Friday, 7 June, 2013

Dr. George Zachariah

Dr. George Zachariah joined the United Theological College, Bangalore as a teaching faculty in the department of Theology and Ethics on 1st June, 2013. Born and raised in a Mar Thoma family in Kerala, he was nurtured in Christian faith by his family and the Church. During his college days, he got the opportunity to be part of the Student Christian Movement, which widened his perspectives and deepened his commitment to God and God’s world. This new awareness enabled him to dedicate his life to full time ministry witnessing Christ in solidarity with the marginalized in their search for a new world.
After completing his post-graduation in Commerce from the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Dr. Zachariah joined AWAZ, a Christian social action group, and worked among the landless people in the villages of Chattisgarh for three years, organizing them through trade unions and peasant movements. It was a journey of vocational discernment in communion with people at the margins, re-imagining the public witness of the Church, informed by the politics and spirituality of radical societal engagements.  In 1990, he accepted the call to serve the Student Christian Movement of India, Kerala Region, and served SCM as program secretary for three years.  
George Zachariah’s decision to do formal theological studies brought him to the United Theological College, Bangalore in 1993, and he completed his BD studies in 1997. After serving the M.M. Thomas Center in Thiruvalla, Kerala as coordinator and the Theological Literature Council as editor for a short period, he decided to continue his advanced theological studies in the area of Christian Ethics in the United States of America and joined the Union Theological Seminary, New York for STM. Zachariah earned his Ph.D. with distinction in the field of Systematic Theology with special emphasis in Christian Ethics from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, IL, USA, in 2006. His Dissertation was entitled “Towards a Subaltern Earth Ethics: Narmada Bachao Andolan as Text.”
On completion of his doctoral studies, Dr. Zachariah returned to India and served the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai as faculty in the department of theology and ethics for seven years. During that period he held several responsibilities such as head of the department of theology and ethics, staff-in-charge of the Martin Luther Library, and dean of Graduate Studies. He also served as the editor of Gurukul Journal of Theological Studies for a term of three years, and brought out six issues of the journal on various themes. During this period Zachariah also actively participated in the programs of The Senate of Serampore College (University). He was part of the BD Curriculum Revision process and served on the editorial committee. Currently he is a member of the board of studies.
George Zachariah has got sufficient opportunities to present papers at various national and international consultations organized by ecumenical bodies such as the World Council of Churches, Christian Conference of Asia, Council for World Mission, and the Lutheran World Federation. The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and the Chicago Center for Global Ministries invited him to give the 2010 Scherer Lecture. In 2012, he served as visiting scholar at the Goettingen University, Germany in the Intercultural Theology Program. His recent publications include Alternatives Unincorporated: Earth Ethics from the Grassroots, (London: Equinox Press, 2011) and Gospel in a Groaning World: Climate Injustice and Public Witness (Nagpur/Tiruvalla: NCCI/CSS, 2012). His current research areas include Ethical Reflections on Climate Injustice, Human Sexuality, and HIV and AIDS.  
His wife Anshi Zachariah is a theologically trained social worker. Since 2006, she has been working with a faith-based NGO among people living with HIV and AIDS. They are blessed with two daughters; Amritha Mariam (I PUC, Mount Carmel College) and Aruna Elizabeth (IVth Standard, St. Johns High School).


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