Like-minded and interested Biblical scholars and activists from all over the world will meet to discern and engage each other on a selection of biblical and theological issues at this year’s Council for World Mission (CWM)’s DARE Forum in Mexico from 23 to 26 May.

DARE stands for Discernment and Radical Engagement, and this annual CWM forum provides a platform for scholars to present and challenge perspectives on mainline theological and biblical scholarships while rooted to ground-level struggles and concerns. At the same time, they are provided the opportunity to share personal insights, viewpoints and experiences through publications – with the end goal of growing and better equipping themselves in discernment and radical engagement with local communities.

The forum’s theme this year is organised around manifestations of the drive for separation – which lie beneath the surface of religions, scriptures, theologies, missions and visions.

Mexico is a fascinating confluence of many points of separation: between North and South America, English and Spanish languages, colonialist and bordered lands, imperial and mission fields. It is therefore both timely and apt that the forum capitalises on these opportunities to contest and contextualise these fluid complexities as they grapple with the implications and consequences of the drive for separation.

Separation is also a key motivation in the Christian privileging of monotheism, holiness, election, salvation, conversion, discipleship, martyrdom, and more. While this is not a new claim or the sole drive, this Forum is an opportunity to revisit and address the separatist legacies of Christianity.

The 2018 Forum is organised around five streams:

  • Scripture, election and rejection

Cross-scriptural proposal papers that examine the election, dis-election and rejection of biblical characters will be presented, encouraging participants to rethink how the approach and choice of scriptural texts influence the drive for separation

  • People, pilgrimage and poverty

Modern pilgrimages are undertaken for a variety of reasons. Proposals addressing class and economics in the theologies and businesses of pilgrimages – how pilgrimages today can be energised to engage in the struggles that produce and arise from poverty – will be presented.

  • Body, normalcy and indecency

Proposal papers are aimed towards rethinking and redrawing the boundaries of normalcy in body theologies

  • Religion, wall and supremacy

Proposals – in the context of several religions and cultures – will engage the complexities of ideological, psychological and physical walls sanctioned and built by states based on what is understood to be supremacist views couched under security reasons

  • Media, ideology and occupation

Papers presented will delve into the intersection of media, ideology, and theology, and question the media’s role in the occupation of lands or islands in the Americas, Africas, and in-between.