Unsettling colonist theology

Unsettling colonist theology

A new book seeks to disrupt colonist narratives surrounding theology. 

Michael Mawson is one of the book’s editors, a responsibility he shared with Brian Fiu Kolia. He told Insights that Unsettling Theologies has been underway for “the last couple of years.”  
“It’s wonderful that it’s finally out in the world.” 
According to Dr Mawson, the idea for the book first came about when the editors were having dinner together at UTC.  
The book includes some papers first presented at a UTC research colloquium in 2021.  
“Broadly, the idea of the book is showcase some of the rich work being done in this region by Māori, Aboriginal, Pasifika, and white scholars. And in particular scholars grappling with what it means to do theology in ways that are attentive to context and the challenges of our histories.” 

Unsettling Theologies contains work from a wide variety of theologians, including Jione Havea, Faafetai Aiava, Mark Brett, Andrew Picard, Therese Lautua, Matua Wayne Te Kaawa, Naomi Wolfe, Garry Deverell, Te Aroha Rountree, Emily Colgan, Faafetai N Luse, Maina Vakafua Talia, as well as Dr Mawson and Dr Kolia themselves.  

The book’s final chapter is by Dr Havea. The chapter is called, ‘Unsettling Economies: A Moana Account(ing)’ 

In his chapter, Dr Havea outlines “māfana economics,” which privileges “reciprocal relations and responsibilities” rather than “products and monetary values.” 

Drawing on Leslie Boseto and ‘Epeli Hau‘ofa, the chapter contests economic practices and systems that reinforce colonial power. Dr Havea draws attention to innovative ways in which Pasifika peoples foster unity through their shared labour and exchanges. 
Unsettling Theologies is available now on Amazon.  


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