DTES Constructive Theology Conference

Date(s) - November 16, 2019
9:30 am - 7:00 pm

Strathcona Church

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Mosaic Church would like to invite you to participate in a one-day constructive theology conference for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside on Saturday November 16th, 2019, at Strathcona Church, 431 Princess Ave. 9:30AM-7PM

To draw out and cultivate a hyper-local theology of the Downtown Eastside, bound by community and place.

Constructive Theology
Constructive Theology begins with an understanding that all our theologies and theological articulations are constructions. Therefore, what we say about God/divinity/ultimate reality are likewise limited, situated constructions.

Constructive theology is therefore, not a systematic theology that attempts to comprehensively describe reality and God, nor is it biblical theology limited to a text, nor is it dogmatic/doctrinal theology that is bound to a tradition, nor is it historical theology that excavates theologies from the past. Instead a constructive theology arises from and is developed out of a contemporary context.   As such, constructive theology provides an opportunity for developing hyper-local theological articulations. These articulations will not necessarily align on every point, instead what unites this conference is the place and community of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. In this way constructive theology goes beyond contextual theology that may merely be the application of previously developed theologies to a specific context.

Presenters are therefore encouraged to move in a theological direction in their presentations: moving from the hyper-local community towards a related constructive statement about God/divinity/ultimate reality. Presenters are also tasked with ensuring that their presentations are relatable and understandable to the community of the DTES.

Respondents and participants are encouraged to push the presenter on their statements as a way of ensuring the presenter are actually developing hyper-local and constructive theological work. Questions and statements such as: “And how does that theology play out here in the DTES?” or “What are you really saying?” or “I’m not sure that relates at all to my lived experience” will help guide our day and conversations.

Presenters are encouraged to utilize whichever investigatory method they feel best suits their theological work; be it genealogical, theopoetic, narrative, arts-based, conversational, or otherwise. Presentations will be 20 minutes followed by prepared statement/reflection from a community respondent(s), and open questions from all participants.

The day will also include food and conversation, as the means through which to digest the constructive theologies offered.

In order for the constructive theology to be hyper-local, voices of those persons who live, work, and/or are otherwise engaged in the community of the Downtown Eastside will be prioritized. Others are welcome to attend and participate if they adopt a learning-listening disposition.

The work of the conference is to resource the DTES with its own relatable and understandable constructive theological reflections. Papers/presentations will be hosted online afterwards as an open resource for the wider community.

Participation in the conference is FREE.
Email: [email protected] to register.
For those able there is a suggested donation of $25, or $50 to donate on behalf of another participant as well.


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