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Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion #9: Christian Mission: How Christianity Became a World Religionby Dana Lee Robert
Synopses & Reviews
The Gospels record that Christ commanded his disciples to “go forth and teach all nations.” Thus began the history of Christian mission, a phenomenon which brought about massive shifts in the nature and practice of Christianity, and one that many say reflects the single most important movement of intercultural encounter over a sustained period of human history.
To understand Christianity as a global movement, therefore, it is essential to study the role of mission – defined as the transmission of the Gospel across cultures. Erudite and enlightening, this brief book explores the 2,000 years of mission history, covering topics such as the meaning of the missionary through history, gender and missions, and missions in culture and politics. Given that in the twenty-first century, Christianity is now largely practiced outside the West, Christian Mission is an inspirational and invaluable resource to broaden our understanding of the nature of Christianity as a truly multicultural world religion.
Exploring how Christianity became a world religion, this brief history examines Christian missions and their relationship to the current globalization of Christianity.
About the Author
Dana L. Robert is the Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and the History of Mission at Boston University. She is the author or editor of numerous works on the history of Christian missions and non-western Christianity, including American Women in Mission: A Social History of their Thought and Practice (1997).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations.
Part I: The Making of a World Religion: Christian Mission through the Ages:.
1. From Christ to Christendom.
From Jerusalem into “All the World”.
The Creation of Catholic Europe, 400–1400.
2. Vernaculars and Volunteers, 1450–.
Bible Translation and the Roots of Modern Missions.
The Revitalization of Catholic Missions.
The Beginnings of Protestant Missions.
Voluntarism and Mission.
Protestant Missionary Activities in the Nineteenth Century.
3. Global Networking for the Nations, 1910–.
The Growth of Global Networks.
Post-Colonial Rejection of Christian Mission.
Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans in Mission.
Part II: Themes in Mission History:.
4. The Politics of Missions: Empire, Human Rights, and Land.
Critiques of Missions.
Missionaries and Human Rights.
Missionaries and the Land.
Missions and Ecology.
5. Women in World Mission: Purity, Motherhood, and Women’s Well-Being.
Women as Missionaries.
Purity and Gender Neutrality.
The Mission of Motherhood.
Women’s Well-Being and Social Change.
6. Conversion and Christian Community: The Missionary from St. Patrick to Bernard Mizeki.
Who Was St. Patrick?.
Bernard Mizeki, “Apostle to the Shona”.
Missionaries and the Formation of Communal Christian Identities.
7. Postscript: Multicultural Missions in Global Context.
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