Studies in World Christianity, Issue 23.1

Appropriations of Christianity

Studies in World Christianity

The five main articles in this issue have been selected from papers given at the 2016 meeting of the Yale-Edinburgh Group on the history of the missionary movement and world Christianity, held at New College, Edinburgh, from 23 to 25 June 2016. The theme of the conference was ‘Responses to Missions: Appropriations, Revisions, and Rejections’. Perhaps the most significant shift discernible in the historiography of the missionary movement over the last few decades has been the progressive transfer of scholarly attention from the Western missionaries themselves to indigenous hearers, receptors and agents. Responses to missions were almost always multifaceted and only rarely can be described without qualification as either ‘acceptance’ or ‘rejection’. Indigenous peoples responded selectively to both the missionaries’ presence and their message. Sometimes they welcomed the former, for a variety of instrumental reasons, while being obstinately indifferent to the latter. On other occasions – particularly in the twentieth century – they appropriated the gospel itself while being less than enthusiastic about the continued presence and claims to religious authority of those who had first brought it. Continue reading

Studies in World Christianity, Issue 20.2

Polarities and Parallels

Studies in World ChristianityThe four articles in this issue of Studies in World Christianity span four separate geographical locations: India, China, Kenya and (unusually for this journal) Scotland. Their subject matter also ranges widely, from some of the theological issues raised by the Christian encounter with other religions to an exploration of the challenges presented to the churches by the ever-increasing influx of rural populations into urban environments – a narrative first played out in nineteenth-century Europe and then multiply rehearsed on African, Asian, Australasian or Latin American stages from the twentieth century until today. The four articles present us with a series of polarities and parallels that deserve careful reflection. Continue reading