From Theocentric to Theopraxis: Renegotiating Theology in the Context of the Plurality of Traditions in Asia

Clarence Devadass


The Church in Asia received first the gift of the Christian faith through missionary activity, starting with the Apostles and then later through the colonial expansion. For a long time, the good news has been spread through various means – conversion, persuasion and sometimes compulsion, primarily when most of Asia was colonized by the ‘Christian West’. The post-colonial era (in Asia) has seen a revival in the Christian faith and many other Asian traditions and religions. Does this now call for a reimagining of what it means to be a ‘Church in Asia’?  The Church in Asia has to “redefine” her mission in the light of the changing socio-economic-political landscape, and for this to happen, there is a need also to look at the merging theology that brings ‘uniqueness’ to the Church in Asia. Here I propose to look at emerging theology as put forward by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) and discover the changing landscape of doing theology from theocentric towards the direction of being theopraxis.


Asian theology; Theocentric; Theopraxis; Plurality of Traditions; FABC

Full Text:



Asian Bishops’ Meeting. (1970): Resolutions of the Asian Bishops Meeting,” no. 12.

Aumann, Jordan. (2006). Spiritual Theology. London: Continuum.

Dunne, Ted. (2017). “Method in Theology: A summary of the views of Bernard Lonergan, taken from his book, Method in Theology”, accessed September 17, 2017,

Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference. (1975). Final Document of the Bishops’ Institute for Social Action II. Hong Kong: FABC Papers.

Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. (2000). Methodology: Asian Christian Theology – Doing Theology in Asia Today. Hong Kong: FABC Papers.

Francis, Pope. (2017). “Address to the participants in the meetings promoted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization,” 11 October,

Ih-Ren Mong, Ambrose. (2015). Dialogue Derailed: Joseph Ratzinger’s War Against Pluralist Theology. Oregon: Pickwick Publications.

John Paul II, Pope. (1998). Fides et ratio: On the relationship between faith and reason. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

John Paul II, Pope. (1991). Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Kim, Sebastian C.H. (2008). Christian Theology in Asia. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Kroeger, James. (2011). “An ‘Asian’ Dialogue Decalogue. Principles of Interreligious Dialogue from Asia’s Bishops,” a talk given during the Theological Forum “Theological Views on Religions and Cultures” held July 21–23, at the Loyola School of Theology.

Lonergan, Bernard. (1972). Method in Theology. New York: Herder & Herder.

Reynhout, Kenneth A. (2013). Interdisciplinary Interpretation: Paul Ricoeur and the Hermeneutics of Theology and Science, (Langham: Lexington Books, 2013), 11,

Lovin, Robin W., and Joshua Mauldin. 2017. Theology as Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Learning with and from the Natural and Human Sciences. Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Mong, Ambrose. (2015). Dialogue Derailed. Oregon: Pickwick.

Reynhout, Kenneth A. (2015). Interdisciplinary Interpretation: Paul Ricoeur and the Hermeneutics of Theology and Science. Langham: Lexington Books.

Scola, Angelo. (1996). “Christian Experience and Theology,” Communio: International Catholic Review (Summer),

Second Vatican Council. (1965). Nostra aetate: Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions (Vatican City), 2.

Tan, Jonathan Yun-Ka. (2005). “A New Way of Being Church in Asia: The Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) at the Service of Life in Pluralistic Asia.” Missiology: An International Review Vol XXXIII, no. 1 (January): 73.

Tan, Jonathan Yun-ka. (2003). “Theologizing at the Service of Life: The Contextual Theological Methodology of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC)”, FABC Papers No. 108. Hong Kong: FABC, October.

Tangelder, Johan D. (2017). “Theological Trends in Asia”, accessed October 20, 2017,

Wolfteich, Claire E., and Annemie Dillen. (2016). Catholic Approaches in Practical Theology: International and Interdisciplinary Perspective. Lueven: Peeters.

Wilfred, Felix. (2020). Asian Theological Ferment (For Doing Theology in Contemporary Indonesia: Interdisciplinary Perspectives). International Journal of Indonesian Philosophy and Theology, 1(2), 73-90.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Clarence Devadass

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

View My Stats IJIPTh


Abstract and Indexing By: