HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN MISSIONS

Live Online & Recorded: This course is being offered live online in Fall 2021. In order to support students who are unable to attend the regular class sessions, recordings will be made available on the course Moodle page for 48 hours following each class. In some cases, attendance at other sessions may be required. 

 

The purpose of this course is to examine the different approaches that Christians have used in cross-cultural work.  Its aim is not so much to chronicle the story of Christian missions as it is to look at the factors influencing the development of Christian mission theory and practice.  

HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN MISSIONS

LECTURE TITLES

Lectures Week 1:
Paradigm Shifts in Mission: from a Jewish to a Gentile Christianity
Evangelism and Discipleship in the Early Church, part 1

Text Reading:

  1. Neill, History of Christian Missions, pp. 13-56.

  2. David Bosch, Introduction, pp. 1-11, and “Mission in Paul: Invitation to Join the Eschatological Community,” Chapter 4 in Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, pp. 123-178.    

  3. Anthony F.C.  Wallace, “Revitalization Movements,” American Anthropologist, vol 58 (1956): 264-81.  

  4. Andrew Walls, “The Gospel as Prisoner and Liberator of Culture, Chapter 1, The Missionary Movement in Christian History, pp. 3-15.

  5. Bosch’s chapter on “Mission in Paul.” 

Lectures Week 2:
Evangelism and Discipleship in the Early Church, part 2
The Celtic Church in Mission

Text Reading:    

  1. Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Part 1.

  2. Bosch’s chapter on “Mission in Paul.”

  3. Andrew Walls, Chapter 6, “Origins of Old Northern and New Southern Christianity,” in The Missionary Movement in Christian History, pp. 68-75.

Lectures Week 3:    

The Conversion of the Barbarian Tribes of Northern Europe
Text Reading: 

  1. Neill, History of Christian Missions, pp. 56-100 and 143-148.

  2. Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Part 2.

  3. Andrew Walls, Chapter 10, “Primal Religious Traditions in Today’s World,” in The Missionary Movement in Christian History, pp. 119-139.

 

Lectures Week 4:
The Roman Catholic Orders and the Structure of Mission in the High Middle Ages (1150-1350)
Missions of the Catholic Counter-Reformation: New France, Japan and Latin America

Text Reading: 

  1. Neill, History of Christian Missions, pp. 101-209.

  2. David Bosch, “The Medieval Roman Catholic Missionary Paradigm,” Chapter 7 in Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, 214-38.

  3. Andrew Walls, Chapter 3, “The Translation Principle in Christian History,” The Missionary Movement in Christian History, pp. 26-42.

  4. Andrew Walls, Chapter 2, “Christianity in the Non-Western World: A Study in the Serial Nature of Christian Expansion”, in The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History, pp. 27-48.

Lectures Week 5:
The Reformation and Protestantism: Varied Responses 
Continental Pietism and the Background to Protestant Mission

Text Reading:  

  1. Neill, History of Christian Missions, pp. 210-240.

  2. David Bosch, “The Missionary Paradigm of the Protestant Reformation,” Chapter 8 in Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, 239-61.

  3. Andrew Walls, Chapter 1, “A History of the Expansion of Christianity’ Reconsidered: Christian Progress and Decline", in The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History, pp. 3-26.

Lectures Week 6:
The Launching of the Modern Protestant Missionary Movement: 1790-1830

Text Reading:  

  1. Neill, History of Christian Missions, pp. 243-321.

  2. Andrew Walls, Chapter 7, “The Evangelical Revival, the Missionary Movement, and Africa,” in The Missionary Movement in Christian History, pp. 79-101.

  3. Andrew Walls, Chapter 11, “The Protestant Missionary Awakening in its European Context,” in The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History, pp. 194-214.

  4. David Bosch, “Mission In the Wake of the Enlightenment,” Chapter 9 in Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, 262-345.

 

Lectures Week 7
“Lord, here I am.  Send my sister” -- The New Force in Missions: Women Taking Charge
Faith Missions:  Hudson Taylor and Trans-denominational Evangelicalism

Text Reading:

  1. Chapter 8, "Foreign Missions: Jungle Pioneers and Urban Church Planters," pp. 291-327 in Ruth A. Tucker and Walter Liefeld, Daughters of the Church: Women and Ministry from New Testament Times to the Present (Zondervan, 1987). 

  2. David Bosch, Chapter Ten, “The Emergence of a Postmodern Paradigm,” Transforming Mission, pp. 349-362 and Chapter 11, “Mission in a Time of Testing,” pp. 363-367.

  3. Andrew Walls, Chapter 12, “The Missionary Movement: A Lay Fiefdom?” in The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History, pp. 215-235.

 

Lectures for Week 8
Colonialism: The Mixed Record
Indigenization: Reversing the effects of Colonialism
Gustav Warneck: Father of Modern Missiology

Text Reading:

  1. Neill, History of Christian Missions, pp. 322-449

  2. David Bosch, “Elements of an Emerging Ecumenical Missionary paradigm,” first half of chapter 12, pp. 368-400.

  3. Jehu Hanciles, “Conversion and Social Change: A Review of the ‘Unfinished Task’ in West Africa,” in D. M. Lewis, Christianity Reborn.

Lectures for Week 9:

Mission at the Dawn of the 20th Century
Ecumenism and Accommodation: Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910

Readings: 

  1. David Bosch, “Elements of an Emerging Ecumenical Missionary paradigm,” the second part of chapter 12, pp. 400-447.

  2. Andrew Walls, Chapter 8, “Samuel Ajayi Crowther: Patterns of African Christianity in the Nineteenth Century”, in The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History, pp. 155-164.

 

Lectures Week 10:
Church Growth Theory and Donald McGavran
Rise of Pentecostalism

Text Reading:

  1. Neill, History of Christian Missions, pp. 450-509.

  2. David Bosch, “Elements of an Emerging Ecumenical Missionary paradigm,” part of chapter 12, pp. 448-489.

  3. Brian Stanley, “Twentieth-Century World Christianity: A Perspective from the History of Missions,” in D. Lewis, Christianity Reborn.

  4. Brian Stanley, “The Spirit and the Spirits: Global Pentecostal Christianities,” Chapter 13 in Christianity in the Twentieth Century.

  5. Andrew Walls, Chapter 9, “The Challenge of the African Independent Churches,” The Missionary Movement in Christian History, pp. 111-118.

Lectures Week 11:
Roman Catholic Mission in the 20th Century

Text Reading:

  1. Neill, History of Christian Missions, pp. 510-577.

  2. David Bosch, “Elements of an Emerging Ecumenical Missionary paradigm,” end of chapter 12, pp. 489-518.

  3. The Lausanne Covenant.

  4. Presentation by Gary Roosma on “Mission Today.”

 


Required Reading

  1. Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Toronto: Anchor Canada, 2009.  

  2. Bosch, David J. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. Marynoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991.  

  3. Neill, Stephen. A History of Christian Missions. NY: Penguin Books, 1986. 

  4. Walls, Andrew F.  The Missionary Movement in Christian History. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996, selected chapters.

  5. Walls, Andrew F.  The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2002, selected chapters.