Liberative Solidarity: Contemporary Perspectives on Mission by K. C. Abraham
Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham is a presbyter of the Church of south India and a leading Third World theologian. He is director of the South Asia theological Research Institute, Bangalore, India and director of the board of theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College. The book was published by Christava Sahitya Samithi, Tiruvalle, April 1996, and is used by permission of the publisher. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.
Forward by James H. Cone
K.C. Abraham is uniquely qualified to write about the new developments m mission, ecology, theology and their inter-connectedness. As the President of the Ecumenical Association of the Third World Theologians (EATWOT) and Director of the South Asia Theological Research institute Bangalore, he has traveled throughout the Third World (Asia, Africa, and Latin America), participating with grassroots people in churches and other activist groups as they struggled to create a new future for themselves. He has also traveled widely in the First World (Europe and North America) where he has participated in conference and workshops, visited churches and theological schools, debated with theologians and economists, and dialogued with lay people and pastors about issues of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. This book is the result of many years of reflection, defined by his solidarity with the poor in their struggles against local elites in the Third World and the corporate rich in the First World.
Although K.C. (as we have come to know him in EATWOT) writes to and for the people of India, his message has meaning for all Christians and other justice seeking people who are committed to creating a global village that protects the rights of the poor and provides space for the affirmation of their dignity. His main theme is mission -- the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But K.C. provides new insights into its meaning, derived primarily from the God of life whose liberating presence knows no bounds. For K.C., mission is not just what has been traditionally called evangelism or the proclamation of the Gospel to the unbeliever. Neither is mission simply dialogue with people of other faiths in the hope of bringing them to Jesus. Mission is making solidarity with poor people in their flight for justice. To proclaim Jesus Christ without bearing witness to the justice he brings is to distort the emancipatory power of the gospel. We must not forget the words Jesus took from the prophet Isaiah as the definition of his mission: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lords favor” (Luke: 4:18-19 NRSV).
Liberative solidarity, justice and peace, ecological crisis, loving mercy and spirituality -- these are the themes that resound throughout this text and in the life of K.C. Abraham. They tell us where he stands -- what the bottomline is for his perspective on the Gospel of Jesus. Since the poor have been the main victims of development, K.C. calls for an alternative vision of society one in which the rights of the poor are protected and their voices are heard.
Although these essays were written over a span of time and for different audiences, they are held together by K.Cs deep and passionate concern for justice, peace and the integrity of creation, This is a book that should be read and studied by churches, grassroots people, policy makers, theologians and others who are seeking to create a world that is safe for all.