Christian Texts for Aztecs: Art and Liturgy in Colonial Mexico, JLN Dame, ND Press

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Content: Book Reviews
Christian Texts for Aztecs: Art and Liturgy in Colonial Mexico. By Jaime Lara. Notre Dame, Ind.: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2008. Pp. ix, 372. $75. Jaime Lara, an associate professor of Christian art and architecture and chair of the Program in Religion and the Arts at Yale University Divinity School and Yale Institute of Sacred Music, makes a major contribution to our understanding of evangelization in sixteenth-century Mexico in this richly textured and illustrated study. In Christian Texts for Aztecs, a companion volume to his first book (City, Temple, Stage: Eschatological Architecture and Liturgical Theatrics in New Spain [2004]), Lara explores the relatively understudied topic of the ways in which the Catholic sacraments were understood by the Nahuatl-speaking Mexica (Aztecs) in central Mexico. He focuses on external religious behavior and how the performative characteristics of public worship in MesoAmerican society converged with "an equally vibrant European liturgical tradition" (p. 4). He pays particular attention to the affinities between teoyoism (Mexica religion) and Catholicism in the use of metaphoric language and visual metaphor and the process of inculturation that underlay the missionary endeavors in sixteenthcentury Mexico. With a nuanced and disciplined eye, Lara scrutinizes an impressive range of sources such as Christian missionary texts, architecture, indigenous codices, woodblock prints, copper engravings, and religious artwork that combines indigenous techniques with European iconography. Chapters 1­3 provide the medieval and European background of missionary activity and understandings of conversion, the late medieval liturgy prior to the discovery of the New World, and the precedents for visual
preaching. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the presentation and administration of the seven sacraments among the indigenous peoples. Lara contends that pre-Columbian practices prepared the Mexica for the Catholic sacraments. He is sensitive to the importance of understanding the spatial and sensory contexts in which sacraments were administered and devotions occurred. He provides a compelling analysis of how flowers, feathers, song, and dance--central to teoyoism--were creatively reworked into an emerging Mexican Catholicism. Some concepts proved more difficult than others to translate and communicate, most notably the real presence of Christ in the consecrated host. Chapters 6 and 7 analyze processional liturgies. Lara pays particular attention to the heavily theatricalized processions of the feast of Corpus Christi, which eventually substituted for the Mexica ritual cult of the sun. Chapter 8 explores the liturgical artifacts of Catholicism (including matracas, or wooden clappers, the tarasca dragon, and corn Christs) and the material culture of the new religion. Chapter 9 is a speculative exercise on the importance of the human heart and blood in teoyoism and in Catholicism. Lara suggests that friars and their indigenous assistants reappropriated Mexica beliefs about human sacrifice and religious cannibalism and applied them to Christ's sacrifice on the cross and to his sacramental body. Lara makes several key arguments. First, relatively little of Mexica religion was destroyed; rather, much of it was "recycled" through modifications in visual and verbal metaphors. Second, Mexico's
early evangelization was accomplished largely by the deployment of images and metaphors. Third, Lara emphasizes the partnership between the friars and Nahua Christians and foregrounds the proactive roles of the latter. Finally, he stresses the creative qualities of evangelization in New Spain, which "was a laboratory in the inculturation and contextualization of Christianity and its liturgy, a fascinating experiment whose effects linger to this day" (p. 13). Lara's work clearly points to the need for comparative research on the specifics of regional evangelizations throughout colonial Latin America and on the differing fortunes of inculturation and partnerships between friars and indigenous Catholics. I do have a minor quibble. Lara's contention that enacted worship had a greater impact on the emerging society in Mexico than did political hegemony (an argument made in his first book) remains problematic and elides deeper questions about the exercise of power in colonial societies. So even though he acknowledges that the conversion of Mesoamerica to Catholicism was "far from perfect or without serious problems" (p. 255), he leaves this reader with the distinct impression that he does not quite believe this conclusion. Lara's study, nevertheless, is a superb meditation on missionary activity in the New World and sets a very high standard. --Susan Deans-Smith Susan Deans-Smith is Associate Professor of Colonial latin american history in the Department of History, University of Texas at Austin.
Beyond Christendom: Globalization, African Migration, and the Transformation of the West. By Jehu J. Hanciles. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2008. Pp. xviii, 430. Paperback $35. Hanciles paints on a broad canvas. The backdrop consists of long vistas across the history of the church, allied to contemporary demographic and migration studies. This sets the scene for 96
detailed studies of the African immigrant churches currently being formed in the West. In superbly crafted prose Hanciles argues that (1) our understanding of globalization must include recognition of
the active agency of non-Westerners and (2) world mission must be reconceived, post-Christendom, in light of renewed confluence of mission and migration-- "every Christian migrant is a potential missionary" (p. 6). The book is convincing in its demonstration that globalization is not a one-way process of advancing Western hegemony but that, on the contrary, it is being significantly shaped by non-Western agency, and in showing that the face of Christianity in the West is being changed through the
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advent of immigrant churches, which represent the contextually shaped faith of non-Western communities. It is less convincing in regard to the "transformation of the West." While Hanciles offers both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the new immigrant churches, he concedes that, so far, their impact has largely been limited to people who are already part of their transnational communities. What remains to be seen is whether they can develop the capacity for cross-cultural mission, which will enable them to impact people in the Western mainstream, where secular (post)modernity holds sway. Will they be more "pastoral detention center or missionary springboard" (p. 349)? The movement of immigrant nonWestern Christianity is painted in largely positive hues (missionary hagiography revisited?). This may be a necessary corrective to earlier neglect, but it highlights the need for more critical and nuanced accounts to be developed in the future. No one, however, should attempt such an exercise without thoroughly engaging with Hanciles's ground-breaking book. It is a must-read for anyone seeking to discern the emerging shape of mission in our time. --Kenneth R. Ross Kenneth R. Ross is Council Secretary of the Church of Scotland World Mission Council. He was formerly professor of theology at the University of Malawi, where he taught from 1988 to 1998.
