Special Issue "Broadening Themes and Methodologies in the Research and Writing of History and Christian Mission Theologies"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 January 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Religion, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76706, USA
Interests: Christian mission; Christian theology; history; contextualization; cross-cultural and inter-religious dynamics; transregional theologies; comparative and transregional history and mission

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue seeks to explore the intersection between history, mission, and theology in the worldwide Christian movement. Essays are invited that identify and investigate new themes or methodologies in the research and writing of the history of Christianity and Christian mission theology. While recent scholarship has begun to diffuse the separation between the history of Christianity and the history of Christian mission, this special issue directly challenges the division between the history of Christianity, the history of Christian mission, and the history of theology. Rather than separate, the issue's focus argues that they are in constant conversation. Thus, the issue's central question might be framed as:  How have Christian mission activity and theological constructs shaped, reordered, deconstructed, etc, each other in particular periods and contexts?

For this issue, history of Christianity is conceived as the narrative of theologically engaged and active Christian communities in specific contexts within time and geography. Christian mission theology is “theology for” rather than “theology of.”

The purpose of the special issue is to focus on the relationship between the history of Christian mission, Christian history and the history of Christian theology. Hence, the issue challenges the assumption that these disciplines are in silos. As stated in the call for paper, “this special issue takes up the call directly by challenging the separation between the history of Christianity, the history of Christian mission, and the history of theology.”

Scholars working in these three disciplines are encouraged and invited to submit papers where these disciplines interact and interplay with each other, providing fresh interpretations that intertwine Christian mission, history, and theology.

The issue will not only supplement but contribute to an increasing trend in world Christianity studies of integrating these disciplines in doctoral seminars, dissertation projects, ethno-historical studies, and Christian studies in general. It will ground the increasing number of junior scholars asking interdisciplinary questions and seeking an academic space for their work.

Prof. Dr. Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi

Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Christian mission
  • Christian theology
  • history
  • contextualization
  • cross-cultural and inter-religious dynamics
  • transregional theologies
  • comparative and transregional history and mission

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Article
To Walk with Slaves: Jesuit Contexts and the Atlantic World in the Cartagena Mission to Enslaved Africans, 1605–1654
Religions 2021, 12(5), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12050334 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 834
Abstract
The Jesuit mission to enslaved Africans founded in 1605 in Cartagena de las Indias is amongst the most extraordinary religious developments of early colonial Latin America. By the time Alonso de Sandoval, S.J. and Pedro Claver, S.J. began their work to baptize and [...] Read more.
The Jesuit mission to enslaved Africans founded in 1605 in Cartagena de las Indias is amongst the most extraordinary religious developments of early colonial Latin America. By the time Alonso de Sandoval, S.J. and Pedro Claver, S.J. began their work to baptize and catechize the thousands of slaves who passed through Cartagena’s port each year, the Society of Jesus had already established a global missionary enterprise, including an extensive network of communication amongst its missionaries and colleges. Amidst this intramissionary context, Sandoval wrote De instauranda Aethiopum salute—a treatise informed largely by these annual letters, personal correspondences, and interactions with the diverse multitudes of people who could be encountered in this early colonial cosmopolitan city—aimed at promoting the necessity of African salvation. From East Asia to Latin America, Jesuits followed the example of their apostolic missionary, Francis Xavier, to bring the Catholic faith to non-Christian peoples. Through De instauranda and the Catholic Church’s collected testimony for the sainthood of Claver, we see how Sandoval and Claver, like other Jesuits of the time, arose as innovative and unique missionaries, adapting to their context while attempting to model the Jesuit missionary spirit. In doing so, this article posits, the historical-religious context of the early modern Atlantic world and global Jesuit missions influenced Sandoval and Claver to accompany enslaved Africans as a missionary theology. Full article
Article
The Prophet and the Poet: Richard Shaull and the Shaping of Rubem Alves’s Liberative Theopoetics
Religions 2021, 12(4), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12040251 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1022
Abstract
This article explores the intersection between history, mission, and theology in Latin America by shedding light on the encounter between North American missionary Richard Shaull and Brazilian theologian and poet Rubem Alves. It examines Shaull’s impact on Alves as Alves became, first, one [...] Read more.
