About

The Centre for the Study of World Christianity (formerly, the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World) exists to advance high-quality scholarship in Christianity as a polycentric faith whose adherents are now far more numerous in the majority world than in Europe or North America.1 It has the primary post-graduate focus of the School of Divinity’s keen interest in the history and contemporary reality of Christianity as a world religion.

We seek to make a distinctive contribution to scholarly knowledge in all areas of the study of world Christianity through interdisciplinary research, teaching and publication.

The following fields are of particular interest:

  • Tracing the complex historical trajectories and socio-cultural processes which have led to the current reality of Christianity as a majority-world religion.
  • Analysing and interpreting the past patterns and contemporary processes of theological contextualisation and construction employed by Christians in and from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific in the appropriation and re-shaping of the faith in diverse socio-political and religious contexts.
  • Exploring the significance for contemporary religion and society of the current global diaspora of African and Asian Christianities.

Within the University of Edinburgh, the Centre has close co-operative links with: the Centre of African Studies, the Centre for South Asian Studies, the Scottish Centre for Chinese Studies, and the HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre of the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World.

The Centre’s activities are overseen by a School-appointed Advisory Committee which includes academic representatives of the School of Divinity and other Schools in the University, and an elected student member.


  1. For the history of the Centre, see Brian Stanley, ‘Founding the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World’, in William R. Burrows, Mark R. Gornik, and Janice A. McLean, eds., Understanding World Christianity: The Vision and the Work of Andrew F. Walls (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2011), pp. 51–59. Pre-publication version available here Download