Mission in the Twenty-first Century: Exploring the Five Marks of Global Mission. Edited by Andrew F. Walls and Cathy Ross. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2008. Pp. xvi, 219. Paperback $25. In 1990 the Anglican Consultative Council affirmed five marks of mission: (1) to proclaim the Good News of the kingdom; (2) to teach, baptize, and nurture new believers; (3) to respond to human need by loving service; (4) to seek to transform unjust structures of society; and (5) to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. The first half of the book reflects on the five marks through excellent two-part chapters, each part being written by a different author. As coeditor Cathy Ross describes it, "The first article of the pair is a more reflective, theological article. . . . The second article is more descriptive and has more of a praxis orientation" (p. xiv). Often, however, the first article includes discussion of praxis, and the second article includes theological reflection. Thus the dual emphasis is found through
April 2009
the two-part structure of each chapter, as well as within the individual parts. The contributors demonstrate that the best theology is done in the context of mission and show the importance of theological reflection on mission practices. The second half of the book explores diverse issues in mission, again by authors from various global settings. I recommend first reading the afterword by coeditor Andrew Walls. His fine essay places the rest of the book in context by describing the current transition in global mission
through the lens of the great European migration of the previous five hundred years and the current reverse migration. The new reality he describes is reflected by the fact that most of the contributors to the book are from the Majority World, and by the fact that they do not direct their critiques solely at the North (or West), as they might have done twenty or thirty years ago, but also at theological and missional weaknesses of the churches in their respective settings. A small critique of the book is that
the editors failed at points to keep nonAnglican readers in mind. For instance, rather than explaining the source of the five marks of mission in the introduction, the reader is not told about it until page 158. That is not to say the book is for Anglicans only. A number of the contributors are non-Anglican, and with the exception of perhaps one chapter, readers from other traditions will find the content accessible and relevant. --Mark D. Baker Mark D. Baker is Associate Professor of Mission and Theology at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, California.
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The Certainty Trap: Can Christians and Muslims Afford the Luxury of Fundamentalism? By Bill Musk. Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 2008. Pp. xxx, 257. Paperback $17.99. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, religious fundamentalism became a widespread global movement. The specter of fundamentalism in both Islam and Christianity continues to pose considerable challenges to meaningful dialogue between the adherents of these two dominant religious traditions.A"certainty trap" has become prevalent in Islam and Christianity, with concomitant extremist and violent interpretations of sacred texts. Such an approach has been used to justify an unprecedented sacred fury and violence on a global scale. Religious traditions must come to terms with the potential dangers of a rigid Interpretation of Scripture. Both Christianity and Islam will flourish if their followers become weary of the certainty trap, which threatens to eclipse the positive messages in both religious traditions. Bill Musk asserts that the majority of Muslims and Christians operate within what he calls a hermeneutic of certainty. They steadfastly subscribe to a literal interpretation of their sacred texts, leaving no room for critical engagement with these texts. According to Musk, the crux of the issue is how one can acknowledge the authority of sacred texts "and yet not fall into the trap of harnessing its endemic authority to allow verses from different contexts to justify beliefs or practices that, with deeper reflection, might not appear to be so justified" (p. xxi). Musk makes a convincing case for a more nuanced reading of the scriptures. He challenges both Christians and Muslims to scrutinize their interpretation of sacred text in order to avoid cavalier caricatures and simplistic solutions to complex phenomena or issues.
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 33, No. 2
Musk warns Christians and Muslims alike against interpretations and practices that betray the history and content of their respective religious traditions. The interpretation of various scriptures as authorizing violence, carnage, terror, and oppression is an offense to the picture of the God of love and peace that is enshrined in the Qur'an and in the Bible. The Certainty Trap offers valuable insights that can meaningfully contribute to Christian-Muslim relations. Given the author's sojourn and ministry in the Middle East, this book may speak more to Islamists and the fundamentalist fervor in Islam, a fact that does not diminish its value for interreligious understanding and engagement. --Akintunde E. Akinade Akintunde E. Akinade, from Nigeria, teaches Christian-Muslim relations and comparative religion at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
is hardly a dimension of the thought and experience relative to the AICs that is not explored. Individual chapters focus on the historical roots and classification of types of AICs, patterns of leadership and worship, the experiential dimensions of the celebration of the Eucharist and baptism, the importance of healing, the exorcism of demons and evil spirits, AIC missionary zeal, and ceremonies and practices focused on the care of the earth. The collection is brought to conclusion with a recent retrospective essay titled
"Liberative Ecumenism at the African Grassroots," which develops the practical outworking of the theme of the entire collection: "holding together what has broken apart" (p. 360). Supported by the Free University and the Reformed mission councils of the Netherlands, Daneel in 1972 founded Fambidzano, a "Cooperative of Churches" (p. 58). In this chapter he describes his experience directing this ecumenical organization, which united many AICs in working for justice and reconciliation and which concentrated
Asbury theologicAl seminAry a community called...
All Things Hold Together: Holistic Theologies at the African Grassroots; Selected Essays by M. L. Daneel. By M. L Daneel. Pretoria: Unisa Press, 2007. Pp. xvi, 408. R 236 / $40 / Ј23 / 31. Daneel, who has held faculty positions in the Free University of Amsterdam and the University of South Africa, is currently connected with the Boston University School of Theology. Not content with an ivory tower existence and having a concern to understand the African Initiated Church (AIC) movement from the inside, in the mid-1960s he took up residence for three years in an African village adjacent to Bishop Mutendi's Zion City among the Shona-speaking peoples of Zimbabwe. He has subsequently spent more than forty years in sympathetic participant observation and close collaboration with the AICs and other churches in the area. I know of no one who has entered more deeply into the thought and experience of AIC churches and written more realistically about them. This collection of thirteen essays from the dozen or so books and many articles Daneel has published has a particular value in that it appears at a time when several of Daneel's major publications are out of print and serves the purpose of providing synoptic vignettes of his unique mission and contributions to the understanding of both the AICs and African Traditional Religions. They are collated in complementary groups of three under five major headings. There April 2009
Asbury offers three Ph.D. programs: Intercultural Studies Evangelization Studies Biblical Studies Asbury's Fall 2010 application deadline is Nov. 15, 2009 DR. Lalsangkima Pachuau Associate Professor of History and Theology of Mission, Asbury Theological Seminary What an experience it has been to join the (Asbury Seminary) team I so admired, where a well-balanced emphasis on both spiritual life and high academic standards distinguishes the quality of this scholarly community. I find I serve best when I challenge students to dig deeper, to develop a level of analytical and reflective thinking. I serve at a seminary committed to academic excellence and to missions and evangelism. 800.2ASBURY 99
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mainly upon providing Theological Education by extension. Aspects of his many years of work with subsequent ecumenical groups are also included. The author emphasizes throughout, not the separatistic tendency of the AICs, but what binds Christians together. This book provides invaluable information for those preparing for service and for those already working in Africa, particularly given the expansion
and growth of the Pentecostal AICs. A focused bibliography and index enhance its usefulness. --Russell L. Staples Russell L. Staples, Professor Emeritus of World Mission at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, was engaged in pastoral ministry and theological education in South Africa and Zimbabwe for twenty years.
