Together for Justice Conference

14 Mar 2018 - 00:00

Bellville,

PRACTICAL ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES:

 1. THE VENUE

The Conference will take place in the versatile setting of the Public Health building at the northern side of the A BLOCK on the campus of Western Cape University.  Rooms of various sizes are available for different events (plenary, breakaway groups, parallel sessions, etc). All rooms are equipped with video and sound systems, and wifi and internet access. Catering space is also next to the bigger hall. Round tables will be used even in plenary sessions so that group discussions can take place at any time. People may also shift around and join different groups as may be needed.

  1. ACCOMMODATION, COSTS AND ADMIN

For the sake of efficient transport and also a sense of community during the conference, we have approached the Town Lodge in Bellville to accommodate most of the guests from Germany and other speakers flying in for the conference, but also any participants who wish to be accommodated at the “conference accommodation”. The Town Lodge Bellville is an economic and comfortable stay-over hotel, with double rooms (with a double bed, where single persons or couples can stay), and twin rooms (with two single beds, where one or two persons can stay). These rooms are available at $75 dollars (about R1075) per night (prices may go up slightly in 2018). Look up “Town Lodge Bellville” at http://www.south-african-hotels.com/hotels/town-lodge-bellville

The hotel provides a good buffet breakfast (also with vegetarian choices) at R150. There is a swimming pool, a bar operating in the evening, a board room, and spaces for socialisation. Through the registration process the organisers would like to know as soon as possible for which guests to book a room (also which category of room) in this hotel. A few guests may prefer their own accommodation (with friends or family or alternative accommodation), and this needs to be communicated asap, so that the bookings can be finalised.

Right opposite the hotel there is also a restaurant with a good menu (including a value for money buffet) and private spaces. In the vicinity (1 km or so) of the hotel there are two big shopping centres (Tyger Valley and Willowbridge), also with good dining places.

Since participants in the conference will in most cases (except invited speakers or subsidised partners) pay for their travel and accommodation, there will be no conference fee as such.

Most of the meals during the conference (except breakfast) will be free (i.e. included in the conference budget).  Special dietary needs of our German guests need to be shared with Rev Klaus Burckhardt (Klaus.Burckhardt@ekd.de –  tel. +49-5112796235), and on the South African side all other administrative issues are to be taken up with Rev Edwin Arrison (tel 0847351835 –kairossouthernafrica@gmail.com). 

  1. LOCAL TRANSPORT

Local transport, including being fetched and dropped at the airport and travel from the hotel to the university and back, will be provided free of charge. Via the pre-registration process, arrival and departure times will thus need to be provided for guests arriving at the airport (or per bus).

Lloyd Chetty will be the person in the Desmond Tutu Centre for Spirituality and Society taking care of all the travel arrangements: lchetty@uwc.ac.za, tel 0219592383 or 0743652576. Other local transport, for personal trips, can easily be arranged via uber or taxi.

  1. REGISTRATION PROCESS

    On the German side, Rev Klaus Burckhardt will handle the registration process via a form to be filled in by participants and sent to him before the deadline indicated. He will then liaise

    with Llloyd Chetty and Rev Edwin Arrison about all relevant details. If any of the details of registration, as provided, may change, participants should immediately contact Rev Burckhardt and Rev Arrison/Lloyd Chetty.

At the South African side Rev Arrison will set up a digital registration platform, the details of which will be announced asap. South African participants who wish to be booked into the hotel (at their own cost) must please indicate that as soon as possible. 

  1. CONTACT PERSONS

German contact person:

Rev Klaus Burckhardt (Africa Desk EKD) – klaus.burckhardt@ekd.de  Tel. +49-511-2796-235
Secretary (Africa Desk EKD): Hella.Gatz@ekd.de Tel. +49-511-2796-237

South African contact persons:

Rev Edwin Arrison (Centre for Christian Spirituality/Kairos SA) – main administrative contactkairossouthernafrica@gmail.com  tel. 0847351835

Lloyd Chetty (Desmond Tutu Centre for Spirituality and Society, UWC) – contact re travel & catering.  lchetty@uwc.ac.za   tel. 0219592383 / 0743652576

Marita Snyman (Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology) – any questions about Stellenbosch and excursions    maritasnyman@sun.ac.za   tel. 0218082538 / 0848000657

———–

It is our wish as organisers of this important partnership conference and event to optimally facilitate the process of redefining our joint action for justice in the world.

