Becoming global Mennonites: the politics of catholicity and memory in a missionary encounter in Belgian Congo, 1905-1939

  • Starts: 12:00 pm on Thursday, April 23, 2020
Anicka Fast is a doctoral candidate connected to the Boston University Center for Global Christianity and Mission. Her dissertation focuses on how participants in a missionary encounter in Belgian Congo developed their identity as global Mennonites by beginning to embrace a catholic ecclesial imagination. By tracing the contested memories of early American missionary “pioneers,” and by retrieving the missional agency of the many Congolese Mennonites who worked alongside them, this dissertation both uncovers the struggles for catholicity that shaped the missionary encounter at its inception, and calls attention to the ways in which such struggles continue to play out on the terrain of memory and knowledge production, coming to light through the competing efforts and uneven ability of Congolese and North American Mennonites to tell stories about their shared past. Anicka proposes an ecclesiological framework for the study of the missionary encounter in which an explicit commitment to catholicity guides the task of writing world Christian history, and explores ways in which such an ecclesiological mode of remembering can contribute to greater unity within the global church.

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