This article explores the intersection between history, mission, and theology in Latin America by shedding light on the encounter between North American missionary Richard Shaull and Brazilian theologian and poet Rubem Alves. It examines Shaull’s impact on Alves as Alves became, first, one of the founders of Latin American liberation theology and, later, one of its challengers as he moved away from normative theological language towards theopoetics. In this article, I underscore particular snapshots of Alves’ vast work, noting that the images of the poet and the prophet that permeate much of it are not mutually exclusive. I argue that Rubem Alves’ provocative work remains an important resource for a theory of action that takes subjectivity and beauty seriously. Throughout this article, Shaull and Alves are presented as different but complementary thinkers, representative of Alves’ prophetic and poetic types. It is argued that a closer look at the similarities and complementarities in the works of this duo may provide us with new insights through which Rubem Alves’ poetic voice and Richard Shaull’s prophetic persistence can come together as resources for the reimagination of our hopes for a more beautiful and just world. Full article
Article
Discipled by the West?—The Influence of the Theology of Protestant Missionaries in China on Chinese Christianity through the Translation of the Chinese Union Version of the Bible
Religions 2021, 12(4), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12040250 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 926
Abstract
Over the last one hundred years, the Chinese Union Version of the Bible (CUV)—translated by Western Protestant missionaries—has enjoyed an unparalleled status as the Chinese Bible or the “Authorized Version” of the Chinese Bible. However, despite such towering significance, no scholarly works to [...] Read more.
Over the last one hundred years, the Chinese Union Version of the Bible (CUV)—translated by Western Protestant missionaries—has enjoyed an unparalleled status as the Chinese Bible or the “Authorized Version” of the Chinese Bible. However, despite such towering significance, no scholarly works to date have systematically examined the influences of Protestant missionary theology on the translation of the CUV and, in turn, on Chinese Christianity. As an introductory attempt to explore this question, this paper first highlights this gap in current scholarship and the importance of filling this gap. Then, it presents four factors and two limitations in examining the theology of the CUV and conducts a case study on the theological topic of dichotomy versus trichotomy in the translation of the CUV along with four other Chinese Bible translations. After examining how the translators’ theology might have influenced these translations, it suggests how such influence through the translation of the CUV might have shaped Chinese Christianity both past and present, thereby demonstrating how the understanding of Chinese Christianity can be deepened by examining the relationships between missionaries’ theology, their Bible translations, and the development of Chinese Christianity. Full article
Article
The Altar and the Rail: “Catholicity” and African American Inclusion in the 19th Century Episcopal Church
Religions 2021, 12(4), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12040224 - 24 Mar 2021
Viewed by 515
Abstract
Examining the denominational history of The Episcopal Church from the point of view of mission shifts the view of the church’s nature and its most important figures. These become those people who struggled to overcome boundaries of race, culture, and geography in extending [...] Read more.
Examining the denominational history of The Episcopal Church from the point of view of mission shifts the view of the church’s nature and its most important figures. These become those people who struggled to overcome boundaries of race, culture, and geography in extending the church’s reach and incorporating new people into it, and puts issues of racial relationships at the forefront of the church’s story, rather than as an aside. White Episcopalians from the 1830s forward were focused heavily on the meaning of “catholicity” in terms of liturgical and sacramental practice, clerical privilege, and the centrality of the figure of the Bishop to the validity of the church, in increasingly tense and conflicted debates that have been traced by multiple scholars. However, the development of catholicity as a strategic marker of missional thinking, particularly in the context of a racially diverse church, has not been examined. The paper investigates the ways in which Black Episcopalians and their white allies used the theological ideal of catholicity creatively and strategically in the nineteenth century, both responding to a particular missional history and contending that missional success depended upon true catholicity. Full article
Article
Exclusive Monotheism and Sahagún’s Mission: The Problem of Universals in the First Book of the Florentine Codex
Religions 2021, 12(3), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030204 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 555
Abstract
This article outlines the missionary methods of the Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún, his interaction with Nahua communities in central Mexico, and the production of a text called the Florentine Codex. This article argues that the philosophical problem of universals, whether “common natures” [...] Read more.