Please feel free to communicate your wishes and suggestions to us frankly. We wish you all a warm welcome to South Africa! 

 

This conference constitutes the third phase of a comprehensive joint Study Project (SP), which emerged out of a collaborative critical review by German and Southern African churches on the outcome of German mission work in Southern Africa in the Colonial and Apartheid eras.

Phase I (SP I) of the study focused on the colonial history of the German Protestant churches and mission societies and the churches in South Africa and Namibia, from the 19th Century up to the 1930s. The primary purpose of SP I was “to come to terms with the colonial past and to critically reflect on the history of all the institutions involved”. SP I examined the theological underpinnings of Colonialism, including the question of how the churches/mission societies contributed to constructing social systems of racial segregation, even in the churches. It also dealt with the German settlers’ involvement in the Herero and Nama genocide in Namibia. The publication emanating from SP I was thus a joint attempt to comprehensively confront the colonial legacy and to overcome the political and cultural categories of the colonial mind-set that may continue to influence the way we think and act today.

Phase II (SP II) of the study process focused on the period from the 1930s to 1990, the so-called Apartheid era, and explored how church relations between Germany and Southern Africa, after the First World War, were shaped by very fundamental conflicts, including the introduction of Apartheid in 1948. SP II also resulted in a sizeable publication (Contested Relations: Protestantism between Southern Africa and Germany from the 1930s to the Apartheid Era). This research addressed the fact that church relations between Germany and Southern Africa during the Apartheid era were shaped by serious conflicts between the Confessing Church and the ideology of National Socialism. This courageous struggle of the Confessing Church however did not result in a general criticism of racism, or resistance against the introduction of Apartheid in South Africa in 1948. In fact, the policy of “separate development” in German churches and missions was not called into question until well into the 1960s. Only in the early 1970s did a broad transnational resistance movement emerge against the Apartheid regime, in which church members in Germany identified in significant numbers with the liberation movements. Intense connections were then created between churches from “North” and “South” through which the controversial history of these church relations was addressed. The objective of SP II was to lay sound historiographical foundations for the necessary reconciliation processes that are still being attempted (such as the recent focus on the Nama/Herero genocide in Namibia).

The present conference, which is now jointly planned to take place from 14 to 17 March 2018, resumes the extensive discussions of power relations and partnerships between the Southern/African and German churches, this time focusing on post-Apartheid South Africa (“state capture”, poverty, unemployment, inequality), and in the context of other political challenges in Germany (such as migration and neo-racism).

In 1973, speaking at a conference in Britain on the tasks facing Black Theology, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu advised: “African Theology…must grapple with the enormous problems that have come in the train of political independence. It must have something to say about the theology of power, of underdevelopment, of political coups, of elitism” (see: God is not a Christian, p. 125). Indeed, as South Africans and many of their neighbours currently experience, political independence has introduced new “sites of struggle” and intensified old ones.

The conference seeks to address these agendas critically and openly within a newly defined partnership.    

  1. RATIONALE

Against the background provided above, this conference will thus engage with critical questions relating to a range of themes, which intersect with the work of the many partners supporting the conference;  in South Africa, the South African Council of Churches (SACC), the Desmond Tutu Centre for Spirituality and Society, the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology, the Ecumenical Foundation of South Africa (EFSA), the Kairos Southern Africa Movement, the Centre for Christian Spirituality and the Desmond and Leah Legacy Centre; and in Germany, EKD and its member churches, EMW and its member mission agencies, Bread for the World, KASA, and further FBOs. The participants in the conference will be representing a wide range of churches, including most main line churches, but also Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, and African initiated churches, as well as a variety of civil society organisations that focus on justice issues from South Africa and Germany. The conference will be framed by selected themes, which will be engaged with by participants from Germany and South Africa (see 4 below). 

