The 9th social justice Micah lecture will be presented by Dr. Steven Horne in order to explore a Traveller Theology.
For over five hundred years, Roma, Gypsies and Travellers (RGT) have been persecuted, misrepresented, enslaved and even murdered in whatever land they reside, and there is a deep ignorance of the absolute centrality of religious conviction at the heart of RGT communities.
Dr Steven Horne's Gypsies and Jesus lights the touch paper on the grace-filled, intimate and unheard core of RGT religiosity that is Traveller Theology. This is a field of study that has long been dominated by non-RGT voices.
In this book Dr Horne attempts to take back the pen and reclaim a past and a future for Gypsies and Travellers. Gypsies and Jesus: A Traveller Theology identifies and threads cultural strands (beliefs and customs, narratives and histories, and rituals and traditions) from Gypsy and Traveller culture into a coherent message that speaks of collective piety and cultural purity.
Testimonies from members of the RGT community develop this message further. All of these factors are supported with a biblical exegesis to produce an exciting, revelatory and at times sobering book that, for perhaps the first time, hands over the reins of Gypsy-Christian identity to Gypsies themselves.
This will be a fascinating evening where Steven will share his expertise and lead a conversation about RGT spirituality. We will also be sharing stories of ministry and reflect on the emerging Roma church community in Wavertree named Lauda.
We spoke to Dr Horne about the theme for this year's lecture, his book and what he hopes attendees will take away:
"I was compelled to write my book for several reasons:
Primarily because of the absence of any coherent or distinct 'Traveller Theology' (I coined the term 'Traveller theology). And also because what I read in the papers, in articles and in books, and what I saw on television or heard in lectures, just didn't reflect either my lived experience and was almost always entirely devoid of any reference to GRT faith & religion.
I hope attendees will take from the lecture a new & powerful understanding of GRT people, culture and theology; I hope attendees will take inspiration for both their walks of faith and walks of justice; and I hope attendees will take away a conviction that encourages God-shaped change and love in their communities, their Churches and their local leaders."