Present time history of Christianity in the world of the poor
Organized by CLACSO-CROP Programme and CEHILA. The workshop will focus on issues like what is the "power of the poor" in present time Latin American history; how to construct (historical) "memories" in the world of the poor and the relationships between churches and governing institutions.
The workshop topic closely relates to one of the research lines the Programme has been supporting in a consistent way during the later years, and also corresponds with a recent initiative of the Norwegian Ministry of Development, Mr. Erik
Solheim, regarding the role of religion in development. In this sense, the workshop focused on issues like what is the ‘power of the poor’ in present time Latin American history; how to construct (historical) ‘memories’ in the world of the poor and the relationships between churches and governing institutions. Workshop sessions included “Memory’s arena”, “Religious alternatives confronting poverty”, “Religious experiences”, “Religion and politics” and “Religion, inequality and human rights”.
43 persons participated in the on-line application process. Finally, 30 abstracts from 15 countries, including Norway and the U.S. were received. The international academic committee consisting of Imelda Vega-Centeno B. Executive Secretary of the Latin American coordination of CEHILA, PERU; Fortunato Mallimaci, coordinator of CEHILA’s working group on present time history/Universidad de Buenos Aires/CONICET, ARGENTINA; Eduardo Crochet, CEHILA, BRAZIL and Genaro Zalpa, Department of Sociology, Universidad Autunoma de Aguascalientes, MEXICO, selected twenty (20) papers for presentation and discussion. The eighteen (18) authors presenting at the workshop included researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Norway and Peru.
It is worth noticing here that two (2) of the papers selected were by former students of the CLACSO-CROP on-site training courses in Central America, Juan Diego Garcia Castro from Costa Rica and Dennis Valbert Gamboa, Guatemala. Thus, we find here a concrete example on the fact that the training and education given to young scholars by the programme results in them being selected, by an independent committee, for participation in research workshops.
This workshop was also a follow-up to the theme of poverty and religion of which the programme entered into in 2007 with a workshop in the Dominican Republic. The cooperation with CEHILA goes back to collaboration started with the panel (Ethics and politics for empowering the poor: Secular and religious foundations) at the HDCA Annual Meeting in Peru, Lima, 2009. CEHILA was founded in 1959 by the renowned scholar Enrique Dussel and has been instrumental in the study of progressive church history in Latin America. It is today headed by the Peruvian historian Imelda Vega-Centeno B. CEHILA has expressed strong interest in continuing the cooperation and the programme has been invited to participate in CEHILA-events organized in Mexico, which has the most active group of CEHILA members at the moment.
A publication based on a selection of the best papers is currently underway. The coeditors for the volume are Fortunato Mallimaci, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina and Elizabeth Judd, CEHILA, Mexico.
Public Meeting: "Christianity And Human Rights In The World Of The Poor In Latin America: History, Precense And Challenges"
This public meeting was organized in connection with the workshop “Present Time
History of Christianity in the World of the poor”. The international panel debated the
history and challenges of Christianity with respect to human rights in Latin America with a particular focus on how Christianity has affected the human rights of the poor.
The programme was very pleased to present the 1980 Nobel Peace Price
Laureate, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel as one of the main speakers at the meeting. In
addition to Pérez Esquivel, Guillermo Melendez, author of several crucial
books on the prophetic church in Central America; Fortunato Mallimaci, former
Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires;
Eduardo Crochet from CEHILA, Brazil and Genaro Zalpa, Universidad
Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico, co-editor of the CLACSO-CROP
publication ¿El reino de Dios es de este mundo?: el papel ambiguo de las religiones en la lucha contra la pobreza participated in this high-profiled panel.