Emma Wild-Wood has written a piece to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Studies in World Christianity.
Scripture, prayer and worship are three key elements of the internal life of Christians across the world. Corporately or individually, Christians hear, read, enact and inhabit the bible. They pray alone, in twos and threes, and in large gatherings. They pray aloud or in silence. They pray spontaneously or following a common form of words. Christians sing songs and make music. They perform and recite liturgies. Such is the ubiquity of these elements that it seems surprising that it was not until 2018 that the Yale-Edinburgh Conference chose ‘Scripture, Prayer and Worship in the History of Missions and World Christianity’ as its theme. This special issue of Studies in World Christianity brings together six of the excellent papers that were presented at the conference. Together they offer a time frame of about two hundred years and an impressive global range – New Zealand, Argentina, India, USA and China. Although they only focus upon Protestant practice, the articles demonstrate how rich that practice has become.Continue reading
Studies in World Christianity has sought to bring to the attention of the academy those Christian communities and theologies that have frequently been overlooked. The four articles in this issue deal – in very different ways – with questions of marginality and minority. The first two articles use historical and social-science methods to examine Christian groups in Burma and Jordan that are socially and religiously marginal. The second two articles examine political theologies. One describes the historical development of a theology of justice in war from China that has been overlooked by more prominent Western theological traditions. The other offers a constructive theology that places marginalised people in Australia at the centre of Christology. The articles present no single understanding of marginality: it is a social fact; it is something that Christian belonging can overcome; it is Christ-like; it challenges the majority and the influential; it has caused insights to be overlooked. Nevertheless, these articles, as they inquire into people, places and ideas that have been understudied or neglected, provide new angles on conversion, identity, just war and Christology. (Continue reading Emma Wild-Wood’s introduction here.)
- Pum Za Mang, The Politics of Religious Conversion among the Ethnic Chin in Burma
- Anna Hager, The Orthodox Issue in Jordan: The Struggle for an Arab and Orthodox Identity
- Wai Luen Kwok, Seeking Justice in the Midst of War: The Experience of War for Chinese Christians as Revealed in The True Light Review, 1937–1941
- Liam Miller, Christification of the Least: Potential for Christology and Discipleship
It is a truism to state that Christianity has spread across the world as a result of cross-cultural communication. Andrew Walls, who has done so much to set the approach, research questions and tone of World Christianity studies, has highlighted how scripture and Christian thought are translated into new languages and thought-forms as Christianity spreads. Walls, who celebrates his ninetieth birthday this year, has encouraged attention to the historical processes at work in communication that are examined in this edition of Studies in World Christianity. Between them, the articles in this edition illustrate the variety of form and effectiveness of cross-cultural communication in the modern history of encounter with Christianity. They also show familiar patterns. All these articles prioritise textual and oral communication. Reading, writing, preaching and proclaiming are the main modes of communication under scrutiny. (Continue reading Emma Wild-Wood’s introduction here.) Continue reading