‘God is Black’ says Past President ahead of International Conference on Black Theology

Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal, Past President of the MethodistConference, promises controversy and celebration at Roots andRoutes, an International Conference on Black Theology, heldthis weekend in Sheffield.


Representatives from the UK, the Pacific, India, Jamaica, SouthAfrica, and US will come together to reflect, document and promoteBlack Theology.


Mr Bhogal, Director of the Urban Theology Unit, which trainsMethodist ministers and has co-organised the Conference, said: "Tosay 'God is Black' reflects on the way God identifies with blackpeople and our experience of God. Over the last twenty years BlackTheology has emerged from black people reflecting on theirexperiences of God, especially in relation to our varied roots -our heritages, our histories, our hurts, our hopes - and routes, bywhich I mean the ways that we will flag up markers for ourcontinuing journeys."


Since the last International Conference, held a decade ago, asignificant move­ment in Black Theology in the UK has developed. MrBhogal explained: "Black theologians have come forward withdistinctive and intelligent contributions to black theology.Roots and Routes will challenge participants to push thefrontiers of black theology even further."


Roots and Routes is supported by the Racial Justiceoffice of The Methodist Church. Naboth Muchopa, Secretary forRacial Justice, said: "Black theology underpins the challenge forracial justice and equality. This Conference will further raise theprofile of black theology, and will help us in our long term aimsof integrating black theology and racism awareness training intothe theological training programmes for lay and ordainedpeople."


The Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield and the Black Theologycentre of Birmingham University hold regular British Black Theologyforums. These two forums have jointly organised Roots andRoutes, held on 15th - 17th at theWilson Carlile College of Evangelism, Sheffield. 


A Black Theology Reader will be published following theconference, including selected papers published over the last tenyears in the UK.