This article outlines the missionary methods of the Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún, his interaction with Nahua communities in central Mexico, and the production of a text called the Florentine Codex. This article argues that the philosophical problem of universals, whether “common natures” existed and whether they existed across all cultures, influenced iconoclastic arguments about Nahua gods and idolatry. Focusing on the Florentine Codex Book 1 and its Appendix, containing a description of Nahua gods and their refutation, the article establishes how Sahagún and his team contended with the concept of universals as shaped by Nahua history and religion. This article presents the Florentine Codex Book 1 as a case study that points to larger patterns in the Christian religion, its need for mission, and its construal of true and false religion. Full article
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Article
Give Them Christ: Native Agency in the Evangelization of Puerto Rico, 1900 to 1917
Religions 2021, 12(3), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030196 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 553
Abstract
The scholarship on the history of Protestant missions to Puerto Rico after the Spanish American War of 1898 emphasizes the Americanizing tendencies of the missionaries in the construction of the new Puerto Rican. There is no doubt that the main missionary motif during [...] Read more.
The scholarship on the history of Protestant missions to Puerto Rico after the Spanish American War of 1898 emphasizes the Americanizing tendencies of the missionaries in the construction of the new Puerto Rican. There is no doubt that the main missionary motif during the 1890s was indeed civilization. Even though the Americanizing motif was part of the evangelistic efforts of some missionaries, new evidence shows that a minority of missionaries, among them Presbyterians James A. McAllister and Judson Underwood, had a clear vision of indigenization/contextualization for the emerging church based on language (Spanish) and culture (Puerto Rican). The spread of Christianity was successful not only because of the missionaries but also because native agents took up the task of evangelizing their own people; they were not passive spectators but active agents translating and processing the message of the gospel to fulfill their own people’s needs based on their own individual cultural assumptions. This article problematizes the past divisions of such evangelizing activities between the history of Christianity, mission history, and theology by analyzing the native ministries of Adela Sousa (a Bible woman) and Miguel Martinez in light of the teachings of the American missionaries. The investigation claims that because of Puerto Rican agents’ roles in the process of evangelization, a new fusion between the history of Christianity, mission history, and theology emerged as soon as new converts embraced and began to preach the gospel. Full article
Article
Thirty Years of Mission in Taiwan: The Case of Presbyterian Missionary George Leslie Mackay
Religions 2021, 12(3), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030190 - 12 Mar 2021
Viewed by 589
Abstract
The aims of this paper are to analyze the missionary endeavors of the first Canadian Presbyterian missionary in Taiwan, George Leslie Mackay (1844–1901), as described in From Far Formosa: The Islands, Its People and Missions, and to explore how Christian theology was [...] Read more.
The aims of this paper are to analyze the missionary endeavors of the first Canadian Presbyterian missionary in Taiwan, George Leslie Mackay (1844–1901), as described in From Far Formosa: The Islands, Its People and Missions, and to explore how Christian theology was established among and adapted to the Taiwanese people: the approaches that Mackay used and the missionary strategies that he implemented, as well as the difficulties that he faced. Given that Mackay’s missionary strategy was clearly highly successful—within 30 years, he had built 60 churches and made approximately 2000 converts—the question of how he achieved these results is certainly worth considering. Furthermore, from the outset, Mackay was perceived and received very positively in Taiwan and is considered something of a folk hero in the country even today. In the present-day narrative of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, Mackay is seen as someone whose efforts to establish an independent church with native local leadership helped to introduce democracy to Taiwan. However, in some of the scholarship, missionaries such as Mackay are portrayed as profit seekers. This paper seeks to give a voice to Mackay himself and thereby to provide a more symmetrical approach to mission history. Full article
Article
Dalit Theology and Indian Christian History in Dialogue: Constructive and Practical Possibilities
Religions 2021, 12(3), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030180 - 10 Mar 2021
Viewed by 960
Abstract
In this article, I consider how an integration of Dalit theology and Indian Christian history could help Dalit theologians in their efforts to connect more deeply with the lived realities of today’s Dalit Christians. Drawing from the foundational work of such scholars as [...] Read more.
