Institute for Intercultural Study and Research (INESIN) Report
The Institute for Intercultural Study and Research (INESIN) is an organization created by Mexican Protestant and Catholic churches. The goals of INESIN are to establish a space of intercultural and interreligious gathering and dialogue for analysis of daily life, family, religion, work, and solidarity; and develop research and participative education within communities, churches, and general society that incorporates a multicultural, gender-sensitive perspective. This organization was originally the Ecumenical School for Pastoral Training which was formed in response to the religious tension in the highlands of Chiapas during the uprising of the Zapatistas. Today, INESIN addresses religious and social issues through four main departments. These are the Indian Theology Department, the Ecumenical Studies Department, Gender Studies Department, and finally the Social Development Department. Through its work, INESIN strives to benefit pastoral workers, pastors, lay leaders, women, men, and children of all religious beliefs who are interested in the development and practice of human and theological awareness.
INESIN reports that, in 2008, it continued to do its work through all previously mentioned departments including various workshops as well as longer courses and through worship services on various aspects of the organization’s mission. Work has progressed in the Indian Theology Department with many workshops on indigenous theology in the Tsotsiles community. INESIN also reports development in the Ecumenical Studies Department through workshops on ecumenical sharing. There were also two sessions of a course in the pastoral reading of the Bible for pastoral leaders in the area. Through the Gender Studies Department, INSESIN conducted workshops related to spiritual theology relating to women and domestic violence prevention. Finally, in 2008, INESIN greatly advanced its Social Development Department doing much work in community development relating to alternative forms of agriculture such as herbal medicine, organic fertilizer, solar ovens, and compost. The organization has also progressed in this area by conducting workshops and courses on conflict resolution.