MA Intercultural Theology The Program of the University of Gцttingen in cooperation with the Mission Seminary Hermannsburg reflects on the Intercultural character of Christianity Christian message in different cultural contexts Interaction with other faiths and worldviews Program will start in October International Summer School "Church, Mission & State in Germany" Excursions to Berlin, Bremen, Wittenberg, Erfurt etc. Lectures and Introductions by experts in their fields Date: June 13th ­ July 4th, 2009 Costs: 1.500 (excl. flight) Application due May 15th For further information contact: Missionsseminar Missionsstr. 3 29320 Hermannsburg, Germany Tel: +49 5052 69-457 [email protected] 100
The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor. By John Stott. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2007. Pp. 180. $17. Time Magazine once described John Stott as the closest the evangelical world has to a pope. With his long curacy at All Souls Church, London, and his work in the global evangelical field, Stott has devoted a lifetime to bridging the gap between the academy and ministry; all his writings bear ample witness to this interface. The Living Church captures his convictions gained over a lifetime of vocational pastoral service. Divided into eight chapters, it covers essentials, worship, evangelism, ministry, fellowship, preaching, giving, and impact. Three historical appendixes, which explain why Stott is still an Anglican in spite of some of its current challenges and which share his dream as an octogenarian of a living church, complete the book. As can be expected from Stott, in The Living Church he demonstrates his balanced biblical Christianity. Starting with the premise that the church is perceived to be out of touch with contemporary culture, he provides the essentials of a framework within which the modern church can survive all the changes around it. Stott examines, too briefly, the debate on the traditional and emerging churches. He ends up calling them both to an appreciation of the biblical understanding of church that, as in preaching, "wrestles with the dialectic between the ancient world and the modern world, between what has been given and what has been left open, between content and context, Scripture and culture, revelation and contextualization" (p. 65). As with all of Stott's books, this latest work is a quick read--simple, but by no means simplistic. He is gifted in cramming a lot of reflection into a few sentences. One of the special features of the book for me was the example he gives of a parish profile, or local church audit. I find it extremely useful in evaluating a church's effectiveness as a tool for sharpening its witness.
My only regret is that Stott--truly a household name among evangelicals all over the world--did not use more illustrations from Majority World churches. Overall, however, I found his invitation to "come to Christ for worship and go for Christ in mission" (p. 57) well worth heeding. --Casely B. Essamuah Casely B. Essamuah serves as Compassionate Outreach Pastor at Bay Area Community Church, Annapolis, Maryland. Originally from Ghana, he studied at Harvard and Boston Universities in Massachusetts. Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. Vol. 6: Supplement and Index. Edited by Suad Joseph. Leiden: Brill, 2007. Pp. clxxiv, 409. 228 / $326. With the publication of its sixth and final volume, the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures secures its place as the most impressive reference work produced in the field of Islamic studies during the past generation. The series presents cutting-edge scholarship on fresh and often sensitive topics related to women and gender in the Islamic world. It evinces tremendous breadth, approaching coverage of the entirety of Islamic history (including contemporary societies) and all world regions. This sixth volume has three major parts. In the first part, the general editor, Suad Joseph, reflects on the larger project, its methodological and logistical challenges, and its accomplishments. She notes that the six volumes contain
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 33, No. 2
1,246 entries, totaling nearly two million words, produced by a multinational cast of 907 different contributors (Muslim and non-Muslim). This first section also offers a useful tally of Muslim populations in every country of the world. Part 2 of this volume includes new, supplementary articles related to the themes of the five earlier volumes. (These themes, in order, are labeled "Methodologies, Paradigms, and Sources"; "Family, Law, and Politics"; "Family, Body, Sexuality, and Health"; "Economics, Education, Mobility, and Space"; and "Practices, Interpretations, and Representations.") The articles cover a wide array of topics, for example, homelessness in Arab cities, modern discourses of love in the Caucasus, drug use in South Asia, and mosques in East Asia. Part 3 provides name and subject indexes for all six volumes. As a finding aid, these indexes are helpful but not exhaustive. An entry on confessionalism, for example, points to an article in the second volume but fails to list an article entitled "Sectarianism and Confessionalism" that appears in this sixth volume. Finding articles relevant to a particular issue may therefore require some serendipity. Readers of the IBMR will be particularly interested in the dozens of articles listed by subject under "Missionaries" and "Missionary Education" (both relating to Christians), "Missionary Movements, Islamic," "Christianity," and "Christians." The publisher is charging $326 (228) for this sixth volume and a whopping $1,776 (1,242) for the whole set. The price puts it beyond the range of individual buyers. Nevertheless, for institutions that have a serious interest in Islamic studies, acquiring this excellent series should be a top priority. --Heather J. Sharkey Heather J. Sharkey is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
volume by Michael Bergunder, originally published in German, stands as an exemplar of much-needed regional studies tracing the course of this global trend. The book is a part of a series of studies in the history of Christian missions. Following a comprehensive introduction that places South Indian Pentecostalism in a larger context, the book discusses the topic in three parts. The first deals with the history of the Pentecostal movement in the four South Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,
and Andhra Pradesh. The second part raises some theoretical and theological questions that affect Pentecostalism and also places the movement in the wider church and religious context of South India. In the final part the writer raises the question of Pentecostalism and the contextualization of Christianity. This section also contains vital statistical and bibliographic information. As a dispassionate and sensitive scholar, Bergunder goes beyond the traditional "faith and order" framework globalization is transforming Christian missions. are you prepared to respond? In Fuller's School of Intercultural Studies our scholars are on the leading edge in research and analysis of the trends affecting global Christianity today and our internationally renowned faculty are preparing the next generation of leaders to respond to the changing needs of the church. · MA in Crosscultural Studies · MA in Intercultural Studies · MA in Global Leadership · ThM in Missiology · Doctor of Missiology · PhD in Intercultural Studies 1-800-2FULLER
The South Indian Pentecostal Movement in the Twentieth Century. By Michael Bergunder. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008. Pp. xii, 380. Paperback $40. David Barrett and other scholars have predicted that Pentecostalism, the world's fastest growing Christian movement, could, by 2025, account for upwards of 30 percent of all Christians. This thorough April 2009
In his latest book, Fuller professor Jehu J. Hanciles evaluates the interconnection between globalization, migrations, and religious expansion, and examines how non-Western movements and initiatives have the potential to transform Western society and Christianity. 101
and openly discusses social questions such as the lingering impact of caste, even among Pentecostals. "Foreign money" is another malady that has plagued Indian Christianity. While discussing the dialectical tensions between the foreign missions in India and the local leadership, the author notes the authoritarianism of some Indian Pentecostal leaders and the fragmentation of a few missions under the impact of overseas funding agencies (pp. 95­99). He also notes, however, that several Pentecostals rejected "assured
financial support rather than allowing administrative interference" by foreign agencies (p. 76). The freshness and spontaneity that distinguish Pentecostalism from the more institutionalized churches make any clearly defined framework difficult, and indeed the book provides no clear definition of "Pentecostalism." The book discusses Pentecostalism, the charismatic movement, and neo-Pentecostalism. The "Selected Biographies" section also includes notes on some members of non-
Pentecostal churches (e.g., Dhinakaran and Sadhu Kochukunju). With its lucid analysis of the topic, as well as a comprehensive bibliography, index, and maps, this book is a valuable resource for any student of world Christianity today. --Jesudas M. Athyal Jesudas M. Athyal, on leave from the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai, India, is a Fellow of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.
