Dr Charlene van der Walt lecture at Bridging Gaps symposium

(Associate Professor of Gender and Religion) Dr Charlene van der Walt, a Disability in Namibia project partner at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, will be delivering a lecture at the Bridging Gaps symposium (Faculty of Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). The symposium (16-17 October 2020) focuses on contextual theology and contextual Bible study across multiple continents. It promises to be a varied and fascinating series of lectures. The 2-day virtual symposium is free to attend and you can sign up by emailing bridging.gaps@vu.nl

View Dr Charlene van der Walt’s profile here:

Charlene van der Walt

Full details of the symposium are available on the Vrije Universiteit website, which gives the following information:


In 1994, the Bridging Gaps program (formerly Breuken en Bruggen or Puentos y Roturas) started. The program aimed to facilitate intercultural and ecumenical exchange among participants from the Global South, and to foster contextual theology. Through contextual Bible studies, lectures on hermeneutics, individual research, and intercontextual exchange, the participants learned how context influences one’s understanding of theology, and how context can enrich theology. 25 years later, over 250 students from 40 countries, belonging to various denominations, have participated in the program. It is time to celebrate and harvest the fruits!

The symposium aims to celebrate and share some of the outstanding contributions of former participants to the field of contextual theology. In a two-day program, lectures on theology in the context of forced migration, gender injustice, ecological crises, and economic injustices will be given by former participants and others affiliated with the program. Among the main speakers are

  • Lady Mandalika, PhD candidate in Old Testament Studies, Vrije Universiteit
  • Mary-Luz Reyes Bejarano, Professor at the Corporación Universidad Reformada in Barranquilla (Colombia)
  • de Rt. Rev Manuel Ernesto, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Nampula (Mozambique)
  • dr.Darío Barolín, executive secretary of the Latin America Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches (AIRPAL)
  • dr.Charlene van der Walt, associate professor Gender and Religion at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

Since this is a digital gathering, we are able to welcome speakers and participants from all over the world. The schedule of the first day of the symposium is designed to include participants from time zones in the Americas, Africa and Europe. The schedule of the second day of the symposium is designed to include participants from time zones in Asia, Africa and Europe.

The symposium will take place on the 16th and 17th of October via Zoom. The Zoom invitation will be sent to all registered attendees. Please register with your name, email address and the day(s) you like to participate via bridging.gaps@vu.nl. Take a look at the full program.

The Bridging Gaps program is sponsored by Kerk in Actie, VUvereniging, Stichting Sormani Fonds, Nederlands Luthers Genootschap, Stichting Catherina Halkes Fonds, Doopsgezind Seminarium, Remonstrans Seminarium, and Baptistenseminarium.