Marjaana Toiviainen

affiliated with the university


Postcolonial Theology of Coexistence and Relationships

If God is the God of the oppressed, is (S)he also the God of the oppressor and the privileged? If so, what does it mean for our life in the midst of inequalities and power structures?

In my research I focus on dimensions of coexistence in postcolonial theology. I study the approaches of two theologians, George E. Tinker, Native North American (Osage Nation) and Mitri Raheb, Palestinian Arab. I bring into a dialogue and under a comparative gaze these contemporary Lutheran pastors, in their understanding of relationship as a theological, political and spiritual concept. They construct theology of sovereignty and liberation in different religious and socio-historic landscapes but with similar challenges, such as occupation and (geographical, political, mental and spiritual) colonization ā€“ using Christian tradition and narratives in a way meaningful for their diverse communities. I study how these praxis-oriented theologians see the transformative processes of coexistence, which enable mutual peace and social justice, nonviolence and refusing to demonize the Other. How do they construct the idea of relationships with the stranger, enemy, neighbor, oneself, Land, creation and God?

As a Lutheran theologian and pastor I study my colleagues' texts. I see it as a call into action, dialogue and creative ways of formulating theology of coexistance in my own context ā€“ a challenge I am willing to take up during my research pr