Faith, Healing, and Medicine in the time of COVID-19

Centre Co-director Dr Emma Wild-Wood has been collaborating with researchers in DR Congo to understand how faith communities there have been impacted by COVID-19. Here is some material developed for UK secondary schools to show how religious studies can help global health studies.

Studies in World Christianity 28.1

Oral, Print and Digital Cultures

A few years ago, Andrew Walls told me that he had once hoped to become a missionary to China. However, with the rise of the Chinese communist revolution, those plans were dashed, and he eventually made his way to Sierra Leone in 1957, followed by Nigeria in 1962. One wonders how the study of World Christianity would have been different if the doyen of the academic field spent his formative missionary years in China instead of Africa. Would he have had the same epiphany in Beijing or Shanghai or Wenzhou that he was ‘actually living in a second-century church’? When considering Confucianism or Daoism, would he likewise speak of the place of ‘primal religions’ in shaping the consciousness of another faith, be it Christianity or Buddhism? Both are undoubtedly possibilities. But perhaps, in this parallel universe, the area less likely to have developed would have been his recognition of the importance of oral cultures – a pervasive characteristic in his beloved Africa, but scantly recognised in China.

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Fleeing the Hotspots #COP26

On November 16, 2021, Dr Ruth Padilla DeBorst delivered the Alexander Duff Lecture as part of COP26, entitled “Fleeing the hot spots: Climate change, migration and mission.” Her lecture was followed by responses from two World Christianity PhD students, Nuam Hatzaw and Alec Simpson, and a time of discussion.

The Alexander Duff Lecture was sponsored by the Church of Scotland, and cohosted by the Centre for the Study of World Christianity and the Centre for Theology and Public Issues.

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.

The Theatre of Conversion

On November 2, 2021, Professor Anthony Clark (Whitworth University) delivered a paper entitled “The Theatre of Conversion: Catholic Drama and the (Re)presentation of China,” speaking about the Jesuit mission to China during the late-Qing that employed the dramatization of Boxer era Christian martyrs to “canonize China” as an East Asian holy land.

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.