Studies in World Christianity, Issue 27.1

COVID-19 and the Socially-Present World Church

By the time this issue of Studies in World Christianity goes to press, in March 2021, it will have been a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. At the time of that declaration, the Director General of WHO stated that there were 118,000 cases reported globally in 114 countries, with more than 90 per cent of the cases in China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. Even at that early stage, the danger of COVID-19 seemed remote to those living in other parts of the world. Yet soon after, regional and national governments began to close borders and implement different lockdown procedures. Certain people would be identified as ‘key workers’ as their jobs were seen as essential support for society. However, these individuals would be more readily exposed to the virus, which revealed inequalities across gendered, racial and socio-economic groupings. Furthermore, frustrations around the public health crisis resulted in forms of racial conflict. Many Western countries would see increasing reports of anti-Asian racism, as those of East Asian extract were scapegoated as causing the so-called ‘China virus’. Following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, major cities throughout the United States and other parts of the world would burst out in protest against police brutality towards blacks. It appears as though humanity has become more and more ‘socially distant’.

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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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World Christianity at New College

Professor Brian Stanley leads this discussion with Centre alumni Dr Jooseop Keum (Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary, Seoul, South Korea), Professor Esther Mombo (St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya), Dr Janice McLean-Farrell (New Brunswick Theological Seminary), and Professor Timothy Tennent (Asbury Theological Seminary). As part of the 175 year anniversary of New College, the panel reflects on the place of World Christianity in New College, University of Edinburgh. They speak about how the Centre and its former staff (such as Professor Andrew Walls, Dr Jack Thompson, Professor David Kerr, Professor James Cox, and Ms Margaret Acton) nurtured a community of scholars in world Christianity.

Research Seminars (Spring 2021)

We are looking forward to five seminars this semester. They are organised along the hybrid model of last semester, on Zoom and in the Rainy Hall, whenever we are able. The first seminars will definitely be online-only due to current Scottish government guidance. Please direct queries (including for Zoom login details) to emma.wildwood@ed.ac.uk.

The schedule is also available in PDF.