In South Africa, growing frustration on the part of civil society regarding corruption, poverty, unemployment, inequality, gender-based violence, access to education, a lack of good governance and service delivery, has led to increased civil society protest. Civil society activism is becoming more pronounced and increasingly receives support from ecumenical bodies such as the SACC and the National Church Leaders Forum. Prophetic Theology, as represented by e.g. the Belhar Confession and the Kairos Document, as well as Post-Colonial Theology, is gaining renewed relevance in the search for appropriate faith responses to the new challenges faced by churches and civil society organisations in Southern Africa.

In this context, the South African Council of Churches launched in December 2015, on the national Day of Reconciliation, The South Africa We Pray For campaign, to pray and work for the realization of the post-apartheid promise – a just, reconciled, peaceful, equitable and sustainable South Africa; free of racism, ethnicism, xenophobia, and gender prejudices; free of corruption and deprivation; and where each child born is free to grow to its God given potential. The 2017 SACC National Conference took this campaign to the next level by initiating the National Convention of South Africa as a process to bring together the diversity of South African society to participate in an opportunity to develop and build a new consensus on national values to assist South Africans arrive at a common basis for a shared, reconciled citizenship. This is a positive and constructive response to growing despondency over the low dividend of the democratic order, the national challenge posed by the evidence of the capture of Organs of State, gross corruption and the demise of public morality. This is to chart a functional path from universal social justice values, to definite standards that uphold those values in the practicalities of social, economic and governmental spheres, focusing on Healing and Reconciliation, Economic Transformation, Comprehensive Quality Education, and Anchoring Democracy.

In Germany and the whole of Europe similar frustrations with the inability of old and tested western traditions of democracy, tolerance and human rights, as established over centuries, to cope with new challenges posed by waves of immigration, refugees, new forms of racism, xenophobia, chauvinism and terror, are testing the moral fibre of churches and civil society. On the basis of such understanding the conference will proceed to discern how the German churches and civil society organisations can meaningfully partner with South African churches and civil society in the Post-Apartheid period to address the global threats jointly, in a new post-colonial partnership for justice and peace in the world.

  1. CENTRAL QUESTION AND RELATED GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 

The central question to be addressed in the conference is: What are the major challenges facing churches and civil society organisations in contemporary South Africa and Germany, and how can

partnerships between German churches and civil society, and South African churches and civil society, engage these challenges?

The objectives are:   

  • To identify the contemporary challenges in South Africa and Germany, and to critically reflect on these challenges in light of the strong South-African German partnerships, which are now challenged to be renewed.
  • To understand the fundamentals and prospects for future cooperation between South African and German partners in a decolonised and global world.
  • To consider, identify and wisely utilise the faith/ecumenical resources available to address the contemporary challenges being faced jointly and separately.
  • To formulate strategies and a viable road map for praxis oriented engagements that can provide hope and practical results.
  1. THEMES

The purpose of the conference generates a number of themes which will be focused on: 

  • Political Justice: citizens’ rights, human dignity, participation, inclusion, democratic processes, corruption, state capture, service delivery, social security, access to education, restitution and restoration
  • Socio-economic Justice: poverty, unemployment, inequality, economic freedom, access to land, alternatives to neo-capitalism
  • Ecological Justice: water and energy resources, global warming, preserving natural resources, clean energy, nuclear debates
  1. MODALITIES

In the initial letter announcing the conference in April 2017, it was said that the conference “comes at the right time” in South African history, and that the conference is thus bound to be:

  • post-colonial (challenging power, race, class, gender injustices as cross-cutting issues)
  • critical (revisiting for instance the prophetic Belhar vision of unity, reconciliation and justice, as well as critical “kairos” thinking and action)
  • transformative (in line with the current worldwide celebration of “500 years of Reformation”)
  • visionary (focusing on themes such as economic justice, democracy, human rights, healing, and promoting a non-violent culture in a holistic view of the earth as our home)
  • ecumenical (in an open spirit of acceptance, embrace and respect of different faith positions)

To achieve our conference goals and objectives, a variety of modalities will be used, such as short papers, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, café style discourse, breakaway groups, contextual bible studies and plenary discussions.