Prepare for the unexpected. Being called is different than being prepared. The apostle Paul was both. So when he unexpectedly found himself in chains, he was prepared to show love and compassion for his prison guards. And they listened to him. How about you? Chances are you're called, but are you prepared to take the Good News into places where you feel "uncomfortable"? At Bethel Seminary, we are committed to knowing and teaching as much as we can about cultures near and far. Because if you are called to a culture different from your own, it is important to understand that culture and love its people. Bethel has two programs specifically crafted for cross-cultural ministry. Doctor of Ministry in Global and Contextual Leadership through our Distance Learning program, and the M.A. in Global and Contextual Studies, available through either our traditional classroom setting or distance learning program. The unexpected is going to happen. Preparing you to handle it is what we do best. Learn more by calling 800-255-8706, ext. 6288. Take the Next Step. Change Your World. St. Paul · San Diego · New York Philadelphia · Washington D.C. · New England
With the Gospel to Maasailand: Lutheran Mission Work Among the Arusha and Maasai in Northern Tanzania, 1904­1973. By Kim Groop. еbo, Finland: еbo Akademi Univ. Press, 2006. Pp. 353. Paperback 28. This welcome study, written as a doctoral dissertation for the University of Еbo's Department of Church History, Faculty of Theology, is both valuable corrective and strong contribution to the growing literature regarding Maasai religious history. This history begins with the Leipzig Mission to "the Maa-speaking peoples" (p. 15) and concludes with the founding of the Lutheran Synod in Arusha Region. The last two decades of the period are influenced by Catholic missionary activity as it coexisted with the Lutheran in an ecumenism of competition and cooperation, of imitation and learning from each other's mistakes and successes. Kim Groop had access to a treasure trove of unpublished material in the original German, as well as journals and reports and published sources in German, English, and Scandinavian languages, which brings an unusual depth and breadth to his research. Studying both the Arusha and the Maasai people, he carefully differentiates between them, demonstrating throughout that the Arusha are non-Maasai, a basic clarification that is sorely needed. Groop is systematic and scientific in his methodology, in keeping with his training as a church historian, giving pros and cons while explaining what had taken place over an area of more than 25,000 square miles in the context of seventy tumultuous years. His accurate work leads to a rich understanding of the church, both Lutheran and eventually also the Catholic, as it too is part of the narrative throughout. Groop stresses that, at least in theory, the Lutheran mission followed a holistic plan of health care, education, and evangelism. Circumstances dictated its uneven execution, in selected and
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 33, No. 2
widely scattered locales. Groop says little of Catholic activity among the Arusha but does show how in Maasailand they followed the Lutheran model. And "while the Protestants fought over who should do the work, the Catholics simply set about doing what needed to be done" (p. 264). Both were eager to educate a cadre of young men to take over as pastors or priests. Thus, Lutheran practice was not to admit girls to their schools; "the total number of girls in all schools in Maasailand in 1955 was 5" (p. 257; cf. p. 256). Later, in Catholic schools three or four of every ten students were girls. The school apostolate ended in 1970 when the Tanzania government nationalized all schools. This takeover freed up the energies of both churches for creative efforts at direct evangelization of adults, both men and women. Numerous maps, graphs, and vintage photographs help guide the reader through the unfolding story. This volume stands on its own as a study of a transitional period in mission history. If anyone has other accounts about the Maasai, this book needs to be among them to balance and complete a record too often poorly rendered. --Girard Kohler and Eugene Hillman Girard Kohler, C.S.Sp., served as a missionary in northern Tanzania from 1964 to 1993. Currently he is Mission Procurator of the Fathers of the Holy Spirit, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Eugene Hillman, C.S.Sp., is Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island. For over twenty-six years in Tanzania and Kenya he did missionary work and was a university instructor. Ruth Rouse Among Students: Global, Missiological, and Ecumenical Perspectives. By Ruth Franzйn. Uppsala: Swedish Institute of Mission Research, 2008. Pp. 428. SKr 250. The name Ruth Rouse (1872­1956) may not resonate with many today, but a century ago in the heyday of the Student Volunteer Movement (SVM) and its successor, the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), hers was a name to conjure with. Ruth Franzйn, who in October 1993 contributed an article on Rouse to this journal (IBMR 17:154­58), has given us a thoroughly documented, carefully researched, and highly readable analysis of Rouse's years (1897­1924) as a pioneer in women's international student ministry. Rouse came from an upper middle class London family that attended Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle. She
went to Cambridge University but, since she was a woman, was not awarded a degree. Rouse was a role model for female students, a skilled personal worker, and an intrepid adventure-seeker who traveled widely. She was the first woman in senior SVM and WSCF leadership, a feminist pioneer who was never self-assertive. Along the way, Franzйn gives us fresh insights into the increasingly dictatorial (and polarizing) leadership of John R. Mott. While at Cambridge, Rouse became
an Anglican. The 1882 meetings of Dwight L. Moody (the birth parent of SVM) had helped break down denominational barriers. Rouse maintained the warmhearted pietism of her youth while becoming increasingly ecumenical. As the WSCF came under increasing financial pressure, and as divisive theological issues arose (leading to the formation of Inter-Varsity Fellowship in 1928), Rouse regarded herself as a bridge-builder. She appeared willing to accommodate wide theological diversity.
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What They Taught Us How Maryknoll Missioners Were Evangelized by the Poor JOSEPH A. HEIM, M.M. Foreword by JOHN J. WALSH, M.M. Short accounts from Asia, Africa, and Latin America tell what Maryknoll missioners have learned from the rich gifts of people with deep faith and strength. Arranged thematically, the stories tell of spiritual health in the face of physical illness, of true happiness lived in poverty, and of life and death and hope and love. Fr. Joseph A. Heim, M.M. worked in mission for thirty-five years in Venezuela. Photographs. 978-1-57075-818-8 paperback $15.00
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April 2009
Significantly, Rouse's final assignment, as WSCF became socially committed, was to administer a European Student Relief Fund, all the time insisting that hers was also a commitment to evangelization. Clumsily voted out of WSCF leadership in 1924, she went on to have a vibrant career into her eighties, editing with Stephen Neill the definitive History of the Ecumenical Movement, 1517­1948 (SPCK, 1954). Revered by her generation, a legendary figure in the next, Rouse today
is largely forgotten. It is to be hoped that Franzйn's excellent book will restore her to prominence as a pioneer in student ministry, missionary recruitment, and evangelical feminism. --A. Donald MacLeod A. Donald MacLeod, Research Professor of Church History at Tyndale Theological Seminary, Toronto, is the author of C. Stacey Woods and the Evangelical Rediscovery of the University (InterVarsity Press, 2007).
