The Centre for the Study of World Christianity (formerly, the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World) is a research centre in the School of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh.
On the 27th of November 2023, Professor Esther Mombo, an alumna of the Centre, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from the University of Edinburgh. Below is her speech delivered upon receiving the prestigious honor.
Exactly 25 years ago today I graduated with a PhD from this exact place. I was given powers to read and to do all that pertains to the degree. Today I have been conferred with a honorary degree in recognition of the work I have done after the PhD degree.
I take this opportunity to thank my Ancestors on whose shoulders I have stood to be here today. I especially thank my late Grandmother Enis Mugesia Mkutu, my first theological educator who supported me to study theology when everybody thought I had lost my head as a young woman. I thank my parents Maria Vulimu Mombo and Stanely Mombo Maikuri; family, friends, colleagues, scholars, students, religious leaders here present and those watching this graduation online. I wish to thank St. Paul’s University, an institution that I have served over the years. Thank you all for believing in me and supporting me in this journey.
After receiving a PhD in 1998, I entered a new space and life of serving in many capacities and growing people in different institutions. This meant moving between Circles of concerned theologians and squares of unconcerned theologians.1
Today I have received a honorary PhD, in recognition of the work that I have done after my PhD. Indeed this honorary degree will open more spaces of service to God and humanity.
So thank you the Centre for [the Study of] World Christianity and Edinburgh University for this honor.
Asante Sana Embwo Muno Imbuya Mono
This is a play of words, as Professor Mombo is closely associated with an organisation known as the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians. ↩
Studies in World Christianity is pleased to announce an open call for contributions to be considered as the Walls-Bediako Memorial Article—in memory of Andrew F. Walls and Kwame Bediako. The article will be featured in an issue of Studies in World Christianity and published as Gold Open Access, with the normal £1,000 Article Processing Charge waived. This will make the article freely accessible online, with extra publicity from Studies in World Christianity and Edinburgh University Press, and heighten the visibility of the author and their scholarship. Given the important place of language in the works of Walls and Bediako, if the author’s mother tongue is not English, we hope to link the published article to a mother-tongue version provided by the author on the Edinburgh University Press website.
As we get ready to welcome new students, we are pleased to announce our research seminars for the upcoming semester. Seminars will be held fortnightly on Tuesday afternoons in the Martin Hall, and we hope for them to be hybrid on Zoom. Please direct queries to email@example.com.
The Centre is pleased to have begun work on the ‘Global Christians in Edinburgh’ project.
From December 2022 to June 2023, the project sought to offer a baseline of the global diversity of Christianity in Edinburgh and the collaborative efforts of these communities. It coincides with a historic period of both downturn in many historic Edinburgh churches and upsurge in Christianity amongst migrants coming from Africa, Asia, Latin American, Oceania, and other parts of Europe, resulting in the creation of new fellowships, (sub)congregations, and worship services/mass.
For more information about the project and the report released in July 2023, see our dedicated project page.