Spirit and the Spiritual: Ancestors, Deities and the Holy Spirit in Church, and Mission 26th-28th June 2024 ‧ Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT ‧ #YaleEdin2024 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.
Please find details of our upcoming seminars below. They will usually be fortnightly on Tuesdays, in the Martin Hall and on Zoom. We also begin the semester with a whole-school seminar on Wednesday, January 17, on ‘The Digital in Theology and Religious Studies’.
Saturday 3rd February, 10am – 12:30pm Playfair Library, Old College, University of Edinburgh EH8 9YL
Eric Liddell is best-known for his athletic achievements, particularly his gold medal in the 400 metres at the Paris Olympics in 1924. In association with the Eric Liddell Community’s celebration of the centenary of that victory, this event will focus on the other aspect of his life, which was perhaps even more important to him, namely his life and work as a Christian missionary and teacher in China.
In this half-day programme, three scholars of the University of Edinburgh will focus on Liddell’s life and work in China, his legacy there, and the subsequent history of Chinese Christianity, worldwide and in China itself.
In the last issue, Studies in World Christianity highlighted several papers presented at the 2022 annual conference of the Yale–Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of Mission. The journal took stock of three decades since the group’s first meeting in 1992, which has since been instrumental in ushering into existence the field of ‘World Christianity’. As was noted in that issue’s editorial, this new academic endeavour had at its origins a postcolonial posture which moved away from a Christendom paradigm of expansion and conquest towards a new paradigm of indigenous initiative and Christianity’s polycentric and multicultural manifestations. Hence, World Christianity is not a shorthand for idiosyncratic expressions of Christianity ‘out there’, as is often (mis)understood. Rather, it is the dynamic nature of a worldwide religion that experiences encounter and contestation, continuity and discontinuity, growth and decline.