New from Stanford University Press
China's Christian Colleges Cross-Cultural Connections, 1900­1950
A new generation of China scholars offers a fresh look at the unusual cross-
cultural territory constituted by China's missionary-established Christian
colleges before 1950 in this fascinating work.
"Marking the beginning of a new era of scholarship on China's Christian
colleges, this book breaks with the self-congratulatory scholarship of earlier
culture-bound studies and goes beyond more recent work by emphasizing
cultural interaction. The volume's contributors explore Christian colleges not as gifts of a benevo-
lent West to a benighted China but as focal points of intercultural interflow."
--John W. Israel,
Professor Emeritus of History, University of Virginia $24.95 paper $65.00 cloth
University Press
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Coming out of the "Iron Cage": The Indigenists of the Society of the Divine Word in Paraguay, 1910­2000. By Darius J. Piwowarczyk. Fribourg, Switz.: Academic Press, 2008. Pp. 368. Paperback SFr 75 / 50. Coming out of the "Iron Cage" is an excellent contribution to missions history and to a critical theological and anthropological reflection of Western missionary endeavors among indigenous communities. The book is structured according to the author's scheme of three discrete historical phases of the missionary engagement of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) among Amerindians in Paraguay during the twentieth century. The first phase, from 1910 to 1925, takes place in an environment distinguished by the secular ideology of progress, under the shadows of Western imperial expansion, and with the ecclesiastical twin goals of Christianizing and civilizing the Amerindians. It had the support of the Paraguayan state, which wanted to civilize its "savages." The SVD thus entered into the contested minefield of Indigenism-- the attempt to construct the identity of the Amerindians, their Indianness. Skillfully using Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical concepts and an exhaustive research in the SVD archives, Piwowarczyk is able to elucidate the historical aporias and paradoxes of that missionary endeavor, what the author calls its historical ironies, which were the crossroads and conflicts between the global process of modernization, the political purposes of the Paraguayan national state, the imperial aspirations of Germany, and the conservative ambiance prevailing in the Roman Catholic Church. The second phase begins in the mid1960s, in a world characterized by the global hegemony of the United States, a Catholic Church transformed by the Second Vatican Council, and the mantra of "development" as the recipe for addressing the plights of the so-called underdeveloped nations. Piwowarczyk aptly lays out the different actors and agents in the disputed field of Indigenism. A new theological trend also makes its entrance: Latin American liberation theology, which inspires new ecclesiastical and political disturbances. The author illuminates the conflicts between the missionary utopia and its historical implementations. The third phase begins in the early 1970s with the severe critique of missions by the First Barbados Conference. Now the main themes are the protection of the indigenous cultures, the selfdetermination of the native communities, and the defense of their land claims. This new phase takes place in the global
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 33, No. 2
environment of "flexible accumulation," the hegemony of globalizing neoliberalism, and the postmodernist stress on difference and identity politics. The key idea is "cooperation-participation." SVD's missionary work is reshaped, and new contestants emerge in the dispute about the proper dialectics between nation and ethnicity, conversion and social justice. Again, Piwowarczyk's critical gaze dissects the ambivalences and contradictions of SVD's missionary project. This book should be required reading, especially in times like ours, when indigenous communities have, for the first time in history, become important protagonists in Latin American national politics. --Luis N. Rivera-Pagбn Luis N. Rivera-Pagбn is Professor Emeritus of Ecumenics and Mission at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey.
Bauman sees the process of Christianizing Chhattisgarh, limited as it was, as also including the "Chhattisgarhization" of Christianity (p. 6). This is a very good, methodologically stimulating book that not only utilizes archival materials and oral history but also draws upon theory and parallel studies in formulating hypotheses or developing explanations and generalizations. I wish the chapter on conversion, which categorized the (generally well-known) reasons for converting or not converting,
had focused instead upon the changing dynamics of conversion as the community evolved over the eighty years the study covers. My favorite chapter was on the myths connecting Christianity with Ghasidas and how these myths shaped the community's self-understanding. --John C. B. Webster John C. B. Webster, a retired Presbyterian missionary to India, has published extensively on Dalit Christian history.
Study with these international scholars--Fall 2009 OMSC Senior Mission Scholars Dr. Allison Howell
Christian Identity and Dalit Religion in Hindu India, 1868­ 1947. By Chad M. Bauman. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008. Pp. xv, 276. Paperback $40. The central issue addressed in this book is "whether and to what extent conversion to Christianity in Chhattisgarh . . . entailed a process of `deculturation' or `denationalization'" (p. 1). This issue, as Chad Bauman, assistant professor of religion at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, rightly points out, is very timely because it lies at the heart of the Hindutva ("Hinduness") attack upon Christianity in India today. The choice of subject is also appropriate because most Indian Christians are Dalits and because it focuses upon colonial times, when Christianity is supposed to have done most of its denationalizing damage. Before the Chhattisgarh Dalits became Christians, most were Satnamis (followers of the True Name, a religious sect formed by Ghasidas, their first guru in the early nineteenth century). Bauman therefore begins his study by contextualizing the Satnamis and the Christian mission among them of the U.S.-based German Evangelical Mission Society (1868) and the Disciples of Christ (1885). Chapters follow on conversion, the linking of Satnami and Christian history, medicine, Christian womanhood, and some individual Satnami and Christian stories around the theme of transformation. The concluding chapter includes some post-Independence developments.
