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Johannes Hoornbeeck (1617-1666), On the Conversion of Indians and Heathens

An Annotated Translation of De conversione Indorum et gentilium (1669)

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Ineke Loots, Joke Spaans and Johannes Hoornbeeck

Exploration, trade and conquest expanded and upset traditional worldviews of early modern Europeans. Christians saw themselves confronted with a largely heathen world. In the wake of Iberian colonization, Jesuits successfully christianized heathen populations overseas. In his De conversione Indorum et gentilium, Johannes Hoornbeeck presents a systematic overview of every aspect of the missionary imperative from a Reformed Protestant perspective. The most attractive part of his book may be the global survey it offers of the various types of heathens, an early example of comparative religion. Of equal interest, however, is his critical approach to mission. Hoornbeeck rejects ecclesiastical hierarchy and top-down imposition of Christianity. In this he is perfectly orthodox, and at the same time startlingly original and a harbinger of modern missions. His practical recommendations offer a flexible framework for missionaries, to fit a wide variety of circumstances.
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Edited by Brian Grim, Todd M. Johnson, Vegard Skirbekk and Gina Zurlo

The Yearbook of International Religious Demography presents an annual snapshot of the state of religious statistics around the world. Every year large amounts of data are collected through censuses, surveys, polls, religious communities, scholars, and a host of other sources. These data are collated and analyzed by research centers and scholars around the world. Large amounts of data appear in analyzed form in the World Religion Database (Brill), aiming at a researcher’s audience. The Yearbook presents data in sets of tables and scholarly articles spanning social science, demography, history, and geography. Each issue offers findings, sources, methods, and implications surrounding international religious demography. Each year an assessment is made of new data made available since the previous issue of the yearbook.

The 2018 volume features a wide range of subjects, including approaches to measuring religious violence, religious changes in the Indian Subcontinent, religious demography in Lebanon, Baptism and Godparenthood in Catholic Europe, the relevance of social media data for religious demographic research, and the methodological and practical challenges of measuring religiosity in Turkey.

Contributors are: Todd M. Johnson, Gina Zurlo, Peter Crossing, Robert Brathwaite, J. K. Bajaj, M. D. Srinivas, Wissam Raji, Yves Rahme, Marc Zeinoun, Charbel Zeidan, Guido Alfani, Joey Marshall, Zubeyir Nisanci, Juan Carlos Esparza Ochoa, María Concepción Servín Nieto.
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Steve Bevans

Essays in Contextual Theology is a collection of essays that reflect on the doing of contextual theology from several perspectives. After a general introductory essay, subsequent essays reflect on topics such as contextual theology and prophetic dialogue, criteria for orthodoxy, the nature of tradition, the role of culture, the dynamics of conversion, and the way theology is being done in World Christianity. The collection closes with an autobiographical essay tracing the author’s journey to becoming a “global theologian.”
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Christianity, Empire and the Spirit

(Re)Configuring Faith and the Cultural

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Néstor Medina

In Christianity, Empire and The Spirit, Néstor Medina uncovers the cultural processes that play a crucial role in influencing how people understand reality, express the Christian faith, and think about God. He uses decolonial thinking, Latina/o theology, and Pentecostal theology to show how the cultural dimension is a central feature in the biblical text; was the force that coopted Christianity from the imperial era of Constantine onwards; and undergirded Western European colonialism and the missionary project. He engages with Protestant and Catholic articulations on “culture” and demonstrates how most theologians perpetuate Eurocentric frames for considering the relation between Christianity and the cultural dimension. Alternatively, he offers a theological proposal that recognizes the Spirit at work in the phenomena of cultures.
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The Mission of Development

Religion and Techno-Politics in Asia

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Edited by Catherine Scheer, Philip Fountain and R. Michael Feener

