Post-Colonial Theology

Finding God and Each Other Amidst the Hate

By Robert S. Heaney

Post-Colonial Theology

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  • ISBN: 9781532602207
  • Pages: 212
  • Publication Date: 5/8/2019
  • Retail Price: $26.00
Web Price: $20.80
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $20.80

Post-Colonial Theology

Finding God and Each Other Amidst the Hate

By Robert S. Heaney

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532602207
  • Pages: 212
  • Publication Date: 5/8/2019
  • Retail Price: $26.00
Web Price: $20.80
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

Hate is unveiled on our streets. Politics is polarized and the cohesion of communities is under stress and threat. Religious and theological leaders appear compromised or paralyzed.

Robert S. Heaney grew up in a Northern Ireland where enmity paraded itself and policed the boundaries between segregated identities and aspirations. Such conflict, with deep historic roots, is inextricably linked to religion and colonization. The theologizing of colonialism, and the ongoing implications of colonialism, cannot be ignored by those who wish to understand the most intractable of human conflicts. Religious adherents and scholars are increasingly seeking to understand colonialism and decolonization in theological terms. The field of post-colonial studies, across a range of contexts and in a complex network of inter-disciplinary analyses, has emerged as a major scholarly movement seeking to provide resources for such a task. Theologians have increasingly seen the field as a resource and have made their own contributions to its development. However, depending as it does on a series of theoretical and technical commitments, post-colonialism remains inaccessible to the uninitiated. Beginning with his own particular context of formation, in this book Heaney provides an accessible introduction to post-colonial theology.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“A wholly new approach to the contentious relation between critical theory and theological application. This engaging piece of theological writing effortlessly transforms one of the most misunderstood forms of critical theory—postcolonial criticism—into a valuable instrument for constructing a cogent theology for ordinary people. The author’s candor and inventiveness come through forcefully in these pages.”

—R. S. Sugirtharajah, University of Birmingham



“This is no ordinary academic book in post-colonial studies. Where so many other volumes offer theoretical, and often a-contextual, readings of coloniality dominated by jargon, Heaney engages post-colonial thought in clear language grounded in particular contexts and experiences. While many postcolonial writers exclude religions/theologies altogether as only and inevitably problematic vehicles of colonialism, Heaney, amid the recognition of theology’s propensities for cooptation by imperial interests, calls for the engagement of intercultural theology as a resource for post-coloniality: ‘At the heart of the Christian gospel is the revolutionary idea that God interrupted the power of empire.’ The result is a practical post-colonial theology that interrogates the work of hate in relationships marked by colonized-colonizer enmity.



This work is situated in four particular lived experiences of coloniality. It brings each one into conversation not only with the conceptual framework of postcolonial theory but also with texts and practices of Christian traditions. Starting with his own location as an Anglo-Protestant Christian growing up in Northern Ireland, Heaney engages Irish poet W.B. Yeats to give voice to the ambiguities and instabilities of colonial identities where the boundaries between colonizer and colonized are ‘porous.’ Heaney considers three other settings shaped by struggles for emancipation from imperial powers—Kenya, Korea, and U.S. Native American contexts. He explores themes of particularity, agency, coloniality, hybridization, and resistance in relation to these contexts, which anchors the book’s post-colonial theoretical discourse in lived experiences of colonial contestation. For readers new to this thought world, the book provides a helpful introduction to post-colonial studies with definitions of key terms and concept-linking. For seasoned readers of post-colonial literature, Heaney’s book offers a fresh perspective by situating this post-colonial project as a form of practical theology that aims toward transformation. This book is a must-read for theologians who are not content with merely describing and uncovering Christianity’s role in cultural domination, but who also seek to participate in the life of God whose transforming Spirit is at work to re-humanize us all.”

—Joyce Ann Mercer, Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, and Horace Bushnell Professor of Christian Nurture, Yale University Divinity School



“Here is the amazing gift of a teachable introduction to the civilizational variations of colonialism. The theological—indeed theopoetic—answer that Heaney offers will revive spirits demoralized by new hate-waves. It will inspire fierce and honest, loving and creative Christian resistance.”

—Catherine Keller, George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew Theological School, author of Political Theology of the Earth: Our Planetary Emergency and the Struggle for a New Public



“Robert Heaney makes post-colonial theology accessible to everyone through his clear writing style and nuanced presentation of the material. Given his own social location as a Brit from Northern Ireland, Heaney exemplifies the intellectual humility and curiosity needed for true postcolonial interaction. He shows that postcolonial theology is not a peripheral activity but rather is central to the very act of doing theology. Highly recommend!”

—Kay Higuera Smith, Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Azusa Pacific University



“Writing with a deep passion for justice, Dr. Heaney provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to the issues and concerns of post-colonial theology and situates it in the wider discourses of African theology, Black liberation theology, and progressive white theology. I highly recommend this pluriphonic and yet accessible text.”

