Effiong Joseph Udo
Senior Lecturer and Director, Centre for Deep Dialogue and Critical Thinking, Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Uyo, Nigeria
Effiong Joseph Udo, Ph.D, currently teaches New Testament Literature, Hermeneutics, and Dialogue in the Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, faculty of arts, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. He is the Director of the Centre for Deep Dialogue and Critical Thinking of the same University. He wrote his doctoral thesis on the concept of Soteria and how Luke’s Gospel reveals how St. Luke equated the salvific ministry of Jesus with social justice issues of his time. This inspired his research interest and concentration in biblical exegesis, social justice, human rights, interfaith relations and well as ecumenism. He is an associate of Dialogue Institute at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA, and an Ambassador for Peace of the Universal Peace Federation.
Prior to joining academia, he had served the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria as an ordained minister for twenty-three years. He belongs to learned and professional bodies, nationally and internationally. Dr. Udo posits that language both supporting and opposing violence can be found in the sacred texts of world religions, but also in the undergirding values, roles, dispositions and presuppositions, as well as the capacity of interpreters of these texts almost entirely impact on the manner in which certain texts are used in the service of either peace and/or violence in society. Given the cultural authority that scriptures command and their interpreters as public influencers, their roles in forming, supporting and maintaining peace infrastructure in any nation can be effectively harnessed for society’s peace and development.
Dr. Udo’s current project seeks to address the widespread knowledge deficit in interfaith principle and practice among students’ faith groups in higher institutions of learning. This situation, he believes, creates interreligious tension, prejudice, mutual suspicion and hatred as well as violent conflicts not only on educational campuses, but in Nigerian society as a whole. To tackle the roots of this scourge, he is working to establish a coordinated interfaith educational hub to enable faith communities in campuses to build bridges of understanding and cooperation in order to drive away from allophobia (fear of one another).