Dr. Allison Howell, an Australian, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly the Belgian Congo) where her parents were missionaries with the Brethren Assemblies. Since 1981 she has served mostly in Ghana as a missionary researcher and teacher, first with SIM Ghana in the Upper East Region among the Kasena, and for the past ten years on the staff of the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture. A senior research fellow and the dean of accredited studies at the institute, Howell also coordinates a group of Kasena pastors who are writing a Bible commentary on the Gospel of John in Kasem. Dr. Randall Prior Dr. Randall Prior is professor of ministry studies and missiology at the United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne, Australia. He teaches in the areas of theological reflection for ministry practice and pastoral theology, as well as about the intersection of Gospel and culture, mission, and evangelism. Prior's research interests include exploring these topics in the context of Vanuatu as an experiment in grounding theology in a post-independent South Pacific. He is editor of The Gospel and Cultures: Initial Explorations in the Australian Context (1997) and a series called The Gospel and Culture in Vanuatu. A former pastor, Prior is part of the Uniting Church in Australia. OVERSEAS MINISTRIES STUDY CENTER 490 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511 (203) 624-6672, ext. 315 [email protected] For information on the OMSC Study Program, visit
April 2009
Bound with Love: Letters Home from China, 1935­1945. Edited by Audrey Salters. Agequod Publications, 2007. Pp. 360. Paperback Ј12.50 / $20. (To order, go to Ronald and Gwyneth Still sailed from British shores for China in August 1935 to join the Baptist Missionary Society's mission in a town they called Chouts'un (Zhoucun), in Shantung (Shandong) Province, where Ronald Still was to take up a position in the BMS Foster Hospital. From Chouts'un the newly married couple sent home letters to their parents and siblings vividly describing their experiences and impressions. Later on, they wrote in some detail of their survival with three small daughters under Japanese occupation and internment. About a thousand of the couple's letters in blue airmail envelopes survive in the home of Audrey Salters, one of the three daughters born in China. From these she has selected and edited extracts, deftly weaving together an absorbing and, at times, extremely moving narrative. The lives of a deeply Christian but modern young couple on a small, remote mission station in North China in the
1930s are brilliantly re-created through the engaging frankness and humor of Gwyneth's letters, while Ronald's provide fascinating detail about hospital patients, their medical conditions, and his surgical experiences. At Christmas 1937 everything changed as Japanese forces first bombed and then occupied Chouts'un. With some interruptions, the Stills stayed at their post, Ronald working valiantly but under increasing difficulties at the hospital until August 1942, when, with hopes of repatriation fast receding, the family moved with three hundred or so other Britishers into the Columbia Country Club in Shanghai. Though the club, unlike Chouts'un, had running water, eleven flush toilets were found insufficient to provide for the needs of 360 inmates! Other far worse shortcomings and deprivations were experienced over the next three years, and the reader feels all the joy and relief of the Stills as they write at the end of August 1945 that they
have all survived and will soon be on their way home. Over the years I have read many missionary compilations and memoirs, but I found this book to be one of the most engaging. I have been charmed, moved, and informed and was sorry only that the story had to end! --Rosemary Seton Rosemary Seton was, until 2004, Keeper of Archives and Special Collections at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. The Betrayal of Faith: The Tragic Journey of a Colonial Native Convert. By Emma Anderson. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 2007. Pp. xii, 303. $45 / Ј29.95 / 31.50. As the title suggests, this work raises some disquieting implications for current issues, including the legacy of residential schools and other means of forced assimilation (chap. 5). But far from laying blame, this
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International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 33, No. 2
important book primarily tells the story of Pastedechouan, a young Innu convert to Christianity who at the age of eleven sailed to France with Rйcollet missionaries who hoped to educate him to become an evangelist to his people. (The Innu, who live along the north shore of the St. Lawrence in eastern Quebec and Labrador, were once called "les Montagnais" or "mountain people" by early European settlers.) Emma Anderson, who teaches at Ottawa University, draws the raw material for this story largely from seventeenthcentury European Journals but uses knowledge of Innu life to help interpret the indigenous actions described in those journals. In this way she presents the Innu as "cultural actors" seeking to maintain their own values while creatively adapting foreign culture and ideas to their own needs (p. 211). While her rhetorical imagination occasionally gets carried away (as with speculation on the death of Pastedechouan, pp. 203 and 206), Anderson uses her sources with care and even includes a helpful discussion on using nonaboriginal sources in uncovering aboriginal stories (pp. 235­41). The "betrayal" is that Pastedechouan returned after five years in France, having
missed very crucial years to an Innu education. This hiatus left him unable to meet the expectations of either his missionary sponsors or his own people. After unsuccessful attempts to reintegrate into Innu culture, he found himself in the world of commercial interests as a translator and eventually was employed as language tutor to the Jesuit superior Paul LeJeune. LeJeune devoted much of his journal to their relationship. The power of the book, as well as its missiological value, lies in the depth of sympathy and understanding that Anderson brings to her examination of this troubled, even tragic, relationship. Her careful and theologically astute analysis of the winter hunting trip LeJeune shared with Pastedechouan and two of his three brothers in 1633­34 reveals human vulnerabilities and cultural misunderstandings that led not only to missed, even squandered, opportunities to live and share the Gospel but also to complete estrangement and likely contributed to the death of all three of those brothers within a few years (1634­36). --John C. Mellis John C. Mellis is Provost of Queen's College, in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape. By Peggy Levitt. New York: New Press, 2007. Pp. xii, 270. US$26.95 / Ј17.99 / C$33.95. "Immigrants," writes Peggy Levitt, "make up one-quarter of the American public along with their American-born children. They are not only transforming cities like Houston and Atlanta, they are remaking suburban and rural America as well" (p. 1). Levitt has given us a thoughtprovoking, stimulating, and sensitive report of her sociological studies on the role of religion in U.S. immigration. She is an associate professor and chair of the department of sociology at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, and a research fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard. Based on a carefully constructed methodology of personal interviews of immigrants in the United States and on-site visits to their countries of origin in Pakistan (Muslims), India (Hindus), Ireland (Catholics), and Brazil (Protestants), Levitt
Being There: Short-Term Missions and Human Need An International Conference July 30­August 1, 2009 Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL
If you want to understand recent trends and want to gain wisdom for effectiveness in short-term missions, you will not want to miss this conference! Especially valuable for youth pastors, nurses, missionaries, seminary students, scholars, and mission pastors.
Plenary presenters include:
Dr. Robert Wuthnow Dr. Kara Powell
Rev. Oscar Muriu
Dr. Kurt Ver Beek
Dr. Robert Priest
For more information, registration, and a call for papers, visit or call 847.317.8066.
SapmoninsiosrterydobfyTtrhineitCyaErlvFa.nHg.eHliecanlryDiCveinnitteyrSfochr Tohoel ological Understanding,
April 2009
observes, "Today's immigrants . . . are remaking the religious landscape by introducing new faith traditions and Asianizing and Latinoizing old ones. By doing so, they are transforming what it means to be American" (pp. 1­2). Levitt's main points might be summarized as follows. In terms of family, culture, economics, politics, and religious affiliation, today's immigrants demonstrate a sense of belonging that is simultaneously global and local, equally and continually part of both their country of origin and their country of destination. That is, "God needs no passport" (p. 2). Religious faith is not abandoned during
immigration but rather is an integral (and, for some, essential) component of their self-understanding. Religious faith impacts the immigrant experience and is influenced by it. In chapter 4 Levitt offers a series of classifications in order to organize the differing ways in which immigrants express their faith. The basis on which these groupings are created is somewhat unclear. Even so, this is a very important book for anyone interested in understanding the new horizons of religious affiliation in North America, particularly as that influences and is impacted by immigration. Levitt appropriately calls for a deeper and
clearer understanding of the religious dimension of the immigrant experience, greater tolerance for religious plurality on the part of everyone (native-born and immigrant alike), and a deeper appreciation of the role and significance of religious faith in our understanding of the immigrant experience in the United States. --Charles Van Engen Charles Van Engen is the Arthur Glasser Professor of Biblical Theology of Mission in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA. He served as a cross-cultural missionary in Mexico.