In this article, I consider how an integration of Dalit theology and Indian Christian history could help Dalit theologians in their efforts to connect more deeply with the lived realities of today’s Dalit Christians. Drawing from the foundational work of such scholars as James Massey and John C. B. Webster, I argue for and begin a deeper and more comprehensive Dalit reading and theological analysis of the history of Christianity and mission in India. My explorations—touching on India’s Thomas/Syrian, Catholic, Protestant, and Pentecostal traditions—reveal the persistence and complexity of caste oppression throughout Christian history in India, and they simultaneously draw attention to over-looked, empowering, and liberative resources that are bound to Dalit Christians lives, both past and present. More broadly, I suggest that historians and theologians in a variety of contexts—not just in India—can benefit from blurring the lines between their disciplines. Full article
Article
Traversing a Tightrope between Ecumenism and Exclusivism: The Intertwined History of South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church and the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian in Nyasaland (Malawi)
Religions 2021, 12(3), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030176 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 523
Abstract
During the first few decades of the 20th century, the Nkhoma mission of the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa became involved in an ecumenical venture that was initiated by the Church of Scotland’s Blantyre mission, and the Free Church of Scotland’s Livingstonia [...] Read more.
During the first few decades of the 20th century, the Nkhoma mission of the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa became involved in an ecumenical venture that was initiated by the Church of Scotland’s Blantyre mission, and the Free Church of Scotland’s Livingstonia mission in central Africa. Geographically sandwiched between these two Scots missions in Nyasaland (presently Malawi) was Nkhoma in the central region of the country. During a period of history when the DRC in South Africa had begun to regressively disengage from ecumenical entanglements in order to focus on its developing discourse of Afrikaner Christian nationalism, this venture in ecumenism by one of its foreign missions was a remarkable anomaly. Yet, as this article illustrates, the ecumenical project as finalized at a conference in 1924 was characterized by controversy and nearly became derailed as a result of the intransigence of white DRC missionaries on the subject of eating together with black colleagues at a communal table. Negotiations proceeded and somehow ended in church unity despite the DRC’s missionaries’ objection to communal eating. After the merger of the synods of Blantyre, Nkhoma and Livingstonia into the unified CCAP, distinct regional differences remained, long after the colonial missionaries departed. In terms of its theological predisposition, especially on the hierarchy of social relations, the Nkhoma synod remains much more conservative than both of its neighboring synods in the CCAP to the south and north. Race is no longer a matter of division. More recently, it has been gender, and especially the issue of women’s ordination to ministry, which has been affirmed by both Blantyre and Livingstonia, but resisted by the Nkhoma synod. Back in South Africa, these events similarly had an impact on church history and theological debate, but in a completely different direction. As the theology of Afrikaner Christian nationalism and eventually apartheid came into positions of power in the 1940s, the DRC’s Nkhoma mission in Malawi found itself in a position of vulnerability and suspicion. The very fact of its participation in an ecumenical project involving ‘liberal’ Scots in the formation of an indigenous black church was an intolerable digression from the normative separatism that was the hallmark of the DRC under apartheid. Hence, this article focuses on the variegated entanglements of Reformed Church history, mission history, theology and politics in two different 20th-century African contexts, Malawi and South Africa. Full article
Article
Assessing Jesuit Intellectual Apostolate in Modern Shanghai (1847–1949)
by
Religions 2021, 12(3), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030159 - 28 Feb 2021
Viewed by 510
Abstract
The various endeavors led by Jesuits under the auspices to the Plan Scientifique du Kiang-Nan (Scientific Plan for the Jiangnan region) constituted a defining moment in the history of their mission in modern China. The Jesuits aimed to found a scientific capital that [...] Read more.
The various endeavors led by Jesuits under the auspices to the Plan Scientifique du Kiang-Nan (Scientific Plan for the Jiangnan region) constituted a defining moment in the history of their mission in modern China. The Jesuits aimed to found a scientific capital that would also constitute the base of their East Asian mission, a project that led to a far-reaching engagement in education and sciences. The multiple projects they undertook were located within the framework of Western knowledge. The traditional Jesuit strategy adapted itself to a new context by encouraging a constructive and fruitful interaction between religion and science. Jesuit intellectual apostolate included not only research but also the dissemination of technologies and knowledge central to the rise of modernity in China. The entry into this country of well-educated, deeply zealous Jesuit missionaries along with their observations on the social and political changes taking place decisively contributed to the modernization of Shanghai and to the emergence of multi-perspective narratives about the destiny of the city. Assessing the Jiangnan-based Jesuits’ continuous efforts as well as the challenges and contradictions they met with help us to integrate the seemingly conflicting ethos of Christian mission and scientific quest into a reframed perspective of global history. Full article
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Article
Migration, Interfaith Engagement, and Mission among Somali Refugees in Kenya: Assessing the Cape Town Commitment from a Global South Perspective One Decade On
Religions 2021, 12(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020129 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 553
Abstract
In the last decade, since the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (2010) in Cape Town, South Africa, the world has significantly changed. The majority of the world’s Christians are located in the Global South. Globalization, conflict, and migration have catalyzed the emergence [...] Read more.
