contemporary slavery

The final course in Carey's BAppTheol is the Integrative Seminar. We choose a theme. The students select a specific topic. Then in their 6000 word piece of research they are required to move FROM some kind of social scientific analysis of the topic THROUGH a biblical-theological lens and then ONTO a missional outcome of some kind.

Next week we gather over three days to hear them present their findings. In 2007 the theme has been Contemporary Slaveries. Here is a list of the specific (and yet abbreviated) topics that have been selected:

Honour/Shame killing of women in Pakistan
Prostitution in Kolkata
Practise of Trokosi among Ewe of Ghana
Female Genital Mutilation in Africa
Intimate partner domestic abuse in NZ
Enslavement of wives in Chinese society

Children on the cocoa farms in Cote d'Ivore
Children producing Nike soccer balls in Pakistan
Sex slavery of girls in Cambodia
Child sex workers in Philippines
Child prostitution in South Africa
Child soldiers in DR of Congo
Child soldiers in Uganda
Female child workers in Indonesia
Selling children in Samoa
Assimilation of Aboriginal children
Child-stitchers of Pakistan

Forced labour in contemporary USA
Forced migrant labour in UK
Forced labour in Burma
Bonded labour in India
Domestic workers in Phillipines

Human trafficking in Texas
Enslavement and the will-to-power
Unthinking hedonistic materialism as enslavement
Skilled immigrants as refugees in NZ

We are in for a gruelling few days, aren't we?

My prayer is that the students will be changed forever as they discover a new capacity to bring World and Word together, with a fresh determination to live their lives in both places.

nice chatting (actually - I lie ... this stuff is ugly and awful)



David Brown said…
Wow - can all these end up accessible on the web, either in full, or prehaps even better in summary form?

Love to read the ones about NZ in particular:

* Unthinking hedonistic materialism as enslavement

* Intimate partner domestic abuse in NZ

* Skilled immigrants as refugees in NZ

Not that I don't care about the rest of the world; more that there is possibly more that I can possibly do about ones at home.
Paul said…
This is the sort of question that is beginning to surface, David. You raising it will prompt another round of them! So thank-you...

Each year we do select the best examples of FROM:THROUGH:TO and bind them together and place them in the Reference section of our library - mainly for future generations of students.

Next week students must supply a two page synopsis as a complement to their oral presentation of their findings. Maybe we could do something with these?

For the record previous years have included The Lyrics in Secular Music (2006); The Trauma in Being Human (2005); and Leisure and Pleasure (2004). Next year it is likely to be Single Image Advertising.

We've been experimenting with this course without known models up ahead of us to guide us ... but we have just discovered a book by Kevin Vanhoozer [Everyday Theology (Baker, 2007)] doing something so very similar - it is uncanny! - at TEDS (Deerfield, Illinois) with a Masters level course. We are considering using it as a text.

And this goes to the heart of one of our debates at Carey with this course. Are we demanding Masters-level work from Undergraduate students?

Thanks for the input. To answer your specific question - there is no reason why we couldn't put you directly in touch with these three students as an interim measure!

Send me ( your details and I'll see what I can do :)
Eddie said…
The list of research topics is both an urgent and saddening reminder of the atrocities being committed around the world, and the suffering that they are causing so many.

We need to talk about these things more often, not to be whiners, or to focus on evil, but to get it in our systems that we need to work against them.
I'm interested in the "Domestic Workers in the Philippines" topic. I'm wondering exactly what is meant there.

We live in Manila, and have domestic workers, but I certainly wouldn't call them slaves, seeing as they get a fair (above average) wage, and decent time off and they are treated very well.

I am aware that many people here are labelled "Domestic workers" and hardly get enough to live off, and are not allowed out of the house etc.

Very interested to see what your student comes up with.

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