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20 september 2018

Stellenbosch Consultation Homecoming

Homecoming? Interdisciplinary explorations on longing and belonging in a migrating world

On Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st of September 2018, the Protestant Theological University Groningen will once again host a Consultation with our esteemed collegues from our partneruniversity in Stellenbosch, South- Africa. This year, the consultation will ponder upon the question of migration from different theological perspectives and disciplines, and what having a “home” actually means.

Home is a relational concept, and as such constructed through power systems which regulate belonging through situational constellations of particular agents. The notion of home, translated in phrases such as “having a home”, “being at home” “home away from home”, “feeling at home” “homecoming”, “digital home”, “homeland” “homeland security”, “homesick”, “nursing home” ,“home with God” is present in everyday discourses and experiences in manifold ways. It mirrors dynamics of socio-economic and political discourses. Home is also a complex and loaded theological concept through which localities and times are ordered. Understandings of home usually are based on ideologies which create imaginaries of home whether it comes to globalization processes, religious political agendas or technological developments. What is home, how is home being created, when does it become relevant for negotiating belonging varies from context to context and it depends on the human agency of a specific contexts. Ideologies and practices of home ask for theological attention and interdisciplinary consultation.

The Consultation seeks to go beyond static conceptions of home captured by space – time parameter. Instead it aims at opening up academic discussions on home with other keywords such as land, migration, gender, generation, social status, home constructions, modes of habitation, generational transitions, religious transitions (conversions), legal concepts around home, property, citizenship, inhabited world, oikos.

The Consultation seeks to gather diverse theological explorations of home in order to explore the functionality of this concept in addressing issues of living together in contemporary South Africa and the Netherlands. The consultation invites colleagues from Stellenbosch University, the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam/Groningen, and the Moluccan Theological Seminary in Houten to engage in conversations about “home” from different intra-disciplinary perspectives and approaches.

The aim of the Consultation is to stimulate intra-disciplinary conversations on “home” in order to increase theological creativity and cross-fertilization. It also seeks to invite colleagues to reflect on the question: to what extent could my actual research be linked to the concept of “home” in terms of negotiating belonging and/ or longing within diverse social dynamics?

We invite you to submit a proposal for a paper at the Consultation, on a topic within the range of the general introduction above. Please send the title of your proposal, and a short abstract of 200 – 400 words describing the content of the proposed paper to d.nagy@pthu.nl  (PThU) or jclaassens@sun.ac.za (US) before April 30, 2018.