In the last decade, since the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (2010) in Cape Town, South Africa, the world has significantly changed. The majority of the world’s Christians are located in the Global South. Globalization, conflict, and migration have catalyzed the emergence of multifaith communities. All these developments have in one way or another impacted missions in twenty-first-century sub-Saharan Africa. As both Christianity and Islam are spreading and expanding, new approaches to a peaceful and harmonious coexistence have been developed that seem to be hampering the mission of the Church as delineated in the Cape Town Commitment (2010). Hence a missiological assessment of the Cape Town Commitment is imperative for the new decade’s crosscutting developments and challenges. In this article, the author contends that the mission theology of the 2010 Lausanne Congress no longer addresses the contemporary complex reality of a multifaith context occasioned by refugee crises in Kenya. The article will also describe the Somali refugee situation in Nairobi, Kenya, occasioned by political instability and violence in Somalia. Finally, the article will propose a methodology for performing missions for interfaith engagement in Nairobi’s Eastleigh refugee centers in the post Cape Town Commitment era. The overall goal is to provide mainstream evangelical mission models that are biblically sound, culturally appropriate, and tolerant to the multifaith diversity in conflict areas. Full article
Article
Christ in Yaqui Garb: Teresa Urrea’s Christian Theology and Ethic
Religions 2021, 12(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020126 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 536
Abstract
A healer, Mexican folk saint, and revolutionary figurehead, Teresa Urrea exhibited a deeply inculturated Christianity. Yet in academic secondary literature and historical fiction that has arisen around Urrea, she is rarely examined as a Christian exemplar. Seen variously as an exemplary feminist, chicana [...] Read more.
A healer, Mexican folk saint, and revolutionary figurehead, Teresa Urrea exhibited a deeply inculturated Christianity. Yet in academic secondary literature and historical fiction that has arisen around Urrea, she is rarely examined as a Christian exemplar. Seen variously as an exemplary feminist, chicana, Yaqui, curandera, and even religious seeker, Urrea’s self-identification with Christ is seldom foregrounded. Yet in a 1900 interview, Urrea makes that relation to Christ explicit. Indeed, in her healing work, she envisioned herself emulating Christ. She understood her abilities to be given by God. She even followed an ethic which she understood to be an emulation of Christ. Closely examining that interview, this essay argues that Urrea’s explicit theology and ethic is, indeed, a deeply indigenized Christianity. It is a Christianity that has attended closely to the religion’s central figure and sought to emulate him. Yet it is also a theology and ethic that emerged from her own social and geographic location and, in particular, the Yaqui social imaginary. Urrea’s theology and ethics—centered on the person of Christ—destabilized the colonial order and forced those who saw her to see Christ in Yaqui, female garb. Full article
Article
Intertwining Christian Mission, Theology, and History: A Case Study of the Basel Mission among the Thiyyas and Badagas of Kerala, 1870–1913
Religions 2021, 12(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020121 - 15 Feb 2021
Viewed by 578
Abstract
For centuries, various denominations of Christian missionaries have contributed in a larger way towards the spread of Christianity among the people of Indian sub-continent. Each Church had its own principles of preaching the word of God and undertook welfare activities in and around [...] Read more.
