Thematic Paper Session
Papers to the following thematic paper sessions have been submitted and accepted:
1.) Reinventing the Role of Leadership in Innovating Diaconia
In this paper session, we explore the overarching theme of leadership and innovation in diaconal and religious organizations. In times of changes and crises, leaders play a key role foregrounding innovation in diaconal and religious organizations. The complex and changing society in which diaconal organizations operate, require leaders paying attention to these changes by leading diaconal organizations in new ways. Diaconal leaders and organizations are challenged to take innovative steps through adaptions, or anticipations, to changes in the society. Moreover, leaders in diaconia are responding to the wider society by rearticulating values and identity to achieve internal and external legitimization that enables support and relevance.
The aim of the paper session is to present and discuss recent research about leadership and management related to innovation processes and practices in various diaconal contexts. Innovation processes consist of both a creativity stage for useful and novel ideas to occur as well as an implementation stage of selected ideas. Relevant questions in the paper session will be: How is diaconal leadership understood and performed in times of crises and changes? How do diaconal organizations and churches meet contemporary challenges? How can research on leadership, management and organizations contribute to innovate diaconal practice?
More specific questions could for instance include: How do new and useful ideas emerge in diaconia? What is the role of psychological safety in groups for innovative processes to occur in diaconal organisations? How do practitioners in the field of diaconia organize for equality in global partnerships? How can diaconal leadership be imagined based on values like faith, hope and love?
The paper session maps existing knowledge on this theme and asks how research can be a resource for leaders in their practical work. Contact: Dag-Håkon Eriksen (dag- email@example.com), Beate Jelstad Løvaas (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Stephen Sirris (email@example.com)
2.) Youth, Diaconia and the Global Crises
This paper session on Youth, Diaconia and Global crises discusses both contributions from research and from practice. The global society is characterized by fractures, created by global crises, not healing easily. Fractures include and refer to social, economic, religious, spatial, environmental, economic and health issues. Adolescents from poor families are easily excluded from both the labour and education spheres. Furthermore, youth unemployment is among the biggest challenges we face. Likewise, climate change is becoming more and more perceptible and posing new problems and challenges for humanity, to stakeholders and all those who bear responsibility. The youth is right in the centre of the ecological justice, environmental consciousness and climate change discourse. With regards to all these fractures and the current COVID-19 pandemic, how are the youth engage with these discourses but also affected by these fractures? How can/did the youth as game-changing role players in Diakonia, contribute(d) to these global crises?"
Contact: Jacques Beukes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
3.) Drifting Apart? Diaconal Responses to the Demographic Developments, Forced Migration, Crisis of Solidarity and Democracy
This is quite a broad theme, which seeks to open up dialogue with regards to the shifts caused by issues such as forced migration due to wars and poverty and the ongoing inequalities and power differentials between the Global South and Global North. It also raises the issue of growing ethnic/racial polarisation that is developing within many regions and countries. The current pandemic will, no doubt, continue to bring into sharp relief both local and global inequalities. How, then, are diaconal responses shaped by these shifts – critically or uncritically - and also how are diaconal values such as solidarity and democracy challenged by these very same shifts? This session includes also contributions which explore case studies or examples of where this crisis of solidarity and democracy is being engaged by diaconal actors in a specific manner for the common good at grassroots.
Contact: Nadine Bowers-Du Toit (email@example.com)
4.) Biblical and Theological Paradigms for a Game-changing Diaconia
In keeping the Bible relevant to today’s context of diaconia, what hermeneutical approaches play an important role? What biblical narratives, discourses and themes are especially instructive? What theological frontiers are there worth exploring in discerning and making sense of God’s activities in the world, especially for the most vulnerable “citizens” of this our mother earth?
This session brings together various insights from theology and biblical studies as a tool for today’s diaconal praxis.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; 5.) Female leadership in church and faith-based institutions – past, present and future
An emerging field within organization and management theories is studying female leaders and their characteristics and contributions. Even though there are plenty of female leaders in the church and in religious organizations, we know less of their contributions, behaviour, and traits. This paper session includes several aspects of research on female and especially female leaders in religious organizations. What have been and is characterizing female leaders in faith-based institutions? What kind of life-stories are the female leaders bringing to the institutions? How are these stories of importance? Are these stories different than in business? Are there some connections between innovation and female leaders? What values are female leaders bringing to the forefront? The workshop will also contribute to the discussion on male and female equality in churches and religious organizations. Female leaders often take part in boards of parishes but do not, in large, seem to be represented on the top. What kind of equality work exist and what are the result of this work in a religious context? A glass ceiling is claimed - an invisible barrier in front of women seeking to move up organizational hierarchies. What kind of norms, organizational cultures, and structures is upholding or breaking the glass ceiling in churches and faith-based organizations?
Contact: Gry Espedal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
6.) Towards a Transforming Diaconia Spirituality
This session will focus on what is a vital Spirituality which empowers the whole process towards a transformed and transforming Diaconia. In a world living in challenging times and where technocracy seems to dominate, Spirituality can inspire the game-changing role of Diaconia today. The session includes contributions that explore preconditions and effects of Diaconia Spirituality and how it can be understood. The presentations come from a broad range of disciplines from theology to social sciences and health studies. They are both empirical or theoretical and have descriptive or normative approaches.
Contact: Carlos Ham (email@example.com)
7.) Christian Social Practice Research Methodologies
Christian social practice research is often considered an interdisciplinary academic venture. There are ongoing discussions on intersections between theology, social sciences, humanities, nursing studies and ethics within in the diaconia research. Connected to these discussions there are also parallel discussions on specific methodological ambitions in this field. There is a mix of hermeneutical, interpretative methods as well as ethnography, qualitative and quantitative methods and also combination of at least two of these approaches. Many contributions expand the question of methodology into the broader issue of the identity of Christian social practice research.
The presentations of this session relate to the following perspectives
The relation between empirical and normative/theological approaches
Interpretations of the kind of data relevant for diaconia research
The role of the researcher in the data collection and in the written texts
Is there a transformative expectation for diaconia research?
Reviews of diaconia research so far
Contact: Kaia Rønsdal (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Trygve Wyller (Trygve.email@example.com).
8.) Experiences from the Covid 19 pandemic in different contexts
The pandemic Covid 19 has changed the world with high speed. The presentations of this session share experiences from facing the Covid 19 pandemic in different contexts in the world.
Contact: Annette Leis-Peters (firstname.lastname@example.org)