EATWOT - Who We Are?
Who We Are?
The Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians – EATWOT - is an association of men and women committed with the struggle for the liberation of Third World peoples, by promoting new models of theology for a religious pluralism, social justice and peace.
As Third World theologians, EATWOT members take the third world context seriously, doing theology from the vantage point of the poor seeking liberation, integrity of creation, gender co-responsibility, racial and ethnic equality and interfaith dialogue. Thus Third World theologies are those which offer an alternative voice to the marginalized and exploited people of the planet.
EATWOT was born in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania, in 1976. Twenty-two representatives from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and one Black theologian from the U.S.A. met in Dar-es Salaam for an "Ecumenical Dialogue of Third World Theologians" to share with one another theological efforts in their denominations - Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.
The decades before its birth were a time of awakening for the Third World, the so-called "underdeveloped" or, more euphemistically, "developing" countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. People on the Third World had become conscious of the fact that their countries were not "underdeveloped" by virtue of limited natural or human resources but were forced into such a condition as a result of long years of exploitation and domination - economic, political, and cultural. At this time, too, Third World Christians had become aware that the "universal" theology they had inherited from the West was not pertinent to their context of poverty and marginalization; traditional theology had to be reformulated become meaningful to peoples struggling for a more just and egalitarian world. This was the backdrop of EATWOT's foundation.
Aims: This Association Endeavours to
a. Interpret the Gospel using the hermeutical circle so to link God´s word to the life of marginalized people.
b. Encourage the interchange of theological views through the publication of books and journals with themes of interest in the Third World.
c. Foster the mutual interaction between theological formulation, science, art, spirituality and ecology.
d. Motivate the interaction of theologies within the diverse cultures and religions of peoples of the Third World.
e. Give support to social movements for spiritual, social and inter-religious liberation.
f. Promote publications of liberation theologies in different languages for the purpose of contributing for an interaction of theological views in the Third World.
g. Organize regional, continental and intercontinental meetings of Third World Theologians.
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As a result of deliberations held in the last General Assembly – Johannesburg, July 2006 - EATWOT action and program for the next five years are:
1. Development of and engagement with gender theologies and new methods for such theologizing which challenge patriarchal privileges and require the reconstruction of ideologies of all genders;
2. Exploration of the authority of the biblical text in our theological endeavors along with naming additional oral and written sources to be engaged and explored in the formation of these new theological endeavors;
3. Reaffirmation of praxiological methods which constructively engage the tensions between action on the ground and theological formulations and constructions;
4. Affirmation of our commitment as theologians to working with gender, racial, ethnic, indigenous, and sexual groups in mutuality, learning from each other to enhance the building of viable liberatory communities.
5. Developing dialogical styles and approaches to interaction with each other and with members of other religious groups which are non-hegemonic and which affirm the humanity and worthiness of all parties in the dialogue.