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Today, the majority of the world's Christian population lives in the Global South. Knowledge of their history is therefore indispensable. This textbook offers a compact and vivid overview of the history of Christianity in Asia, Africa and Latin America since 1450, focussing on diversity and interdependence, local actors and global effects. Maps, illustrations and numerous photos as well as continuous references to easily accessible source texts support the reader's own reading and its use in various forms of academic teaching.
Benjamin Bailey and the CMS in the Ecclesiastical Development of Travancore
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In this book you will learn of the unheralded CMS missionary Benjamin Bailey. You willl hear the story through unpublished archive material combined with rare accounts from an Indian perspective. You will see how church reformation in India was aided by Western involvement but retained indepence from it. You will learn how the story of colonial politics and church reform are intertwined but never straightforward. For practitioners today there is much food for thought in this account.

Abstract

Prayer camps are Pentecostal healing centres established across various parts of Ghana. Prayer camps in Ghana have become notable centres offering mainly spiritual help to people with mental health conditions. Arguably, prayer camps serve as a breakpoint or watershed between traditional healing shrines and the ‘gardens’ operated by Spiritual churches, popularly known as Sunsum sorè, in Ghana. Analysing data collected from fieldwork between 2019 and 2021, this article shows that the healing rituals for the mentally ill at prayer camps in Ghana share similarities with traditional healing shrine practices. The article argues that while such practices reveal the appropriation of traditional healing approaches at prayer camps, they also bring the tension and contestation inherent to the concept of appropriation into perspective.

In: Exchange
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In: Exchange
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This article applies selected aspects of Depesh Chakrabarty’s concept of “Provincializing Europe” to the discourse of world Christianity studies. It argues that colonial-era mission scholars constructed a grand narrative of a united Christian Europe to justify European missions to the rest of the world. Contemporary postcolonial efforts to de-center Europe now contrast a vitiated European Christianity with a vibrant nonwestern Christianity that is required to re-evangelize Europe. Paradoxically, the trope of a formerly Christian Europe merges with a caricature of its numerical failure to make European Christianity the permanent foil for world Christianity studies. The article urges that European Christianity be studied in its diverse contexts, that the distinction between migrant and missionary be queried, and that European Christianity be considered essential to world Christianity studies.

In: Exchange
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After several decades of relative silence in the Netherlands on the topic of church and racism, the Black Lives Matter Movement and the public debate on reparations for colonial enslavement have brought the issue back on the agenda of church and theology. Fuelled by the Programme to Combat Racism (PCR), previous ecumenical discussions on this topic in the 1970s provide a good starting point for reflection today.

This paper first provides some basic background on the PCR and then describes three theological positions in relation to reconciliation that shaped the discussions around racism. Based on these historical insights, the article summarizes the experiences and insights of the PCR in three major points, and discusses their relevance for today’s conversation on church, diaconia, and racism. The paper argues that commitment, the transfer of power, and the value of discomfort provide important theological and practical insights for today’s debate.

In: Exchange
A Historical-Theological Study of the Jesuit Mission to China, 1552–1773
This book integrates history, theology, and art and analyzes the Jesuits’ cross-cultural mission in late imperial China. Readers will find a rich collection of resources from historical sites, museums, manuscripts, and archival materials, including previous unpublished works of art. The production and circulation of art from different historical periods and categories show the artistic, theological, and missional values of Christian art. It highlights European Jesuits, Asian Christians, transnationalism, and gives voice to Chinese Christian women and their patronage of art in the seventeenth century. It offers a rare systematic study of the relation between art and mission history.
In: Exchange

Abstract

To carry out their mission of evangelization, early Jesuit missionaries followed practices that included creating, facilitating, and using Bible-themed painting, sculpture, and church architecture. The purpose of this study is to highlight and investigate the significant role of art in Jesuit mission efforts in the late Ming and the early Qing Dynasties (1552–1773), as well as Christian-themed art in the history of China prior to the Jesuit contact. It examines the initial European Jesuit motivation for using art in mission, and explores how the Jesuits developed their art and architecture within their historical context. An exploration of how some Han and other ethnic peoples in China responded to the gospel as presented through religious art reveals new Christians replacing Buddhist or Taoist images and objects with Christian art, and some even becoming painters of Christian-themed art themselves. Chinese Christian patrons, both men and women, sponsored such art and church architecture as acts of piety. A unique aspect of the Jesuit mission was churches built exclusively for women, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the same historical period. Balanced attention is given to both European and Asian Christians, Christian men and women, Han and ethnic minorities, and intellectuals and ordinary Christians. Primary sources from archeological materials and written texts suggest that in their mission of evangelization, the Jesuits valued Christian-themed art. Art also served to sustain Christian faith and devotion in the post-conversion period. In sum, this study is primarily an exploration of the historical and theological themes and meanings emerging out of Jesuit art and architecture, and the significant role such art played in local people’s ways of knowing God and living out a Christian life.

In: Art as a Pathway to God