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Religiously Exclusive, Socially Inclusive

Have you ever felt excluded in the church? This is a question we have been discussing in two class sessions within our School of Theology. It has been a while, but the results of these focus group sessions can be found in the book titled "Religiously Exclusive, Socially Inclusive," edited by Bernhard Reitsma and Erika van Nes-Visscher. You can download it for free here:

Two of our colleagues, Dr. Simon Ririhena and Laura Dijkhuizen, contributed to this valuable book.

‘The Pela as a Model for Inclusive Peacebuilding’

Simon Ririhena, the Head of Foundation Academy’s Center for Non-Western Theology, wrote 'The Pela as a Model for Inclusive Peacebuilding,' pp. 231-244, which explores:

For centuries, Muslim and Christian Pelas in the Moluccas coexisted peacefully. The Pela is an inter-village blood covenant rooted in a shared worldview, grounded in traditional Nunusaku or Ambon religion. It was this shared heritage and their interpersonal relationships, a loose form of horizontal syncretism between Christians and Muslims, that prevailed over religious differences. Despite the outbreak of civil war in 1999, which pitted Muslim and Christian villages against each other, the majority of Moluccans believe that the Pela can promote cooperation among communities and different faith groups. In today's polarized world, we can draw lessons from the meaning, limitations, and possibilities of the Pela alliance between Christians and Muslims in the Moluccas.

Gender-Related Inclusionary and Exclusionary Practices within Evangelical Churches in the Netherlands’

Laura Dijkhuizen, our dean of the School of Theology, co-authored 'Gender-Related Inclusionary and Exclusionary Practices within Evangelical Churches in the Netherlands' with Jack Barentsen, pp. 245-266. This paper delves into:

Inclusive and exclusive practices are integral to innovation and changes in religious organizations such as churches. In this contribution, we analyze and discuss two cases of change in leadership roles related to gender balance. We explore and interpret the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion through the lens of a social identity approach, relating them to shifts in authority. Our data reveal that changes in Bible interpretation regarding female leadership, as well as the inclusion of women in previously male-dominated roles, have had an impact on the perception of the church's social and religious identity. In some instances, these changes have led to individuals leaving the church due to shifts in authority, which can be viewed as a form of apostasy

There will be a symposium and book presentation on October 5 at the CHE in Ede. To register for this symposium, follow this link:

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