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Philosophical and Theological Responses to Syncretism

Beyond the Mirage of Pure Religion

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Edited by Mika Vähäkangas and Patrik Fridlund

Theological and Philosophical Responses to Syncretism: Beyond the Mirage of Pure Religion by Patrik Fridlund and Mika Vähäkangas (eds.) starts from the observation that there is a substantial gap between religions’ self-understanding and the empirical results of religious studies concerning religious blending. Even in theology of religion, one often portrays religions as if they were entities fundamentally separate from each other. The aims of this book are to elaborate theologically the consequences of syncretism to Christian faith and of syncretism to philosophy. By creating a critical interchange between theological, philosophical and empirical approaches to religion, this book challenges the conventional views of purity of religions prevailing in theology and philosophy as well as proposes theological and philosophical ways forward.

Contributors are: Jonas Adelin, Stephen Bevans, Gavin d’Costa, Patrik Fridlund, Lotta Gammelin, Elizabeth Harris, Jerker Karlsson, Paul Linjamaa, Kang-San Tan, Mika Vähäkangas.

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Edited by Peggy Brock, Norman Etherington, Gareth Griffiths and Jacqueline Van Gent

This is the first full-length historical study of indigenous evangelists across a range of societies, geographical regions and colonial regimes and the first to focus on the complex issues of authority surrounding the evangelists. It answers a need frequently voiced in recent studies of Christian missions. Most scholars now acknowledge that the remarkable expansion of Christianity in Africa, Asia and the Pacific in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries owed far more to the efforts of indigenous preachers than to the foreign missionaries who loom so large in publications. This book addresses that concern making an excellent introduction to the role of indigenous evangelists in the spread of Christianity, and the many countervailing pressures with which these individuals had to contend. It also includes in the introductory discussions useful statements of the current state of scholarship and theoretical debates in this field.