Release is at the heart of the Christian mission. We are called to work for release from the powers of sin. Release from the illusions that blind us from the least among us. Release from the temptations to lord over the world and our companions. Release from the fears that make us discriminate. Release from the powers that oppress humans, animals, other-kinds, and the world. Release from limiting our mission to only our community, only our kind, and only our race. And many other callings to release …
eDARE 2022 drew attention to, and gave directions, on how to participate release as our calling and mission. The spectrum was wide, including learning from the least among us (e.g., Minjung, Dalits), naming our discriminations (Islamophobia, homophobia, Afrophobia), coming to terms with our diversities (in terms of gender, class, race, sexuality, context, privileges), and reimagining liberation theologies and liberation hermeneutics for the present and for the future.
The majority of the presentations were theological and hermeneutical in orientation, but several also brought insights from the fields of art, education, health, economics, literature, and from the daily lives of minoritized people in the market and at street corners.
In the course of the three-day webinars, it was obvious that release (let go, set free) is not enough. Our mission should also include working for re-lease, that is, so that people have a ‘new lease’ to life. It is not enough to work for liberation. We should also attend to the trauma that liberated people live with as a result of their oppression. Put another way, our mission includes working to provide ease for they who have been re-leased.
The spotlights, presentations, responses, and discussions at eDARE 2022 invite the weaving of the three elements of release, re-lease, and re(l)ease. It is in the interweaving of these elements, which continues even after the webinars ended, that ‘rising to life’ becomes more effective and more meaningful. Equally important, rising to life is required by all living beings, and by the earth as our home.
eDARE 2022 provided space for contributions from across the world: Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe, Caribbean, and Pasifika. We learned from one another, across the world. eDARE is therefore a testimony that the days when wisdom and mission come only from a few places has ended. There is wisdom in all (is)lands, across the world.
Dated 2 November 2022