The aim is to maximise participation and the formulation of praxis-oriented outcomes – to be captured towards the end of the conference in a joint statement.  Through all these modes of reflection on Post-Colonial and Post-Apartheid ecumenical relationships, the goal would be to strengthen cooperation between the churches, mission agencies, and faith based organisations in Germany and Southern Africa, and to avoid pitfalls of the past. In the final sessions of the conference, participants will also focus on developing a “road map” for the path ahead, enhancing resources and strategies to engage contemporary challenges. The German partners have also suggested a final assessment meeting in 2018 which can be discussed at this conference. 

  1. PUBLICATION(S)

It is the intention to publish selected materials, papers and outcomes of the conference, as with the two preceding phases. The details of this will be discussed at the conference. Peer-reviewed papers may be published as a special, peer-reviewed, journal edition and/or a special conference publication. It is expected that EFSA, the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology and the Desmond Tutu Centre for Spirituality and Society will cooperate to produce such a publication or publications.      

  1. PARTICIPATING PARTNERS FROM CHURCHES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND ACADEMIA 

The Steering Committee members representing Germany and South Africa will be responsible for identifying the major churches, but also vibrant civil society organisations active on the national level, that are likely to contribute constructively towards the themes and goals of the conference. The German Steering Committee members will invite the churches and FBOs in Germany (e.g. Lutheran, Reformed, and Catholic) to ensure representation of these churches at the conference, and the SACC will do the same in South Africa, including all the mainline church members of the SACC, together with Evangelicals, Pentecostals and African Initiated Churches.

In terms of faith-based and civil-society organisations, a number of these have already been identified and invited, such as in Germany: Bread for the World, KASA, RSA Partnership Groups, and in South Africa: EFSA, NRSAD, Diakonia, Kairos, PACSA, IJR, Restitution Foundation, SAFFI, the Social Justice Commission, SAFCEI, Hope Africa, Umalusi, I AM, Church Land Programme, Ujamaa etc. This list is not comprehensive and can be supplemented. Academic partners will be identified by the Desmond Tutu Centre and the Beyers Naudé Centre, in collaboration with Theology and Religious Studies Departments. Individual academics, known for their contributions in designated areas, may also be invited. 

  1. A CONCEPTUALISED DRAFT PROGRAMME FOR THE CONFERENCE

The programme will be structured as follows:

Plenary Sessions: Keynote Reflections and Panels:  There will be 3 keynote plenary panels dealing with the main themes of the conference. These will be facilitated conversations rather than a series of lengthy papers. There will also be Panel discussions in which panellists will be requested to respond to questions in conversation style rather than through academic papers. Thereafter the audience will be able to engage in questions and comments.

Participatory Discussions: These can include parallel sessions, workshops, café style presentations, and contextual bible studies. The latter can be conducted in appropriate sessions, e.g. towards the end of the day or after selected plenary sessions. The format of each session and who will be presenting, can only be decided once we have confirmed participation from invited participants.  The choice of participants will be guided by:

  • A balance between input from German and South African churches and CSOs
  • A balance between succinct key note papers on core issues, panel discussions, and sessions with a mix of representation, such as café style discussions, breakaway groups, contextual Bible studies, and plenaries
  • A focus on both national and international issues that need urgent attention
  • A gender balance and spread of background and faith perspectives
  • An exchange of ecumenical viewpoints and reactions and contributions from young people, civil society organisations, business people, and ordinary citizens

 

 

DRAFT PROGRAMME

 

It is at this stage realistic to provide only a basic outline of the sessions to be developed and filled in through the consultative planning process:

 

 

DAY ONE (Wednesday 14 March 2018)

 

 

   

ARRIVALS AND REGISTRATION

(please be seated by 15h50)

 

 

Registration from 15:00

16:00

 

 

OFFICIAL OPENING AND WELCOME:

Prof Tyronne Pretorius: a word of welcome to UWC

Prof Sarojini Nadar: A word of welcome from the Desmond Tutu Centre at UWC

Mr Mbulelo Bikwani: a message of welcome from the Leah and Desmond Tutu legacy Centre

Ms. Sonto Magwaza: a word of welcome from SACC

 

 

OR: Archbishop himself?

