The history of the missions is complex and fraught. Though modern missions began with European colonialism, the outcome was a largely non-Western global Christianity. Highly esteemed scholar Andrew Walls explores every facet of the movement, including its history, theory, and future.
Walls locates the birth of the Protestant missionary movement in the West with the Puritans and Pietists and their efforts to convert the Native Americans they displaced. Tracing the movement into the twentieth century, Walls shows how colonialism and missionary work turned out to be essentially incompatible. Missionaries must live on another culture’s terms, and their goal—the establishment of churches of every nation—depends on accepting new, indigenous Christians as equals. Now that Christianity has become primarily an African, Latin American, and Asian religion rather than a European one, the dynamics of the church’s mission have transformed. Sensitive to this shift, Walls indicates new areas of listening to and learning from this new center of Christianity and speculates on the theological contributions from a truly global church.
Throughout his long and fruitful career, Walls told the story of missions as a dedicated Christian scholar, teacher, and mentor. Prior to his passing in 2021, he entrusted the editing of his lectures to his friends and students. The result of this labor of love, The Missionary Movement from the West is a must-read for scholars of missiology, world Christianity, and church history.
This is a recording of an online book launch of the festschrift produced in honour of Professor Brian Stanley, Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity(Brill 2020). The launch included comments from two of the contributors, Professor Dana Robert and Dr Marina Wang, and the honouree.
If you are unable to access the video above from YouTube, you can also try watching it from the University of Edinburgh’s Media Hopper service.
Despite lockdown my monograph is out now (international hardback and e-version), and will appear in East Africa next month with Twaweza press. Here’s some thoughts on its process and aims.
I was formally introduced to Apolo Kivebulaya in December 1993 – at his grave outside the Anglican Cathedral in Boga, Zaire. After contemplating the simple metal cross with stone plinth and the graves of other church leaders beside it, I was taken to meet one of his adopted children. We walked past the hospital and the schools which Apolo had instigated, to the house of Yoweri Rwakaikara, now an elderly man. Rwakaikara regaled me with stories of Apolo’s personal charisma and their journeys together during the 1920s as if they had happened the previous day.