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UQ Theology Seminar Friday March 17 from 2pm to 4pm

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Friday March 17 from 2pm to 4pm in E319 in the Forgan Smith Building

Clive Ayre: ‘Church, State, and Global Ecological Health’.  The paper explores the interface between current global ecological threats, the politics of division, and the role of the Christian Church.

In particular, ecological issues may be viewed both as part of the problem, as a dimension of the politics of division, and as a way of moving beyond them with the more universal agenda of ensuring that the earth remains habitable. In the first section, some contextual issues are addressed, including environmental threats to the earth and the role of adversarial politics. Second, some perspectives such as unity in bio-diversity and a review of “economy” may lead to a way forward. Third, the contribution of the Church is considered in the context of global ecological health as a pathway to a more sustainable and united community.

Neil Pembroke: ‘Overcoming Division in an Organisation: Dialogue and a Team Confrontation Method’

Many organisations are torn apart by factionalism, mistrust, and injustice. Assisting a dysfunctional, divided, and mistrustful organisation to move from sickness to health is deeply challenging. Though there are many strategies for positive intervention on offer, those that are based in the psychology of the dialogical self and the self-confrontation method (SCM) of Hubert Hermans present as particularly helpful. Not only are they proving to be very effective in practice, they are grounded in principles that accord well with the theology of the covenantal partnership between YHWH and Israel. In the team confrontation process, there is an insistence on listening to the minority voice, just as in the lament tradition YHWH’s primacy is provisionally overcome as Israel is accorded the right to speak frankly and even to register a complaint. YHWH has his powerful say, but Israel also claims the right to have her say. A team confrontation facilitator refuses to let the powerful voice dominate; both sides are given the right to speak and to be heard. A genuine partnership is built on dialogue, reciprocity, and trust. These are precisely the qualities that characterise the covenantal relationship as construed in the lament tradition.


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