"You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from non-conformity; the ability to turn your back on old formulas; the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future."
The ecumenical credentials of this book discussion were impeccable!
We had Catholics, Anabaptists, Baptists, Charismatics and an Anglican all grappling with apolitical theology for Africa. As you can imagine a very lively discussion marked our time together as we entered into the 'madness' that the author invited us into again and again. I don't think we should ever underestimate the symbolic power of different parts of the Church coming together to reflect and learn together.
(You can read a brief summary, with comment, of the book written by a participant - Fr. Emmanuel MosoeuHERE)
A genuine sense of community and a 'beautiful spirit' (as Fr. Emmanuel Masoeu put it) developed over the time that we gathered together, to the point that we have agreed to discuss another book. We will be advertising the details soon for those who are interested in joining.
We gathered for 8 weeks discussing the provocative readings and we were even lucky enough to have the author, Emmanual Katongole, skype into our last conversation (see bottom right image). Fr. Katongole is a former lecturer from St. Agustine College whose warmth, passion and insight are instantly recognisable as you converse with him. He will be making a trip to South Africa early next year and the SAC Alumni and Anisa will be working together to host a conversation with Fr. Katongole during that time.
We are extremely grateful to St. Augustine College for allowing us to host the discussion on campus and to Mzwandile from Anisa for creating a very stimulating space. To all those who participated and travelled - thanks very much! Our hope is that other SAC Alumni would be inspired to host their own book discussions on topics they are passionate about, that others can join.