—Kwok Pui-lan, author of Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology



“Embodiments of colonial realities run deep and continue to affect us all—not least the churches and their theologies. How to do theology that is mindful of these realities is the ongoing challenge and Robert Heaney’s proposals call for modes of repentance, resistance, and repair that deserve to be engaged critically and constructively.”

—Joerg Rieger, Distinguished Professor of Theology, Cal Turner Chair in Wesleyan Studies, Vanderbilt University



“In a time of palpable white fragility and vulnerability, Heaney’s is a poignant theological testimony to the hopeful resistance needed not only to respond to the legacy of hate left by the colonial enterprise, but to constructively forge a new people of God and body of Christ linked across peoples, cultures, ethnicities, and even nations in the present time.”

—Amos Yong, Professor of Theology & Mission, Fuller Seminary



“Being a part of a faith tradition with an incarnate God and Cross at its center ought to mean something. Robert Heaney makes that meaning clear especially for an Anglican/white theological tradition that cannot escape its own colonizing theological history. Post-Colonial Theology: Finding God and Each Other Amidst the Hate exposes the subjugating and repressive reality of theological colonization. In so doing, Heaney does more than lament a theological past. Rather, he challenges Christian theologians to repent of that past by taking ‘a God that becomes incarnate on colonized soil in order that God’s people might know the saving message God.’ Heaney’s book is a call to white theologians to recognize their theological complicity in fostering imperialism and to engage a ‘post-colonial theological imagination.’ Post-Colonial Theology is must read more than an intellectual exercise. It is a call to repentance for those committed to breaking the cycle of colonizing oppression. It is therefore a must read for those who claim to follow the Jesus who died on the cross.”

—Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean, Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, Professor of Theology at Union



“Robert Heaney’s Post-Colonial Theology takes the reality of dominance, hate, and the irreversible nature of centuries of subjugation as its beginning ground. Given that so much of the world’s surface has been impacted by the project of imperialism, it is inevitable that most people are either the offspring of landed peoples, the offspring of dispossessed peoples or—like Heaney—the offspring of a hybrid blend of both landed and dispossessed. Elegantly, using poetry, privilege, and precision, he asks serious questions of power; everything comes under his scrutiny: history, doctrine, ecclesial governance, policy, whiteness, liturgy, and apologies. Not satisfied with a distant essay, this book is a demonstration of what engaged academia looks like—Heaney scrutinizes his own story in light of a story of empire, religion, dispossession, and dominance.



Throughout Post-Colonial Theology, Heaney amplifies voices that have re-grounded him. This important book honors the seminal work of Korean, South African, Nigerian, Kenyan, and Native American theologians. Weaving poetry throughout the text, the reader is brought on an educational journey that re-envisions the question of God into an exploration for a practice of humanity with integrity. It is a work of profound impact, both for the academic and the analyst. The text introduces us to the author in a brilliant demonstration of the value of post-colonial studies to be rooted in the specific. We are brought into Heaney’s wrestling with the personal and academic question of how theology can contribute meaningfully to a world seeking to tell the truth about the impact of the colonial enterprise. This is a book for generations to study, to learn, and live by.”

—Pádraig Ó Tuama, Leader, The Corrymeela Community



“Books like this are a gem, especially those written from one’s own context as Dr. Heaney has done, navigating, exploring, and situating himself as a theologian and pastor into his homeland's colonial and post-colonial events, doing this in a very sensitive manner. Reading this book, one can't help but reflect on one’s own country/context, and how we can do theology with a fresh memory of what colonialism is or has been (for both the colonizer and the colonized) and (re)defining what post-colonial theology should look like, especially in this current political climate (worldwide). I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially to students of theology.”

—Vicentia Kgabe, Rector, College of Transfiguration, South Africa



“This is an excellent addition to works on post-colonial theologies. Dr. Heaney does an amazing job in creatively knitting together theological voices of decolonization from different cultural contexts to reconstruct theology for responding to the hate caused by imperialism—historical and contemporary.”

—Muthuraj Swamy, Director, Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide



“Robert Heaney’s book does an excellent job of making postcolonial theory accessible and uses art in several forms to access the liminal spaces where hope, resistance, and reconciliation reside to creatively address the issues of colonialism and the hate and violence that result from it. It is a truly insightful work.”

—Damayanthi M. A. Niles, Professor of Constructive Theology, Eden Theological Seminary

Contributors-

Robert S. Heaney

Bio(s)-

Robert S. Heaney is Associate Professor of Christian Mission and Director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies, Virginia Theological Seminary. He is the author of From Historical to Critical Post-Colonial Theology (2015).

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