Mission: Christianity

Using lectures, readings, discussions, movies, and music, this course will focus on the growth of global Christianity from the 16th century through the present through the lens of Christian mission history, wrestling with the meaning and purposes of “conversion,” relationships with non-Christian religions and non-European cultures, indigenizing movements, denominational competition, secularism and pluralism, humanitarian missions, and the transformation of Christianity into a “global south” faith in the 20th and 21st century. Is Christianity at heart a permanently missionary faith, and if so, what does that mean for Christians today? What does it mean to be a missionary, and what has it meant in different historical and cultural contexts? How are the relationships between historically missionary cultures and their “daughter church” cultures to be nurtured in the context of global inequalities in power and resources? The course is intended for MDiv/MA/MTS students but doctoral students are welcome with additional projects; evaluation will be through short projects, exams, and a final research paper.