All Things Hold Together: Holistic Theologies at the African Grassroots. By M. L. Daneel. Pretoria: Unisa Press, 2007. Pp. xiv, 408. Paperback R 236 / $40 / Ј23 / 31. This is an invaluable book, based on more than forty years of experience of African Independent Churches (or African Initiated Churches), particularly those of Zimbabwe. Daneel is deeply concerned for such churches to be considered part of the mainstream of Christianity. Yet his accounts of their activities are balanced and objective--even to the extent of often casting into doubt his own thesis that the AICs are authentically Christian and a force for good. Certainly, early researchers pronounced too harshly on the AICs in accusing them of excluding the Bible, Christ,
and Christian ethics altogether. But it is troubling that witchcraft has remained an obsession of AIC communities. A Christian leader pointing out seven women, three of them pregnant, as poisoners to rebel soldiers after a vision, thus dooming them to execution; another leader, as part of his recruiting drive, planting evidence of sorcery in houses he is claiming to cleanse; demands for public confession of witchcraft as the price of baptism--such scenes left me admiring Daneel's honesty and diligence as a researcher but hardly seconding his vision of indigenous African spiritual integrity.
The hard facts against such political correctness are nowhere harder than in Zimbabwe. The mission churches are the moral centers of the opposition to Robert Mugabe's devastation, which may become full-scale genocide; the AICs seem to have done nothing against him--not that they are able to, as they lack any power or connections. The wounds from colonialism are very sore; to push Western institutions away is understandable, but in the case of mission churches, which carry the main hope for justice and compassion in Africa, it is unspeakably tragic. --Sarah Ruden Sarah Ruden, a visiting research fellow at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut, is a translator of Latin and Greek making the transition to biblical studies. She lived in South Africa from 1994 to 2005.
A New Vision for Missions: William Cameron Townsend, the Wycliffe Bible Translators, and the Culture of Early Evangelical Faith Missions, 1896­1945. By William Lawrence Svelmoe. Tuscaloosa: Univ. of Alabama Press, 2008. Pp. xi, 369. $46. William Svelmoe makes a strong case for the pivotal role played by Cameron Townsend, the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT), not only in revolutionizing missions but also in transforming American evangelicalism. This biographical treatment of the first half of Townsend's life traces his development from an undistinguished college student at Occidental College into a Bible salesman 108
in Guatemala, then an innovative but headstrong missionary for the Central America Mission, and finally the visionary founder and leader of the world's leading Bible translation organization. Svelmoe, writing with attention to the human quirks of a cast of interesting characters, such as Townsend's difficult wife, Elvira, and a fellow missionary who believed in evangelism by megaphone,
does an excellent job of showing how Townsend's lesser-known years in Guatemala (1917­32) served as a laboratory for many of the ideas that later characterized WBT. Townsend's interest in Guatemala's Indians distinguished him from most of his missionary colleagues, but his insistence on the importance of translating the Bible into indigenous languages made him unique. Once he had founded his own organization, WBT, and its sister organization, the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Townsend had more freedom to implement his schemes. The particular circumstances of WBT's first field, Mexico, which had adopted extensive restrictions on missionary activity after its revolution, pushed Townsend to develop a form of ministry acceptable to that country's
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 33, No. 2
secular elites. Linguistics and nonsectarian service proved to be WBT's ticket to acceptance and respectability. Going out of their way to provide linguistic and practical aid to anyone who would accept it, especially to officials and to Catholic clergy, Townsend and his missionary linguists won over many initially skeptical Latin Americans. Although some evangelical supporters in the United States rejected this apparent support of "the enemy" (i.e., atheistic officials and Catholic priests), Svelmoe suggests that Townsend's embrace of scientific excellence and service to ideological rivals ultimately helped to soften evangelicalism's posture toward outsiders, even as it proved a successful strategy on the mission field. There are two weaknesses to this book. More attention to sources from Guatemala and Mexico might have provided a helpful counterpoint to Svelmoe's masterful use of WBT's various archives. Less importantly but more annoyingly, faux Victorian chapter titles such as "In Which Townsend Mixes Science with Faith, Writes an Audacious Letter, and Recruits More Than a Few Girls" strike a false note in an otherwise professional and rigorous work. Still, this is a masterful work that
convincingly places Cameron Townsend among the most influential missionary innovators of the twentieth century. It will be the definitive biography of Townsend for many years to come. --Todd Hartch Todd Hartch teaches Latin American history at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, and is the author of Missionaries of the State: The Summer Institute of Linguistics, State Formation, and Indigenous Mexico, 1935­1985 (Univ. of Alabama Press, 2006). The Chinese Face of Jesus Christ: Contemporary Faces and Images of Jesus Christ. Vol. 3B. Edited by Roman Malek. Nettetal: Steyler Verlag, 2007. (Institut Monumenta Serica and China-Zentrum, Sankt Augustin.) Pp. xii, 430. 60. This volume is the latest addition to an interdisciplinary project that aims at revealing the many faces and images of Jesus Christ in China from the Tang to the
present day. The current book is the sequel to volume 3A, subtitled Modern Faces and Images of Jesus Christ. Two more volumes are in preparation; one will reproduce artistic renditions of Jesus by Western missionaries and by Chinese artists, and the other will provide an annotated bibliography and a general index with glossary for the entire collection. Volume 3B, with fourteen scholarly essays and thirty-one texts of anthology, paints a rich and diverse portrayal of Jesus in China's contemporary context. What differentiates this volume from the previous ones is its depth of theological reflection on the person of Jesus. At least eight essays are descriptions of the rise of a theology rooted in Chinese (Asian) philosophies, religions, folktales, and historical events. Among several recurrent themes, those of the cosmic Christ and of a Jesus-oriented Christology are particularly prominent. Authors include Asian theologians such as Peter C. Phan, Liu Xiaofeng, and Tan Yun-ka. Other influential Chinese thinkers are the subjects of detailed analyses, such as systematic theologian C. S. Song, religious leaders T. C. Chao and K. H. Ting, and Chinese philosopher Fang Tung-mei. Only two articles deal with Marxist
Christianity Encountering World Religions THE PRACTICE OF MISSION IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY Terry Muck and Frances S. Adeney 9780801026607 · 416 pp. · $26.99p "Here is a gift to global Christianity: a new and carefully argued metaphor for Christian relations to other religions. Muck and Adeney argue that other metaphors are not obsolete, but the leading image today should be `giftive mission.' Get used to the phrase for it will become part of missiological parlance in the coming decade."--Scott W. Sunquist, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Available at your local bookstore,, or by calling 1-800-877-2665 Subscribe to Baker Academic's electronic newsletter (E-Notes) at
April 2009
Plan Your 2009 Summer Sabbatical at OMSC Efficiency to three-bedroom. For summer 2009 rates and reservations, e-mail a request with your choice of dates to: Judy C. Stebbins Director of Finance and Housing Overseas Ministries Study Center [email protected]
ChriSTianS of all ageS reCognize
The hearTbeaT of goD To Take
goSPel To The
yeT They ofTen wreSTle
wiTh The iMPliCaTionS of The greaT CoMMiSSion in Their own liveS.
