Evelyn Ruth Bhajan

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everuth2004@hotmail.com


By profession, I am a teacher, and by calling an ordained Deacon in the Church of Pakistan. Presently, I am on study leave and doing my doctoral research as a full-time student. I am looking at Conflict Transformation as a peacebuilding theory to help the Church of Pakistan think about a different way of making decisions and resolve its internal conflicts. This research comes partly from my personal experiences as a member of and leader in the church back home, and my studies in Global Perspectives on Religion and Conflict as part of the MA in Theology and Transformative Practice at Queen’s in 2013-14.

PhD Studies

Title

Ecclesiological Understanding of Collaborative Decision-Making: In Search of a Contextual Conflict Transformational Approach for the Church of Pakistan.

Supervisors

Dr Fran Porter, Prof. Fernando Enns

Research Topic

Church of Pakistan was formed in 1970 from the union of Anglicans, Methodists, Scottish Presbyterians and Lutherans. However, in practice the unity is broken due to various internal conflicts which drain the church’s vitality and resources, and are also detrimental to its witness and ministry. Their intractability owes mainly to (1) the multifaceted nature of the conflicts, situated within the larger context of sub-systems and social relationships, and (2) the currently employed decision-making process fashioned after Western Parliamentary procedures involving adversarial debates and majority voting. This method of decision-making was uncritically adopted by all the denominations who had their origins in Europe. While the adversarial procedures have a long and valued history in European and American societies, they cannot be taken as a one-size fits all proposition. The 21st century realities for Church of Pakistan are significantly different.

As peacebuilding must be rooted in and responsive to the experiential realities that shape people’s perspectives and needs, exploration of a different paradigm to deal with conflicts is the need of the hour. Therefore, within a coherent ecclesiology, my research aims to explore the South African concept of ‘Indaba’ and the Pakistani ‘Panchayat and Jirga’ as Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms (ADR’s) to develop a contextual, conflict transformational approach to decision-making which contextualizes the theological implications of collaboration and empathetic reconciliation. 

Research Activity

Research Interests         

My current research is focused on Practical and Contextual Theologies, and Peace and Conflict Studies. I am also interested in missiology and radical discipleship.

Conference Papers         

May 2017, ‘Critical Analysis of Robert J. Schreiter’s “The Future of Contextual Theology in Europe”' at the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute, Berlin, Germany.

March 2017, ‘Rethinking Mission: Mission in Context’ at the United Society Partners in the Gospel (USPG), London, England.

Publications      

March 2016, ‘Claim the Sustaining Power of God,’ People’s Reporter, Vol. 29(06).

Forthcoming 2018, 'Rethinking Mission: Mission in the Pakistani Context' (Article for the USPG Rethinking Mission Journal).