Yale-Edinburgh 2021 – Call for Papers

Oral, Print, and Digital Cultures in World Christianity and the History of Mission
On-line, from New College, University of Edinburgh, 22–24 June 2021
Proposals due: 20 March 2021
Social media hashtag: #YaleEdin2021

The next meeting of the Yale-Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of Mission is to take place on-line, from New College, University of Edinburgh, from 22-24 June 2021. More information about the on-line format will be provided later.

We anticipate that the on-line format will increase the number of paper proposals that are submitted. Yet we will also be working with a condensed time schedule due to the multiple time zones we will be spanning. We will prioritise early career scholars and offer two options for paper presentations: (1) a short oral presentation in real time (15min + Q&A time) and (2) a presentation in the form of a pre-recorded 3 min video with a single slide.

When submitting an abstract please ensure that:

  • it is close to the theme of the conference,
  • you state the year you gained your PhD, or your student status
  • your preference for short oral presentation or pre-recorded 3 min video. Depending on demand, you may not be offered your first choice.

The theme of the meeting is the same as that of the cancelled 2020 conference.

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted by 20th March 2021 to cswc-events@ed.ac.uk.

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Studies in World Christianity, Issue 26.3

The COVID-19 Pandemic and World Christianity

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic will, for generations to come, constitute a point of reference for many endeavours, issues and social institutions, including religion. Some of the most public responses to the pandemic have been of a religious nature. The pandemic has also obviously affected our understanding of world Christianity and its contextual expressions and responses, especially in the face of the enigma of evil. Historically speaking, the pandemic has permanently inserted itself into how the Christian life is lived and expressed. It struck at a time on the Christian calendar when Christians worldwide were preparing to celebrate the major landmarks of the faith – Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost.

In non-Western contexts in particular, these historical Christian events occasion major celebrations in various church activities with some of them culminating in social gatherings in the holidays associated with the Crucifixion and the Resurrection in particular. In some parts of Europe where traditional church services are no longer the norm, the Monday after Pentecost is a public holiday. Whether these Christian landmarks were to be celebrated in religious services, Masses or as social gatherings, the coronavirus ensured that in-person meetings had to be aborted. In many cases, media technology of various sorts came to the rescue as churches and their leaders looked for innovative ways in which to stay in touch with the faithful.

We have dedicated this and the next issues of Studies in World Christianity to the study of how select Christian churches and communities from different continental contexts responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly regarding church services. Religion is itself a mediated phenomenon, and modern media technology has evolved as a major means of religious practice. In virtually all the studies relating to the church and the coronavirus scourge, media technology had to play a critical role in religious mediation and communion. The spread of COVID-19 led to the cancellation of events, negatively affected economics, disrupted political and social life and, most importantly for our purposes, religious life as well. When such negativities strike in terms of affliction, people search for answers. The Christian religious context, on account of its promises of salvation and deliverance from evil, became one of the main sources of appeal as people sought to make sense out of the pandemic situation.

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Yale-Edinburgh 2020 – Call for Papers

Oral, Print, and Digital Cultures in World Christianity and the History of Mission
New College, University of Edinburgh, 25–27 June 2020
Proposals due: March 6, 2020
Registration deadline: March 30, 2020

The next meeting of the Yale-Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of Mission will take place in New College, University of Edinburgh, from 25–27 June 2020. The theme will be Oral, Print, and Digital Cultures in World Christianity and the History of Mission

Studies in world Christianity and the history of mission have not been afraid to engage the topic of culture. However, they have mostly referred to the encounters of Western Christian cultures with another, whether that be Confucian and Hindu culture, or the indigenous cultures of the Americas, Africa, and Oceania. This year’s theme uses the language of culture to speak about three different mediums in which the Christian message is communicated and the Christian life is practiced. These cultures have developed somewhat chronologically, but they also simultaneously coexist in the contemporary world. 

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Wikipedia in the Classroom

As discussed elsewhere, Edinburgh’s World Christianity students have been working to bring what they are learning in their courses out into the wider world through Wikipedia. The University’s Wikimedian in Resident Ewan McAndrew interviewed Dr Alexander Chow1 and two students, Lucy Schouten and Nuam Hatsaw,2 about their experiences.


  1.  Abridged version available here
  2. Abridged version available here