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Christian Left Conference: What is the Christian Left?

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What is the Christian Left? Should there be a Christian left? Why? Has there been a resurgence of the Christian left in recent times?

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What is the Christian Left? This is a significant question that leads to more questions: Should there be a Christian left? Why? Has there been a resurgence of the Christian left in recent times? Do we want to explore why this—a resurgence—is or may be important? What is the relationship between the Christian left and the institutional church? What role do conversion narratives—peoples' movement along the theological spectrum—play in the Christian left’s story? What kind of qualifier is ‘left’? Is it a political description? Social? Theological? Or is there an intersectional relationship between political, social, and theological when a Christian is defined as “left?”

Emmanuel College’s Centre for Religion and Its Contexts, Trinity-St. Paul's United Church, Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre, and EDGE: A Network for Ministry Development are hosting the 2020 Christian Left Conference online via Zoom and YouTube Live. Panel session links will be available on Eventbrite August 13, 2020. Visit the Centre for Religion and Its Contexts' website for the full schedule.

The framework for this inaugural edition, “What is the Christian Left?” will be taken up at the Ernest Crossley Hunter Memorial Lectureship by keynote speaker Joerg Rieger (founding Director of the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice, Vanderbilt University), and by 11 panels over two days on August 14 and 15. A panel addressing racism in the Canadian and North American contexts features:

  • Adele Halliday (Emm 1T7), Team Leader of Discipleship and Witness at the UCC’s General Council Office. In early June of this year, Adele's article, "What I need from white people right now: It's way past time to address anti-Black racism," was published in Broadview magazine.
  • Kenji Marui, coordinating minister for worship and care at Calvary United Church in London, Ontario. Kenji's PhD work on reconciliation in a Canadian context questions whether reconciliation can happen if we do not understand the nature of sin.
  • Robin McGauley, full-time metalsmith and United Church minister. Robin works from a studio in Kitchener, Ontario, producing art from silver and words. She has made a life-long commitment to reconciliation and anti-racism, which is reflected in her person and in her work.

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