Rev Dr Nelavala Gnana Prasuna, after her Post Graduation at Sri Venkateswara University, received her first theological Degree, Bachelor of Divinity from Gurukul Lutheran Theological College & Research Institute and banged Prestigious “General Proficiency Prize” of Gurukul and first prize for the Hebrew language. She has completed the D.Th.(Doctor of Theology) program in the field of Theology & Ethics at Senate of Serampore College (University), India. Her doctoral dissertation is on “A Feminist Hermeneutical Study of Dalit Women in South Andhra Lutheran Church.”
She has roughly 18 years of teaching experience: She served Indian Theological Seminary for 8 years in various capacities such as Assistant Professor, Registrar, and Principal. She served as an academic dean and Assistant Professor at Mennonite Brethren Centenary Bible College, Shamshabad, India. She also served in Southern Asia Christian College for one year. She teaches courses such as Indian Christian Theology, Feminist Theology, Dalit theology, Church Administration, Christian Doctrines, Discerning Signs of the Times and Asian Christian Theology and courses to Master of Theology as required. She states that her role as a teacher, Registrar and a Principal has sharpened her teaching skills in cross-cultural contexts during classroom sessions and personal interactions with students from a varied cultural background.
She had a wider International exposure with her first trip to Indonesia in 2006. Participated in the International Seminar on the theme Inter-religious Dialogue organized by LWF. She had exposure in South Africa for three months as an exchange student. Here she found profound connections between the blacks and Dalits and particularly the black women’s culture and Indian Dalit women’s culture. The learning experience was that, in spite of the exploitation and poverty, black women make their life enjoyable which helped her better comprehend the depths of values of various cultures and diversities.
She served as LWF Regional Expression Officer for the Communion in Asia. She participated in various international and national seminars and consultations and presented papers. She visited various countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and the West.
She served as Pastor for the South Andhra Lutheran Congregation, Satyavedu, India for three years. She states that her pastoral experience shaped her understanding of mission as well as her pedagogical strategies. She used pastoral ministry as a platform to connect her academic articulations into the language of the common, simple people who have faith in God. Pastoral vocation facilitated opportunities to openly discuss the social issues such as forced widowhood, caste issues, menstrual impurities, gender discrimination, religious pluralism, along with presenting the gospel that provides the fullness of life with joy, peace, harmony and equality.
Her personal and professional experiences both at the grass-root level and academic level, in mentoring students, collaborating in research, as a teacher, leader and a pastor have equipped her with the resourcefulness, passion, ability, and commitment needed to succeed in her theological teaching profession.
ARTICLES IN MONOGRAPHS
“Discerning the Signs of the Times: Towards a Theology of Migration” in Migration in Perspectives: Towards Theology of Migration from the Margins, Chennai, Gurukul Publications. 2018.
“The Role of Women in the Reformation: Dalit Feminist Lutheran Perspectives” in Re-imagining Reformation: Essays in honour of P. George, Delhi, ISPCK, 2017.
“Freedom in the Cyber Age: Towards Life in Fellowship” in Ecclesiology in the Cyber Age, Bangalore, ERC/UTC, 2016.
“A Witness of a Lutheran Christian Dalit Woman in India” in Together by Grace: Introducing the Lutherans, Augsburg Fortress, 2016.
“Feminist/Womanist Discussions” in Christian Theology: Indian Conversations, BTESSC, 2016.
“Stories of Women in South Andhra Lutheran Church: Feminist Theological Reflections” in Missions at and from the Margins: Patterns, protagonists and Perspectives, 2014.
“Towards Graying Gracefully: Explorations from the Fifth Commandment” in Women From the Pulpit, BTESSC, 2014.
“Dalit Feminist Pneumatology: Towards Life of Fullness” in Towards Theology of Justice for Life in Peace (Minjung/Dalit theological Dialogue), 2012
“Sixth Word” in No One Can Serve Christ and Caste: Sermon Guideline Resources for Lent, 2011
“Caste Branding, bleeding body, building Dalit womanhood, Touchability of Jesus” in Dalit Theology in Twenty-first Century: Discordant Voices, discerning pathways, 2010.
“Fourth Word from the Cross” in Lenten Lantern: Réflecions on Lent, 2009.
“Dialogue for New Life: Dalit Woman and Samaritan Woman” in Identity, Survival, Witness: Reconfiguring Theological Agendas, 2008.
“Dalit Woman” in Frontiers of Dalit Theology, 1996.
ARTICLES IN JOURNALS
“They have no Wine”: A Challenge to the United Church from Gender Perspective” in Gurukul Jothi, 2017-2018.
“Jesus’ Masculinity: Indian Women’s Christological Perspectives” in Religion and Society, Vol 63, No. 4, Oct 2018
“Mission: Befreit zu neuer Wurde” in English “Mission: Liberated to New Dignity” in https://www.elm-mission.net/spenden/kollekten/kollektenmaterial-hannover.html, Jan 2018.
“Re-visiting Babylonian Captivity: Feminist Perspectives” in Master’s Journal of Theology, Vol. 6, Issue 1 & 2, June-December 2017.
“Liberated From the Dust” in MITTEN, Germany, 2015.
“On Becoming a Dalit Feminist Theologian of the Cross” in Gurukul Journal of Theological Studies, June 2011.
“Towards Dalit Feminist Theology: “Re-visiting the Image of God” in Ecumenical Horizon, Vol. 2, No.1, 2008-2009.
“Lost and Found Coin: Dalit Feminist Hermeneutical Explorations of Luke 15:8-10” in In God’s Image, September 2009.
“Gandhian Ideals in the Freedom Struggle: Towards Theology of Reconciliation” in In God’s Image, September 2008.
“Dalit Woman: Oppressed of the Oppressed” in In God’s Image, September 2007.