Dictionary of Third World Theologies.
The publication of this Dictionary provides an excellent tool for the study of ecumenical theology in the Third World today. The editors decided to use the expression "Third World" because "it still encapsulates a particular way of existence and experience." The dictionary has achieved the stated goal of bringing "to the fore key theological concerns and issues that affect the Third World."
An article "Aboriginal Theology" is the first of 154 entries written by 107 theologians who are deeply involved in the everyday life of the Third World. Each article is cross-referenced with related entries and is accompanied by a brief bibliography. The "List of Contributors" (pp. 241-48) demonstrates the biographical richness of Third World theology. One cannot miss the theological significance of the great variety of "mother tongues" and "mother cultures" represented by these entries, all written in English. Some of the entries are Burakumin Liberation Theology, Chipko Movement, Dalit Theology, Han/Han-pun, Mestzaje Consciousness, Minjung Theology, Mujerista Theology, and Pachamama. A list of "Selected English-Language Journals on Issues in Third World Theologies" (pp. 249-61) contains ninety-three current journals.
The Dictionary groups a number of entries under major subjects, such as Bible and Christologies. Under Bible are eight entries: Introduction, Africa, African American, Asia, Caribbean, Hispanic, Latin America, and Third World Women. Under "Third World Theologies in the Third World," Asian American, Black Liberation Theology in Britain, and Native American are noteworthy.
The horizon of ecumenical theology is widened, the language of theology becomes concrete, and the ecumenicity of Christian theology is authenticated by these concise yet substantial entries, which are focused on living human experience in the Third World.
I welcome this addition to my own study library and commend it to all those who want to understand the scope of Christian theology in the world today.
Kosuke Koyama, now retired in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is Professor Emeritus of Ecumenical Studies, Union Theological Seminary, New York.
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|Publication:||International Bulletin of Missionary Research|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2000|
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