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.
The academic field of World Christianity, as we know it today, owes no small debt to the Yale–Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and the History of Mission (formerly known as the Yale–Edinburgh Group in the History of Missions and World Christianity). The term ‘World Christianity’ itself has much earlier vintage. It arose from within the ecumenical movement of the first half of the twentieth century and, as such, reflected the twin imperatives of unity and mission. However, the term fell out of use until the 1990s. It was at the inaugural Yale–Edinburgh Conference in 1992 when the term ‘World Christianity’ was again deployed, this time as the conference theme, ‘From Christendom to World Christianity’. That first meeting was held on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in America. As Dana Robert recalls, it signified ‘a postcolonial stance of moving beyond European Christendom of the old [Kenneth Scott] Latourette approach to mission history’ that focused on the geographic expansion of Christianity, ‘to that of indigenous initiative and Christianity as a multicultural religion not tied to one hemisphere’. Started by former colleagues Andrew F. Walls and Lamin Sanneh, holding meetings at their respective institutions, the Yale–Edinburgh Group became a seminal discursive space for a postcolonial approach to mission history. It also brought to light the importance of documenting and preserving historical archival collections associated with Christianity as a worldwide phenomenon.
Women in World Christianity: Navigating Identities
Edited by Nuam Hatzaw and Jessie Fubara-Manuel
Leading Ghanaian theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye describes theology without the inclusion of women as a one-winged bird – hindered and unable to soar to its full potential. In her opening address at the inaugural meeting of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians (the Circle) in 1989, she contended that African theology needs to pay proper attention to women’s issues, experiences and theological reflections in order that it might be a two-winged theology that can take full flight. Oduyoye’s comments highlighted the pervasive omission of women’s voices within religious institutions and theological and religious studies literature. Despite women’s important and pivotal roles in these arenas, their contributions, perspectives and needs have gone consistently underplayed, or been otherwise dismissed.
Elizabeth Marteijn has written a piece debunking five myths of Middle Eastern Christians. Also worth a read is the special issue of Studies in World Christianity 28.3 which focuses on Middle Eastern Christianity.