The Mission of Development interrogates the complex relationships between Christian mission and international development in Asia from the 19th century to the new millennium. Through historically and ethnographically grounded case studies, contributors examine how missionaries have adapted to and shaped the age of development and processes of ‘technocratisation’, as well as how mission and development have sometimes come to be cast in opposition. The volume takes up an increasingly prominent strand in contemporary research that reverses the prior occlusion of the entanglements between religion and development. It breaks new ground through its analysis of the techno-politics of both development and mission, and by focusing on the importance of engagements and encounters in the field in Asia.
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A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke

Chinese Homecoming and the Relationship with Jesus Christ

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Xiaoli Yang

In A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke Xiaoli Yang offers a conversation between the Chinese soul-searching found in Haizi’s (1964–1989) poetry and the gospel of Jesus Christ through Luke’s testimony. It creates a unique contextual poetic lens that appreciates a generation of the Chinese homecoming journey through Haizi’s poetry, and explores its relationship with Jesus Christ. As the dialogical journey, it names four stages of homecoming—roots, vision, journey and arrival. By taking an interdisciplinary approach—literary study, inter-cultural dialogue and comparative theology, Xiaoli Yang convincingly demonstrates that the common language between the poet Haizi and the Lukan Jesus provides a crucial and rich source of data for an ongoing table conversation between culture and faith.
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Studying Christianity in China

Constructions of an Emerging Discourse

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Naomi Thurston

Studying Christianity in China introduces an emerging academic trend in contemporary Chinese scholarship. Through qualitative interviews with leading experts in Chinese Christian studies, Naomi Thurston has investigated the ongoing conversation between China and Christianity. Since the 1980s, this conversation has given rise to an interdisciplinary academic field that is quickly gaining traction as a cutting-edge, cross-cultural discourse. The Chinese intellectuals driving this field are encountered as unique transmitters of cultural knowledge: they are cultural mediators working in a range of humanities and social science disciplines who are not only re-interpreting Western theology, but are also lending a new voice to Chinese expressions of the Christian faith. As such, they are at the forefront of a novel force in World Christianity.
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Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia

A survey of the latest scholarship on Catholic missions between the 16th and 18th centuries, this collection of fourteen essays by historians from eight countries offers not only a global view of the organization, finances, personnel, and history of Catholic missions to the Americas, Africa, and Asia, but also the complex political, cultural, and religious contexts of the missionary fields.
The conquests and colonization of the Americas presented a different stage for the drama of evangelization in contrast to that of Africa and Asia: the inhospitable landscape of Africa, the implacable Islamic societies of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires, and the self-assured regimes of Ming-Qing China, Nguyen dynasty Vietnam, and Tokugawa Japan.

Contributors are Tara Alberts, Mark Z. Christensen, Dominique Deslandres, R. Po-chia Hsia, Aliocha Maldavsky, Anne McGinness, Christoph Nebgen, Adina Ruiu, Alan Strathern, M. Antoni J. Üçerler, Fred Vermote, Guillermo Wilde, Christian Windler, and Ines Zupanov.
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Studies in Christian Mission contains scholarly monographs and edited volumes in the history of transcultural missionary movements from the sixteenth century onwards, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Evangelical/Pentecostal.
It particularly includes research that positions the study of so far unexplored episodes of mission within wider discussions of the social and cultural factors within missions, of colonialism and post-colonialism, of nationalism and transnationalism and of the tensions between localized and global forms of Christianity.
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Getatchew Haile

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s Tradition on the Holy Cross is a volume that combines both ancient and derived Ethiopic literature on the Cross. The work brings together all the major sources from manuscripts preserved in different monasteries and edited and translated into English. The sources include homilies by Minas bishop of Aksum, John Chrysostom, James of Sarug, as well as a number of anonymous authors, all translated from Greek during the Aksumite era.
The derived literature includes works by the famous men of the pen, including the fifteenth-century Abba Giyorgis of Sägla and Emperor Zär’a Ya‘ǝqob. Poetic hymns to the Cross constitute a part of the collection, one of these being glorification of the Cross by Abba Baḥrǝy, author of several important works.