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Abstract

On March 13, 2022 (Sunday of Orthodoxy), Orthodox theologians and scholars from around the world issued an unprecedented theological declaration that draws on both the Barmen Declaration (1934) and the Synodikon of Orthodoxy, and is directed against the ethnophyletist and nationalist “Russian world” ideology that serves as the religious underpinning for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This ideology, fundamentalist in character, was developed by Patriarch Kirill (Gundiaev) of Moscow and both Putin and Patriarch Kirill repeatedly reference it in their active support of the Russian invasion. Having briefly outlined the Russian world ideology, the Declaration identifies the ideology’s main propositions, which are declared “heretical” from an Orthodox theological perspective. By contrast, the Orthodox scholars systematically outline affirmations drawn from Scripture and the Holy Tradition of Orthodox Christianity. Finally, the declaration calls all to be mindful of the theological principles outlined in their decisions in church politics.

Open Access
In: Mission Studies
In: Mission Studies
Author: Rolf Kjøde

Abstract

Missio Dei has become a common and valued expression in most wings of the church. To what extent do we mean the same thing when we use this term? This article explores the understanding of the concept missio Dei in contemporary conciliar and evangelical contexts, with special emphasis on The Cape Town Commitment and Together towards Life. Although missio Dei has had a turbulent life with diverse definitions and connected interests in the relatively short time span of the term, there seems to be a growing convergence in its usage. This common ground is primarily connected to the change from an ecclesiocentric to a Trinitarian paradigm of mission and to understanding the kingdom of God as the goal of mission. There are, however, differences in the documents, and these are evident in the relative emphases they give to the centrality of Christ and the role of the Spirit.

In: Mission Studies

Abstract

Christianity’s reality in the global south where poverty, climate change, ecological degradation and marginalization are the daily, lived experience of the majority of the world’s population, presents theologians with a unique moment of challenge and opportunity for theological exploration, experimentation, and missiological innovation. This article explores and analyzes one such experiment, the Bethany Land Institute (BLI, https://bethanylandinstitute.org/) in Uganda. Inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, BLI promotes the concept and practice of integral ecology as a lens for missiological reflection. The article argues that integral ecology, as pursued at BLI, invites us to rethink the traditional themes of Christian mission such as conversion, love, spirituality, and ecclesiology. It also provides a new model of doing theology, one that is particularly appropriate in an era marked by World Christianity, and by the global ecological crisis.

In: Mission Studies
In: Mission Studies
Author: Jooseop Keum

Abstract

This article examines the theme of the 15th Assembly of the IAMS in 2022, “Powers, Inequalities, and Vulnerabilities: Mission in a Wounded World”. It focuses on putting justice, equality, and liberation at the heart of the Christian mission as a way of transforming discipleship in a pandemic-stricken world. The biblical concept of shalom and the Korean concept of sangsaeng will be examined and discussed as relevant mission concepts in order to respond to the current challenges caused by the global pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a radical impact on every aspect of life. As lockdowns, social distancing measures to prevent the spread of infection have led to a new “non-contact” culture. Mission and evangelism, which presuppose face-to-face contact and communication, are going through a crisis. Even amid the crisis, however, the mission remains an essential calling of the church and all Christians. Therefore, this article examines transforming discipleship as a radical proposal to live out the mission concepts of shalom and sangsaeng in the context of the global pandemic.

In: Mission Studies