16:20

 

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CONFERENCE:

Rev. Klaus Burckhardt/Dr. Hanns Lessing:
A Partnership in three Study Projects

Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana (confirmed):                                              This Partnership and Conference and the SACC National Convention: Quest for a New Moral Vision

 

Background of the long-standing Partnerships between German churches and organisations and South African counterparts

 

17:00

 

THE QUEST FOR JUSTICE:

ADDRESSING ISSUES OF POWER THROUGH: GENDER, RACE, CLASS IN OUR CONTEXTS

Prof. Sharlene Swartz (confirmed)
Horst Kleinschmidt (requested)
Dr Jude Clark (confirmed)

 

Inspiration for addressing issues of power critically (gender, race, class) in our new contexts

 

18:00 Tea/coffee break  
18:20 KEYNOTE ADDRESSES 

Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm:                                           New Partnerships for Justice and Peace in a post-colonial context

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba:                                          Courageous Conversations as Public Theology in Search of New Partnerships for Justice

 

Leadership inputs into breaking open the conference topic from the  contexts of the German and SA partners

19:30 PANEL DISCUSSION:  RESPONSES TO THE ISSUES ON THE TABLE & THE CRITICAL VIEWS NEEDED

PANELLISTS:  Acknowledged church leaders and prominent civil society leaders
from Germany: Simone Knapp, Rolf Zwick (proposed)
from SA: Jude Clark, Sharlene Swartz and

FACILITATOR: Johanna Kistner and Zanele Khumalo (requested)

Different voices, perceptions, perspectives – in search of new visions and new realities
20:30
WELCOMING RECEPTION
Together for justice in renewed partnerships

 

 

DAY TWO (Thursday 15 March 2018)

8:15 REGISTRATION/TEA/COFFEE  
    8:30


8:45

9:45

Short liturgy and meditation:

Prof. Drea Fröchtling (confirmed)

THEME 1: SOCIO-POLITICAL JUSTICE

DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK:

THE RISE OF POPULISM, RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA IN THE WAKE OF THE REFUGEE CRISIS IN EUROPE
Prof. Gerhard Wegner (confirmed)
STATE CAPTURE AND THE NEED FOR A STRONG CIVIL SOCIETY IN SOUTH AFRICA
Mcebisi Jonas


FACILITATORS:  Prof. Drea Fröchtling

PANELLISTS: speaking on different aspects of the topic (mixed panel from Churches, FBOs, CSOs)
from Germany: Heike Spiegelberg, Anja Vollendorf (proposed)
from SA:  Marthie Momberg and Suren Pillay (requested)

 

EXPERTS: Question & Answer (15 min.) – followed by short inputs (15 -20 min. each)

 

 

 

 

 

Panellists chosen to represent different and important perspectives

10:45 TEA/COFFEE  
11:00

 

12:00

ROUND TABLES DISCUSSION

 

EXPERT SUMMARY: “findings” on theme 1

Facilitated open discussion

Report team: led by Martie Momberg

12:45 LUNCH  
14:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15:00

THEME 2: “SOCIO-ECONOMIC JUSTICE”

FIGHTING IMBALANCES:

VALUE-ADDED CHAINS IN TRANS-NATIONAL TRADE
Prof. Gustav Horn (confirmed)

POVERTY, INEQUALITY, DEVELOPMENT IN RSA

Dr Vuyo Mahlati (confirmed)

FACILITATORS: Seth Naicker (requested)

PANELLISTS: speaking on different aspects of the topic
(mixed panel from Churches, FBOs, CSOs)
from Germany: Boniface Mabanza, Rudi Bausch (poposed)
from SA: Rene August and Elroy Paulus

EXPERTS: Question & Answer – to break open the topic
followed by short inputs (15 – 20 min. each)

 

 

Panellists chosen to represent different and important perspectives

16:00 TEA/COFFEE  
16:30

 

17:00

 

17:30

ROUND TABLES DISCUSSION


PLENARY

EXPERT SUMMARY: “findings” on theme 2

Facilitated open discussion
18:30 DINNER Maybe socialise at grill next to Town House in Bellville?

