Spirit and the Spiritual:
Ancestors, Deities and the Holy Spirit in Church, and Mission
26th-28th June 2024 ‧ Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT ‧
Proposals due 15th February 2024
Missions from the West brought Christianity into worlds with a wide array of cosmologies. Recipient cultures embraced Christian faith while negotiating differing perspectives of spiritual realities. The subsequent transition from missionary Christianity to indigenous faith produced a range of responses to the notion of ‘spiritual beings.’ Through mission, Christianity encountered traditional religions which venerated ancestors, revered spiritual beings, and navigated intricate relationships between deities in a world far more complex than the typical Western experience. From Korea to Brazil, Nigeria to Samoa, France to India – these multifaceted cosmologies continue to animate the Christian experience producing dynamic expressions of the faith. Movements of the Holy Spirit represent another dimension of Christianity. A wide range of pneumatic Christianities populate the long history of Christian expansion around the world.
World Christianity scholarship is deeply enriched through exploration of the historical, theological and missiological implications of these relationships between the Holy Spirit and the Spiritual worlds of Christians across the globe. The Yale Edinburgh conference 2024 especially welcomes contributions that: illuminate the interactions between spiritual realities of recipient cultures and missionary notions of the Holy Spirit; provide historical accounts of religious transformations with respect to ancestors, deities, and other spiritual beings in the process of Christian expansion; enlarge current understandings of local and diasporic perspectives of spiritual beings and their role in Christian expressions; provide comparative studies of missionary approaches to spirits and deities across denominations and across time; venture into ecumenical and interfaith dynamics with respect to spirits and the spiritual; or map trajectories of discourses on the Holy Spirit and other beings in a rapidly changing world.
Please supply an abstract of 250 words to email@example.com by 15th February 2024. Your abstract should clearly state, among other things, the enquiry, method, and historical context in which you situate your paper. For further details, see Yale-Edinburgh website.