GLOBALISATION AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD
A Public Forum organized by World Vision Malaysia & Kairos Research Centre
Speakers: Vinoth and Karin Ramanchandra
Place: Corus Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Ballroom 1
Time: Monday, March 1, 2010 7 pm – 9 pm
Attendance is free.
The world has shrunk. We are traumatized by news of violent terrorists randomly attacking innocent civilians, whether in Europe or in the Asia subcontinent. We feel a sense of economic injustice when millions lose their jobs just because some business tycoons played with the stock market at Wall Street. These events highlight the interconnectedness of life in the “global village”.
These global forces that are reshaping the social fabric of society and overwhelming our experience of the world seem so inexorable and unstoppable that they give rise to confusion in our perception of the world around us. We vacillate between feelings of optimism (global development will bring economic prosperity) and pessimism (we are merely pawns in the hands of media moguls and financial tycoons).
Our mindsets are caught in the contestation of global myths related to terrorism, religious violence, nationalism, postcolonialism and multiculturalism. We are desperate for handles to understand, critique and subvert dominant global myths so that we may regain the ability and freedom to choose for ourselves how we should live.
But how can we break free from the hypnosis of the present age? In this public forum, Vinoth and Karin Ramanchandran will outline the contours of the dominant myths that hold captive our mindsets and suggest ways to think beyond the global herd mentality and free ourselves from ongoing colonial mindsets and practices.
Biodata of Speakers
Vinoth Ramachandra is from Sri Lanka, and lives in Colombo with his Danish wife Karin. He holds BSc and PhD degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of London. He currently works as the Secretary for Dialogue and Social Engagement for IFES, an international Christian federation of about 150 autonomous, national university student organizations. He gives lectures in universities, colleges and at conferences all over the world, and his special interests at present are in the areas of the dialogue between theology and science, bioethics and political philosophy. He is the author of five books of which the most recent is Subverting Global Myths (IVP Academic-USA and SPCK-UK, 2008). He has also been active for many years in the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka, and in A Rocha, an international environmental network committed to fostering research and advocacy in the area of biodiversity conservation and caring for the earth.
Karin Ramachandra has been involved in different forms of Christian social work – with drug addicts in Denmark and Holland, Cambodian refugees along the Thai-Cambodian border and foreign prisoners in Bangkok’s jails.
She holds a Diploma in Psychology from Denmark and a B.A. in Counselling and an M.A. in Biblical Studies from the University of the Nations, an international university developed by YWAM. Her Master’s dissertation was on “Biblical Ethics for Working with the Poor”.
Karin is also on the Visiting Faculty of Colombo Theological Seminary. She teaches regularly on the following topics: A Christian worldview, a theology of suffering, justice and the poor and cross-cultural pastoral ministry.
Synopsis of Vinoth Ramanchandran, Subverting Global Myths:
The Global Myths that hold us captive
What myths about terrorism are spread due to lack of historical memory and moral focus?
Why since 9/11 are religions blamed for violent conflicts around the world?
Are human rights self-evident truths, or does protection of rights around the world demand a deeper understanding?
How does liberal talk of multiculturalism mask the way cultural diversity is threatened by forces of secularism and capitalism?
What encourages the divorce of scientific research from moral reflection, with dire consequences for the planet?
Are we trapped between the contradictory stories that we are determined by our genes and that we have an unlimited capacity for redesigning ourselves?
What historical myths lie beyond current thinking about globalization, and how do we free ourselves from ongoing colonial mindsets and practices?