Studies on mission and migration have often focused on the propagation of Christianity from a home context to a foreign context. This is true of studies of Christian mission by Catholics and Protestants, but also true in the growing discussion of “reverse mission” whereby diasporic African and Korean missionaries evangelize the “heathen” lands of Europe and North America. This article proposes the alternative term “return mission” in which Christians from the diaspora return to evangelize the lands of their ancestral origins. It uses the case study of Jonathan Chao (Zhao Tian’en 趙天恩), a return missionary who traveled in and out of China from 1978 until near his death in 2004 and is considered an instrumental figure in the revival of Calvinism in China. This article suggests that “return mission” provides a new means to understand the subjects of mission and migration, and raises new challenges to questions about paternalism and independency.
By 1920 Fujian became one of the most missiologically prominent regions in China. This article examines the development of the veteran missionary of the Church Missionary Society, J.R. Wolfe’s missiological ideology in relation to the implementation of the Treaty of Tianjin in Fujian from 1862–1878. Amidst considerable frustration at perceived scant manpower and finances commensurate to his evangelistic zeal, he discovered the expedience of consular intervention in cases of persecution and came to seek it as a matter of course. His subsequent experiential epiphany of the British Government’s slighting of the articles in the Treaty relating to the safeguarding of the missionary enterprise exacerbated his sense of frustration. This article argues that the disparity between his hagiographical title of “Moses of Fujian” and the controversy surrounding his politicalness is irreconcilable, and that the example of Wolfe demonstrates the complexities of the evolution of missionary ideology and the importance of a thorough archival reappraisal.
Until recently, religion has been quite a neglected subject of enquiry to development workers and policy makers. This neglect is as a result of the suspicious, corrosive and irrational view many attach to religion as a vital instrument for development. This article, discusses how Pentecostal theology of salvation evinces a development ethos that needs to be taken seriously by policy makers and development workers. Focusing on some of the religious practices and initiatives undertaken by Pentecostal/Charismatic churches as an aspect of their theology of salvation, this article demonstrates how the Pentecostal movement in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Ghana, has made what others see as developmental goals part of an indigenous faith. The paper argues that in order to achieve a desired transformative development, development workers and policy makers need to recognize and place maximum attention to the religious resources that serve as a driving force for most development initiatives in Africa.