African Ecological Hermeneutics – Call for Papers

The Presbyterian College is pleased to co-host this Colloquium, together with the School of Religious Studies (McGill University) to be held on April 17, 2024. We are grateful for the leadership of affiliated student Mathew Kipchumba and Dr. Gerbern Oegema in imagining and organizing the event.

Call for Papers – January 19, 2024 Deadline

The colloquium will be from 9 am to 5 pm at The Presbyterian College, Montreal, on April 17. Each presentation, whether delivered in French or English, will have a dedicated 15-minute slot, followed by a 10-minute question period. While Biblical studies serve as the foundation of this colloquium, graduate students, professors, and researchers from other disciplines engaged in the African context are strongly encouraged to submit proposals. Conference proceedings will be published (TBD).

Submissions must include:

Name(s) of speaker(s)
Academic and departmental affiliation (if applicable)
Presentation title
Abstract of the paper/presentation (Maximum 300 words)

Kindly submit your paper proposal/abstract by January 19th, 2024, using the subject line “African Biblical Colloquium,” and send it to: [email protected]


For centuries, Bible interpretation has played a significant role in shaping the perspectives of both individuals and communities. In Africa, Western academia has exerted influence by asserting the universal applicability of their approaches to Bible readings. However, it’s important to recognize that these readings predominantly originate from Western Enlightenment ideals, which have been influenced by literate print culture, capitalist principles, and individualism. Within the African context, there exists a distinct cultural and spiritual perspective in which life is intricately interwoven with religious and spiritual beliefs. Central to this African worldview is the concept that one’s existence and purpose find meaning within the communal framework, resulting in a holistic perception of reality. This rich cultural and spiritual backdrop has given rise to various methodologies for biblical interpretation. However, many of these methodologies, which are largely Western-Eurocentric in nature, although undoubtedly valuable, do not fully align with the African worldview or effectively address the African context. This misalignment between these methodologies and the African perspective underscores the necessity for the development of approaches that are more in tune with the African psyche and responsive to the African experience. This serves as the fundamental premise for the establishment of African Biblical hermeneutics. 

African Biblical hermeneutics arises from the aspirations of African scholars who seek to establish methodologies for Bible study that are academically rigorous and responsive to the existential needs of contemporary African readers. Essentially, this discipline involves the analysis of biblical texts from the standpoint of the African worldview and culture. The enduring relevance of this discipline within contemporary Africa underscores the necessity for ongoing innovation, particularly in light of the continuously evolving social landscape.  Scholars must remain vigilant in monitoring the intricate shifts within the continent’s sociocultural and religious milieu while simultaneously devising novel tools and approaches to engage with both textual and contextual dimensions. This call for papers extends an inclusive invitation to scholars for a one-day colloquium, with a focus on exploring the Bible, climate change, and ecology from an African perspective. The colloquium seeks contributions spanning diverse topics, including, but not limited to, methods and approaches; gender, youth & climate change; the role of the Bible in contemporary Africa, eco-theology; the Bible and climate refugees; African indigenous knowledge and environmental care, among others. The overarching objective is to critically examine and elucidate the core principles and distinctive attributes of African biblical hermeneutics, deeply rooted in African culture, religion, and tradition. 

Complete this form in order to begin your application:


Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline
January 19, 2024

Acceptance Notifications
February 29, 2024

Registration Deadline
April 10, 2024

Colloquium Date
April 17, 2024