There is a growing interest in understanding Pacific philosophies, knowledges, epistemologies and conducting research in the Pacific; an attention in reframing a new development story that is holistic, life affirming, and communities-oriented. Pasifika scholars have led the search for development models that are alternative yet grounded in the everyday life of communities. What is lacking in such important shift is the ability to create foundations of the new development story grounded in the philosophies and spiritualities of Pasifika communities. If a new transformative development story is to be realized, one cannot just change the narrative based on altering policies and frameworks. There is a need to develop ‘whole of life’ philosophical foundations that is able to navigate Pasifika multiple and multidimensional relationships fundamental to Pasifika wellbeing and development, premised on the relational values and spiritualities of the people.
This course is designed for Pasifika scholars from doctoral candidates to early career researchers embarking on research with Pasifika communities. The ‘whole of life’ model of learning unpacks the communities-based model of development, climate change and indigenous knowledge, reclaiming indigenous philosophies, and the leadership for justice vision. Informed by theology and ethics, indigenous epistemologies, indigenous philosophies, climate change and climate justice, alternative development paradigm, decolonization, transformational leadership, ecological wellbeing, ecumenism, development and regionalism – the ‘whole of life’ shape a new Pasifika consciousness that is resilient, holistic, and ground up. This should result in igniting a ‘new spirit’ of development for the region.
We don’t just give students a theological education, but we produce leaders who speak truth to power on global stages. Leaders with a powerful voice on Pacific indigenous struggles for self-determination. Leaders who are champions of eco-justice, indigenous spirituality and interfaith ecumenism.