people and fellow created beings, I echo the challenge of Lynn White that we need to address one of the not-so-obvious but implicit causes of our ecological crisis, that is, religion as our way of conceptualizing our relation to the Creator and other created beings. I propose that a more conscious, systematic way of theologizing and teaching that underlines the aftermath of colonization and furthers the task of decolonizing our way of understanding Creator-creation relationship is where our contributions to various fields of theology can be useful for a transdisciplinary response to the ecological emergency. What we need is a dynamic of transformational ecological theology and pedagogy to effect intellectual and moral ecological conversion that underlines the unique relations between AND among the divine, humans AND non-humans. In this presentation, I will first briefly note how ecology has been used as a science of the empire and as a tool for environmental exploitation. Next, I will succinctly present some advances from contemporary biblical ecological hermeneutics, underlining especially the challenge of the Earth Bible Project’s six ecojustice principles to the various fields of theology. I will then complement these challenges with insights from postcolonial ecological (ecolonial) hermeneutics. Finally, I will provide some challenging implications of this way of theologizing and teaching to our way of living and building back better a more sustainable and inclusive future for our world, globally and locally, in this (post)-COVID-19-pandemic era.

Ruben Mendoza

Ruben C. Mendoza is a married lay theologian. He is a professor at and the chairperson of the Department of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University. He obtained both his MA (2004) and PhD (2009) in Theology from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. His interest is in the field of contextual theology, particularly as theologians and Christians communities grapple with questions related to the relevance of the Christian tradition in various cultural and social contexts. He serves in the editorial committee of the journals, Hapag and MST Review. He is the past president of the DaKaTeo, the Catholic Theological Society of the Philippines, and is the present president of the International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology (INSeCT). Dr. Mendoza is currently pursuing his MS in Bioethics degree at the University of the Philippines. He is a research ethics trainer of the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board of the Department of Science and Technology. He was part of the committee that revised and published the Philippines' National Ethical Guidelines for Research Involving Human Participants (2022).


Gertraud Ladner

Gertraud Ladner is assistant professor at the Department of Systematic Theology/Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Innsbruck and the current president of the European Society of Women in Theological Research. She studied Catholic Religious Education and Russian language and literature at the Department of Slavic Studies at the University of Innsbruck. Since 1991 she works at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Innsbruck. In 2000 she graduated to Dr. theol. with a dissertation “On the Ethical Relevance of Corporeality in Feminist Theology and Philosophy”. Her research interests are feminist theology and the category of gender in theological and ethical fields; interpersonal violence and gender; (sexualised) violence in institutions; relationship ethics; sexual ethics; care ethics; feminist spirituality; women's spirituality at the turning points of life; development of feminist theology. She is editor of FrauenKirchenKalender and ESWTR Studies in Religion.


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