Panel Discussion on Theology and Church -DIGITAL-

Panel Discussion: Challenging Whiteness in European Theologies and in the Church – DIGITAL –

Date: 15.06.2022, 18:00 – 20:00 CET

Structural discrimination in the Catholic Church has become a much addressed issue, but still rarely the aspect of structural racism. In the context of the FORTHEM project “White Privilege and Structural Discrimination in Higher Education: Perspectives from Research, Strategies for Change”, this panel discussion focuses on academic theology and the Church as an institution shaped by and shaping theology. The panellists will approach from different perspectives questions as: How white is the Church in Europe? Where is racism at work, explicitly or implicitly? What tasks does this pose for church members and for theologians?
The audience is invited to actively participate in the discussion in the second part of the event.

Judith Gruber is Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Centre for Liberation Theologies at KU Leuven, Belgium. Her research is situated at the intersection of theology and critical cultural studies, with a particular focus on Intercultural Theology and Postcolonial Theology. Recent publications include "White Innocence / White Supremacy Exploring the Theo-political Intersections of Race and Salvation" (JRAT 2022 7/2, p. 515-538).
Regamy Thillainathan, born in 1982, grew up in Neuss and has Sri Lankan roots. He studied theology in Bonn, Pune/India and Burgos/Spain and was ordained priest in 2009. After stations in Düsseldorf, he was appointed as vocation director in the Archdiocese of Cologne in 2015. In recent years, he has furthered his education in employer branding and human resource management and completed specialized training for those responsible in seminaries. As a member of the Corpus Christi priestly movement, he is active in many countries around the world - including working on a rescue ship in the Mediterranean. Archbishop Rainer Cardinal Woelki has appointed Rev. Regamy Thillainathan as the new rector at the Archdiocesan Seminary of Cologne and director at the Archdiocesan Theological Convent Collegium Albertinum Bonn on Sept. 1, 2021. In his new position, Father Thillainathan is currently responsible for all priestly formation in the Archdiocese of Cologne.
Meike Jolie studied German and theology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. In the diocese of Mainz, she is responsible for the linguistic and cultural integration of pastoral staff. She organizes and offers intercultural trainings and specialized language classes and works as a lecturer in the pastoral course for the non-German speaking participants. She advises and accompanies priests, student seminarians, and women in pastoral and spiritual functions from all over the world Church in their language acquisition, formation, and cultural and pastoral integration.

Gerhard Kruip
, Professor of Social Ethics at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, and local coordinator of the FORTHEM Lab Diversity and Migration