Democracy can be said to be the “government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” As Abraham Lincoln has beautifully articulated, democracy is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

December 2020 issue of Asian Horizons invites articles on “Democracy: Challenges Today and Theological Responses.”

Asian Horizons: New Website:

Full articles of 2007-2018: open access;

Abstracts of articles of 2019 and current year.


Current Issue


According to the scripture, the heart of leadership in the Church is servanthood (Mk 10:42-45). It also includes the responsibility to guide, teach and sanctify others, an authority that comes from God and delegated to the leaders (for example, 1 Thes 5:12-13). At the same time, the authority is to serve the members as representatives of God, to guide the community, discerning together the will of God. Authority does not mean that the Church can outlaw and suppress dissent. The members have the right to express dissent, and when there is dissent, it is a call to discern together, as evidenced by the Jerusalem Council and many instances in the bible, and throughout the history of the Church. The authority is a sign of unity of the Church, a community of equals. When authority is considered as a sign of privilege and right to rule over others, it leads to misuse of power, destroying the unity and the real spirit of authority.

Every member of the Church, including those in authority, is called to be submissive to others (Eph 5:22). Similarly, leadership in the Church does not give unlimited powers. The leaders are accountable to God and to one another. The leaders should be open to the voice of God expressed through others, and to exercise their authority keeping the ethical principles of uprightness, justice, love and mercy. Above all, they should exercise their ministry with special care and concern for the poor and the marginalised.

Recent decades have witnessed a renewed interest in Authority in the Church, especially in the wake of sex abuse by the clergy, financial and other scandals in the Church. One of the theological difficulties in the dealing with Authority in the Church is the concept of hierarchy in the Church, integrally connected to ordination. Are hierarchy and servant leadership compatible? Is the authority in the Church given by God alone, or does the community have any role in it? Are the leaders in the Church accountable to God alone, or to the community as well?

March 2021 Issue of Asian Horizons: Authority in the Church

Published: 2021-02-28


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Asian Horizons, published from DVK, is a forum for theological reflection in the Asian context marked by economic poverty, cultural diversity and religious plurality. Although the focus is on theological reflection in the context of Asia, we also address theological developments and concerns of the universal Church and try to dialogue with the Church in various contexts. Hence we welcome authors from all over the world. Asian Horizons was launched in 2007 as a biannual. From 2011 it is published as a quarterly. We have an editorial board consisting of members from India, other Asian countries and other continents.