Sr. Juliana Alexander SJC, provincial leader of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny in the Caribbean, was one of the participants who attended The 18th Conference on Theology in the Caribbean Today (CTCT) at the Cardinal Kelvin Felix Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre, in Saint Lucia last week. After the Conference, she tweeted, “Stimulating, inspiring presentations given by dynamic, articulate speakers. Much food for reflection. Well done! Continue the conversation”. She had been drawn to the Conference by this year’s theme, Inculturation and Indigenization: Becoming Who We Are, and she was not alone. Many others, including professional theologians, clergy, religious and pastoral workers came from the Caribbean and as far away as the United States, Belgium and Japan. This year’s Conference possessed an ecumenical and interdisciplinary range as well, welcoming voices from Protestant churches, religious and Caribbean studies; a range in keeping with the ecumenical and interdisciplinary nature of Caribbean theology.
Archbishop Robert Rivas, O.P., officially began the conference with Mass, and attended a number of sessions. Archbishop Joseph Harris CSSp, the liaison between the Conference and the Antilles Episcopal Conference, was scheduled to attend but extended his apologies. A special feature of this year’s gathering occurred on June 15th when the Conference hosted the priests and deacons of the Archdiocese of Castries for a special Clergy Study Day, where they attended Conference presentations and dialogued with participants on the theme.
Another feature of this year’s Conference was The Cheryl Herrera Memorial Lecture, entitled “Nuff Respect : Claiming Space for Women in the Caribbean Church” presented by Dr. Alison McLetchie of Claflin University, South Carolina, USA. Dr. McLetchie, a Trinidadian, spoke on the historic, current, and future possibilities of the many roles and places women occupy in the Caribbean Church. Dr. Anna Kasafi Perkins of the University of the West Indies, Mona, gave a critical response, entitled “Ooman, Small Up in the Space”.
The Conference on Theology in the Caribbean Today, in keeping with its tradition of meeting around the Caribbean, plans to reconvene in Suriname in June, 2018. Its activities and conference papers can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, and on its website: www.caribbeantheologytoday.net
CTCT, Editorial Committee
June 21, 2016