For centuries, various denominations of Christian missionaries have contributed in a larger way towards the spread of Christianity among the people of Indian sub-continent. Each Church had its own principles of preaching the word of God and undertook welfare activities in and around the mission-stations. From establishing schools to providing medical aids, the Christian missionaries were involved in constant perseverance to improve the ‘indigenous’ societies not only in terms of amenities and opportunities, but also in spiritual aspects. Despite conversion being the prime motive, every Mission prepared ground on which their undertakings found meanings and made an impact over people’s lives. These endeavours, combining missiological and theological discourses, brought hope and success to the missionaries, and in our case study, the Basel Mission added to the history of the Christian Mission while operating in the coastal and hilly districts of Kerala during the 19th and the 20th centuries. Predominantly following the trait of Pietism, the Basel Mission emphasised practical matters more than doctrine, which was evident in the Mission activities among the Thiyyas and the Badagas of Malabar and Nilgiris, respectively. Along with addressing issues like the caste system and spreading education in the ‘backward’ regions, the most remarkable contribution of the Basel Mission established the ‘prototype’ of industries which was part of the ‘praxis practice’ model. It aimed at self-sufficiency and provided a livelihood for a number of people who otherwise had no honourable means of subsistence. Moreover, conversion in Kerala was a combination of ‘self-transformation’ and active participation which resulted in ‘enculturation’ and inception of ‘modernity’ in the region. Finally, this article shows that works of the Basel Mission weaved together its theological and missiological ideologies which determined its exclusivity as a Church denomination. Full article
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Article
‘The Ngabwe Covenant’ and the Search for an African Theology of Eco-Pneumato-Relational Way of Being in Zambia
Religions 2020, 11(6), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11060275 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
This study explores the ways in which the born-again traditional leaders in Zambia are redefining neo-Pentecostal interaction with nonhuman creation. It demonstrates their attempts to rapture new religious imaginations in interstitial spaces between neo-Pentecostalism and Africa’s old spiritual systems. Since eco-spirituality is foundational [...] Read more.
This study explores the ways in which the born-again traditional leaders in Zambia are redefining neo-Pentecostal interaction with nonhuman creation. It demonstrates their attempts to rapture new religious imaginations in interstitial spaces between neo-Pentecostalism and Africa’s old spiritual systems. Since eco-spirituality is foundational to most African traditional institutions, some born again traditional leaders are forced to search for contextualized forms of neo-Pentecostalism to form new collective expressions of the spirituality of healing and reconciliation of all things. Grounded in the third space translation approach, this study analyzes ‘The Ngabwe Covenant’ which was made by the late neo-Pentecostal clergy and later traditional leader Ngabwe upon his inauguration as the traditional leader of Lamba-Lenje-and–Lima people of Central Province in Zambia. The study argues that Chief Ngabwe attempted to translate neo-Pentecostal spirituality through a traditional spiritual system of eco-relationality. In so doing, neo-Pentecostal spirituality and traditional religio-cultural heritages found new meaning and home within the hybridized (new) religious space. The study underlines that the resultant religious view which could be described as an African theology of eco-pneumato-relational way of being was envisioned as a new spiritual foundation for the Ngabwe kingdom. The article concludes that Rev. TL. Ngabwe’s theology of Spirit’s indwelling of the natural world is a critical contribution to neo-Pentecostal search for life-giving interactions between human and nonhuman creation. Full article
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Article
The Tragic Irony of a Patriotic Mission: The Indigenous Leadership of Francis Wei and T. C. Chao, Radicalized Patriotism, and the Reversal of Protestant Missions in China
by and
Religions 2020, 11(4), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11040175 - 08 Apr 2020
Viewed by 968
Abstract
Motivated by a patriotic zeal for the national salvation of China, in the 1910s, US-trained Chinese intellectuals like Francis Wei and T. C. Chao embraced a progressive version of Protestantism. While Christian colleges established by liberal missionaries during this time initially contributed greatly [...] Read more.
Motivated by a patriotic zeal for the national salvation of China, in the 1910s, US-trained Chinese intellectuals like Francis Wei and T. C. Chao embraced a progressive version of Protestantism. While Christian colleges established by liberal missionaries during this time initially contributed greatly to nurturing a generation of intellectual elites for China, its institutionalization of progressive ideas, and its tolerance and protection of revolutionary mobilization under extraterritorial rights, also unintendedly helped invigorate indigenous revolutionary movements. Meanwhile, in the 1920s, anti-Western and anti-Christian student movements radicalized in China’s major urban centers. When the communist revolution showed more promise of granting China independence, Francis Wei and T. C. Chao became optimistic supporters. However, neither of them foresaw the reversal of China missions under the Three-Self Patriotic Movement in the 1950s. Full article
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