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Africa: New book of theology about AIDS in the pipeline

The African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) has started to work on a new book that aims to fill a significant gap in literature by offering a comprehensive theology about AIDS from an African perspective. The book, to be published in 2015, will be entitled Current Christian perspectives on HIV and AIDS in Africa:theological reflection, public health crises and social transformation.

Much has already been said and written about HIV and AIDS. In Africa and beyond, Christian theologians have given us sound reflections on the pandemic while Catholic bishops have issued guidelines and pastoral letters to direct their followers. However, although many have tackled the topic from a theological perspective, we do not yet have a comprehensive theology about HIV and AIDS, from an African perspective, which harnesses resources of the different branches of the discipline. This is precisely the void that this book intends to fill, by approaching selected writers from diverse branches of theology to write about specific topics.

Each chapter in this collection of papers will be informed by the fact that AIDS is an integral human development and social justice issue that calls for a holistic response, because a theological response to the pandemic should be multi-faceted and rooted in the national and global reality.

The contributions will highlight concepts, methodology and tools that may be helpful for future theological reflections in times of other major epidemics. Contributions will be shaped by data borrowed from contextualizing sciences, peace studies, human rights and legal studies, biomedicine, public health, philosophy and cultural studies. However, theology will remain the main focus.

To our knowledge, a theological project on HIV and AIDS has never yet been carried out in such depth. The audience we are hoping to reach is made up of public health policymakers, professors and advocates; lecturer and graduate students in theology and related disciplines; theologians; Christian leaders and leaders of associations of people living with HIV.