What is contextual theology?
What is contextual theology, and why is contextual theology important?
How God acts and is encountered in Barnsley, Liverpool or Manchester might be different from how God acts and is encountered in Chicago, or Delhi, or Harare. Context matters. We believe it matters to God, and should matter to us. Contextual theology is theology rooted in this conviction.
One of the first things you discover at Luther King Centre is that all our study is based on contextual models of learning, and contextual theology.
We believe that mission must always be contextual; it must recognise that God acts in particular times and places, which cannot easily be generalised as might have been attempted in past generations.
So we enable and encourage all at Luther King House to root our academic study within the particular places we find ourselves (our context), and the ways we learn and are assessed depend upon how we work out our learning in context.
What does contextual theology mean for the Bible and faith traditions?
Attention to context does not lessen the importance of knowing and understanding our faith traditions, particularly as they are found in scripture and the story of the church. Our faith traditions and the Bible become a means of enabling careful theological reflection on what is happening in today’s world.
As well as recognising the importance of context, Luther King Centre also makes integration a central part of our learning. This is about making connections, and affirming that God’s mission is essentially connective, bringing and holding all things together.
So everyone studying here is helped to hold together their learning and their experience, their academic research and their pastoral and missional involvement, their faith and their daily living.
It is vital that we are always learning to make connections between the faith that has been received and handed down, and the issues and dilemmas that need to be addressed by us as we seek to be faithful disciples in the society of today.
How will you learn contextual theology with us?
Through the experience of learning, Luther King Centre as a theological college shapes patterns of discipleship which are participatory – everyone can join in.
Our understanding of ministry rejects hierarchies that disempower people and prevent them finding and responding to the call of God in their own lives.
We want to empower others, and those who exercise ministry should do so through deep levels of collaboration.
Finally, what we encourage here at Luther King Centre is dynamic creativity within all who are part of our learning community. We are all learners – those who teach here as part of the staff team just as much as those who come to study.
We learn from each other and together in community, and we seek to develop a genuine rootedness within our faith story and scripture, and a commitment to interpret this for today.
Our teaching programmes balance continuity and change, tradition and innovation, reason and imagination. All this has the potential to equip us not only to deal with a rapidly changing world, but to participate within it in ways that bring out the genuine life-giving creativity of the gospel message.
We hope this excites you – find out how to apply to study with us here.