 

 

DAY THREE (Friday 16 March 2018)

 

08:15 TEA/COFFEE  
08:30

 

08:45

 

 

 

 

 

 


09:45

Short meditation: Rev Godfrey Cunningham (MCSA?)

THEME 3: “ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE”

TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY:

FROM ENDLESS GROWTH TO “DOUGHNUT” ECOLOGY  – Dr. Imme Scholz (confirmed)


ECOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
– OPPORTUNTIES AND CHALLENGES

Mr. Kumi Naidoo (requested)

FACILITATOR:  Rev. Rachel Mash

PANELLISTS: speaking on different aspects of the topic (mixed panel from Churches, FBOs, CSOs:
from Germany: Dr. Ulrich Möller, Johannes de Vries (requested)
from SA: Jeanet Sibanda and Shaun Cozett

EXPERTS: Question & Answer (15 min.) – followed by short inputs (15 -20 min. each)

 

 

 

 

Panellists chosen to represent different and important perspectives

10:45 TEA/COFFEE  
11:00

12:00

ROUND TABLES DISCUSSION

EXPERT SUMMARY: “findings” on theme 3
12:45 LUNCH  
14:00 WORKSHOPS BY PARTICIPANTS (Please apply via registration form!)
15:30 TEA/COFFEE
16:00 REFLECTIVE SUMMARY OF CONFERENCE FROM “LISTENERS” or “REPORT TEAM” Martie Momberg and team, from Germany:
Simone Knapp,
Dr. Hanns Lessing,
 
16:30 PRESENTATION OF THE CONFERENCE DRAFT STATEMENT:  ROAD MAP FOR THE WAY FORWARD

Discussion and amendments

Klaus J. Burckhardt, Dr. Drea Fröchtling  
18:00 DINNER  
19:00 ECUMENICAL WORSHIP SERVICE

WITH FINAL DECLARATION

Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm,
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

and ecumenical team

Preacher: Dr. Frank Chicane (confirmed)

 

 

 

DAY FOUR (Saturday 17 March 2018)

 

 

08:30 Travel arrangements Helpdesk
09:00

 

 

 

10:30

SOUTH AFRICAN DELEGATION CONVERSATION ON THEIR WAY FORWARD

GERMAN DELEGATES ON THEIR WAY FORWARD

TEA/COFFEE & DEPARTURES

 

 

 

 

 

  

  1. WORKSHOPS

Participants are invited to offer workshops relevant to the theme of the Conference. Those that are prepared to do so, are kindly asked to indicate the theme, methods and technical requirements on the registration sheet accompanying the invitation.

Proposals from Germany:

1. On Gender justice                                Anja Vollendorf, and Dr Vicentia Kgabe
2. On Reformation and Belhaar          Johannes de Vries, and Prof Christo Lombard
3. On Calling and Vocation:                  Dr. Gunter Schendel,
4. One for the Climate                             Dr. Ulrich Möller, and Rachel Mash
5. Working in hot spots                         Rolf Zwick, Cyprian Nqanda
6. On Marikana and BASF                     Simone Knapp, Benchmark Foundation
7. On Economic Trade                            Bonface Mabanza, from SA: ?
Agreements (EPAs)
8. On ethical guidelines on                   Olaf Rehren and Terry Crawford Browne
finances

  1. IDENTIFYING SPEAKERS AND PANELLISTS; “CALL” FOR PROPOSALS

The Steering Committee will identify speakers and panellists for each session (with the German partners on the Steering Committee coordinating their “teams” and the South Africans doing the same). They may also decide to invite proposals – with a time-line which will then be communicated.

The Steering Committee (in alphabetical order)

Edwin Arrison

Rev. OKR Klaus J. Burckhardt

Mbulelo Bikwani

Prof. Dr. Drea Fröchtling

Prof. Dion Forster/Mrs. Marita Snymann

Mrs. Simone Knapp

Prof. Christo Lombard / Prof. Sarojini Nadar

Rev. Dr. Hanns Lessing

Dr. Sipho Mahokoto

Rev. Dr. Almut Nothnagle

Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana

***

 

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