Public Theology


“…a theologia publica, a public theology…gets involved in the public affairs of society. It thinks about what is of general concern in the light of hope in Christ for the Kingdom of God. It becomes political in the name of the poor and marginalized in a given society. Remembrance of the Crucified Christ makes it critical toward political religions and idolatries. It thinks critically about the religious and moral values of societies in which it exists, and presents its reflections as a reasoned position.” ~ Jürgen Moltmann

Welcome to this issue of Consensus! The issue focuses on Public Theology. Theology and the church, when it takes place, is not a private affair but something that happens in the public square. It is public in nature when it calls upon not only its members but also people outside its walls and respect what they say and gives heed to their voice. Often what happens is that “public” is confused with “political,” thus giving it a narrower meaning. Church and our theologizing is public only when it allows itself to be vulnerable and open. The world that we live in, not to forget the churches to which we pledge allegiance, has a number of us of varying colour, culture and creed and each of them unique. And the growth and prosperity and strengthening of this world and societies and churches of which we are a part not only presupposes but demands a certain measure of sound economic and social conditions for every single one of us. To be involved in these matters is part and parcel of the calling of the church and in its fulfilment of a public theology. A public theology and a public church operates on the commandment of “love your neighbour as yourself.” And that neighbour includes all of humanity, in all its diversity. Therefore we cannot but take a public approach in our theologizing.

This issue features six articles on the theme by theologians, pastors, church leaders and laity. A “study and observation” piece adds colour to the content. Also featured are two sermons, and four book reviews.


Studies and Observations



On Eating Disorders
Vitor Westhelle


A Different Kind of King
Philip K. Mathai

Book Reviews


Fields of Blood
Brice Balmer


Wages of Rebellion
Greg Sennema