M. DaviD SillS D.MiSS., Ph.D. Professor of Missions The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary w w w .T h e M i S S i o n a ry C a l l . C o M 110
interpretations of Jesus; regrettably, one of them lacks the scholarly excellence displayed in other pieces. The book also omits important aspects of the more recent period as, for instance, understandings of Jesus during the Cultural Revolution and perceptions of Jesus among the so-called Cultural Christians. Well aware of such lacunae, the editor sees the collection as a stimulus and an invitation to further search for the faces and images of Jesus Christ among Chinese past and present.
This work, like the previous ones, bridges the gap between Chinese studies and religious studies and should be of interest to a wide range of scholars. --Jean-Paul Wiest Jean-Paul Wiest is currently Research Director of the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies, Beijing, and Research Fellow in the Centre for the Study of Religion and Chinese Society at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Interpreting Contemporary Christianity: Global Processes and Local Identities. Edited by Ogbu U. Kalu. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008. Pp. xiv, 365. Paperback $45. Interpreting Contemporary Christianity has fourteen essays, historical reflections on twentieth-century mission and church movements, presented at the Currents in World Christianity conference held at the University of Pretoria, 2001. For professors seeking non-Western perspectives, this volume offers a rich blend, including fine essays by four African and four Asian scholars. Using the metaphor of changing tides, Ogbu U. Kalu suggests that contemporary Christianity cannot be understood using the assumptions of Western scholarship in the twentieth century. Arguing that new theories must emerge from contexts that are both local and global, Kalu suggests four driving forces: the globalizing impulse in Christianity, the domestication and reinvention of Christianity in local communities, the powerful Pentecostal transformation of the religious landscape, and the interplay of local and global economic and religious forces. The four essays on the African church illustrate all of these forces at work. In the local context Stinton shows how Ghanaians have domesticated Jesus through cultural images of chief/king, reinventing worship of the "king of kings" through this metaphor. Mwaura documents how two gifted Kenyan women founded urban Pentecostal "healing" churches in the 1990s, blending African media, preaching, television, video, and information technology to minister to impoverished women and men, and to thousands of people seeking healing and hope across Kenya. In the global context Adogame reports that African Pentecostal churches in Europe reach beyond their immigrant congregations to evangelize in the European context. While replicating distinctive
African practices of worship and ministry, they also forge networks between Europe and Africa that have significance for the future of Christianity in each. Hanciles argues that the future of Christianity no longer resides in the West but instead will be shaped by African spirituality and the movement of its intellectual elite in a new wave of missionary migration throughout the world. The essays on India and China pick up similar themes, including intriguing case studies of Pandita Ramabai and Jing Dianying (powerful Pentecostal religious leaders), the 1938 Indian debate on the contextualization of the Gospel as "kingdom of God" vs. the church, and the role of the North China Theological Seminary and fundamentalism in China. This volume clearly achieves its goal, providing several other fine essays that address religion and globalization from a historical perspective. --Sherwood G. Lingenfelter Sherwood G. Lingenfelter is Professor of Anthropology, School of Intercultural Studies, and Provost and Senior Vice President, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 33, No. 2
Renewal for Mission in the 21st Century
Seminars for International Church Leaders, Missionaries, Mission Executives, Pastors, Educators, Students, and Lay Leaders
September 14­18, 2009 How to Develop Mission and Church Archives. Ms. Martha Lund Smalley, research services librarian at Yale Divinity School Library, New Haven, Connecticut, helps missionaries and church leaders identify, organize, and preserve essential records. Eight sessions. $175 September 21­25 The Internet and Mission: Getting Started. In a hands-on workshop, Mr. Wilson Thomas, Wilson Thomas Systems, Bedford, New Hampshire, and Dr. Dwight P. Baker, OMSC associate director, show how to get the most out of the World Wide Web for mission research. Eight sessions. $175 September 28­October 2 Doing Oral History: Helping Christians Tell Their Own Story. Dr. Jean-Paul Wiest, director of the Jesuit Beijing Center, Beijing, China, and Mrs. Michиle Sigg, DACB project manager, share skills and techniques for documenting mission and church history. Eight sessions. $175 October 12­16 Nurturing and Educating Transcultural Kids. Ms. Janet Blomberg and Ms. Elizabeth Stephens of Interaction International help you help your children meet the challenges they face as third-culture persons. Eight sessions. $175 October 19­23 Leadership, Fund-raising, and Donor Development for Missions. Mr. Rob Martin, director, First Fruit, Inc., Newport Beach, California, outlines steps for building the support base, including foundation funding, for mission. Eight sessions. $175 November 3­6 The Gospel of Peace at Work in a World of Conflict. Dr. Peter Kuzmic, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and Evangelical Theological Seminary, Osijek, Croatia, examines a variety of Christian approaches to peacemaking and considers contemporary examples of reconciliation ministry. Seven sessions in four days. $175
November 9­13 The Church on Six Continents: Many Strands in One Tapestry. Dr. Andrew F. Walls, honorary professor, University of Edinburgh, and former director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, presents OMSC's fifth Distinguished Mission Lectureship series--five lectures with discussions. Consultation with participants on topics of interest. $175 November 30­December 4 Grounding Theology in Cultural Context: Lessons from the South Pacific. Rev. Randall Prior, Uniting Church Theological College, Melbourne, Australia, and senior mission scholar in residence at OMSC, draws lessons from the post-independence South Pacific for the way we understand theology and how we do theology. Eight sessions. $175 December 7­11 climate change and Catastrophe: Paradigms of Response in Christian Mission. Dr. Allison M. Howell, Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission, and Culture, Ghana, considers Christian Responses to climate change--something that is not new in human history--and the catastrophes that often accompany climate change, so as to provide a framework for Christian mission today in facing new crises. Eight sessions. $175 2010 Student Seminars on World Mission For details, visit OVERSEAS MINISTRIES STUDY CENTER 490 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511 (203) 624-6672, ext. 315 [email protected] For details, visit

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