Prof. Dr. Corneliu Constantineanu
University Professor and Pastor in Speranta Pentecostal Church, Timisoara: ‘Aurel Vlaicu’ University of Arad, Romania
Title: Public Theology
With the privatization of religion in an increasingly secularized modern world, public Theology has emerged as an intentional effort of Christian theologians and practitioners to enter into a meaningful dialog with society. They do this, one the one hand, in order to reflect on the specific contribution that the Gospel can bring to the common good and human flourishing while learning from the public discourse, and, on the other hand, to encourage Christians to participate and engage meaningfully in the public domain with a commitment to influence public policy and effect transformation, at a personal level as well as at the level of social structures. One of the most important and urgent tasks of the church as well as of Christian theology nowadays is to become an authentic witness in the public realm. This means to develop afresh and holistic, comprehensive public theology of missio Dei for our days and articulate clearly the coordinates on which the gospel is to be channelled for addressing the social, economic, political and religious issues facing our societies today. This should be a theology which emphasizes the mission of God to redeem the entire creation, which points to the lordship of Christ over entire reality, a theology which articulates clearly the contribution the gospel can bring for the common good and human flourishing. This may be, indeed, one of the most important missiological concerns for Christians of this generation, in our context: to proclaim and embody the gospel as public truth, i.e. a theology concerned with and addressing the entire reality of life in society; to search for and articulate a solid public theology of culture, work, power, social justice and reconciliation, a public theology for the common good and human flourishing.