Doctoral student Gina Zurlo has recently given several papers and lectures at social science conferences. In August, she presented a paper at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in New York City, titled, “Christian Sociology in Transition: The Institute of Social and Religious Research,” which discussed an early phase of American sociology and its intersections with the social gospel and ecumenical movements in the early 20th century. She also gave a paper at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion annual meeting in Boston on the development and use of demographic databases.
Doctoral student Gina Zurlo was on the faculty of the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute at the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, South Korea (October 30–November 8, 2013). Gina gave a lecture titled, “Demographics of World and Asian Christianity” to a group of 200 students from 60 countries, representing 80 different denominations, and also offered reflections on the future of the ecumenical movement in light of trends in global Christianity. Videos of her lecture can be found in two parts, here and here.
PhD student Christopher James has been busy publishing several articles on missiology. Chris’ two peer-reviewed journal articles are: “Missional Acuity: 20th Century Insights Toward a Redemptive Way of Seeing,” in Witness: Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education, vol. 26 (2012); and “Some Fell On Good Soil: Church Planting in Religious Ecologies,” Witness: Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education, vol. 27 (2013). Well done! We look forward to sharing more of his work.
Doctoral student Christopher James has recently published an article entitled: “Education that is Missional: Towards a Pedagogy for the Missional Church,” in Social Engagement: The Challenge of the “Social” in Missiological Education (Wilmore, KY: First Fruit Press, 2013, p.146-169). You can also access the article free online. Chris’ article has also been cited by by the African scholar who visited the CGCM in June, Dr. Fohle Lygunda, Head of the Department of Missiology International Leadership University in Burundi. The abstract of the article is below:
This paper explores the implications of missional theology for Christian religious education in congregations. In particular, it draws on recent notable missional titles to do three things: 1) to clarify the meaning and aims of missional education as Christian education that specifically privileges the goal of helping Christians discover and live into their identity as God’s cooperative partners in the missio dei, 2) to identify key characteristics of missional education, namely, attention to identity and acuity, life as the classroom, and Scripture as mission narrative, and 3) offer a modest proposal for missional education in the congregational setting through small communities of shared practice.
Christopher B. James is a PhD Candidate in Practical Theology at Boston University School of Theology with training from Fuller Theological Seminary, Wheaton College, and the Renovaré Institute. He can be found at www.jesusdust.com,www.newseattlechurches.com, and @chrisbjames.
Student Gina Zurlo Bellofatto gave a presentation at the Global Leadership Forum in Bangalore, India this June, called “The State of the World.” The video of the presentation is available for all online at the Lausanne Movement website. Congratulations to Gina!
Student Travis Myers has reviewed a noteworthy book exploring theology and missiology, Local Theology for the Global Church: Principles for an Evangelical Approach to Contextualization. His review can be found in Missiology: An International Review 39, no. 3 (July 2011): 413-414.
Doctoral Student Bruce Yoder has an article published in the July 2013 Issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, entitled “Mennonite Mission Theorists and Practitioners in Southeastern Nigeria: Changing Contexts and Strategy at the Dawn of the Postcolonial Era.”
The Yale-Edinburgh Group held its 23rd meeting in New Haven, Connecticut, June 27-29, 2013. The theme, “Health, Healing, and Medicine in the History of Christian Missions and World Christianity,” inspired diverse papers, ranging from an investigation of John Wesley’s medical advice to the use of herbal medicine in Ghanaian Christianity.
The number of participants was capped at 80, so having six people from Boston University demonstrated its prominence in the field of global Christianity. Dr. Sung-Deuk Oak (Th.D, 2002), Associate Professor at UCLA considered how Christian medical missions in Korea moved, “From the Plough of Evangelism to the Fruit of Christian Love,” during the 1920s. Also looking at Asia, Daryl Ireland investigated a mission hospital in China and asked if medicine was “Christian, Secular, or yet Something Else?” Daewon Moon pointed to the “Ruanda Mission and its Contribution to the East African Revival,” while Michele Sigg explained the prominent role women have played in “Carrying Living Water” during the fifohazana revival in Madagascar. In addition, Eva Pascal introduced a new movie on Seventh-Day Adventist medical work around the world. Gina Bellofatto, a student in the joint ThD program between Boston University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary also attended the conference.
The CGMC was delighted by the visit of Rev. Dr. Fohle Lygunda, Head of the Department of Missiology at International Leadership University (ILU) – Burundi, on June 14. Dr. Lygunda and Dr. Dana Robert discussed a possible collaboration for the Dictionary of African Christian Biography (DACB), which was transferred to Boston University in 2012. Dr. Lygunda previously worked as a Project Luke Fellow for the DACB at Overseas Ministries Study Center (OMSC) in New Haven, CT. He also wrote an article on Central Africa for the Atlas of Global Christianity: 1910-2010. Under his leadership, ILU-Burundi launched a master’s program in Missiology, in which doctoral student Daewon Moon has served as a visiting lecturer since 2012.
Dr. Todd Johnson and doctoral student Gina Zurlo published a summary of the main findings of a 2013 update to the Atlas of Global Christianity for the Lausanne Global Analysis, entitled “Highlights of Christianity in its Global Context, 1970-2020: Society, Religion, and Mission.” In it they emphasize that Christians today find themselves in very different contexts than 40 years ago and they note that fundamental shifts in the demographics of global Christianity are continuing. The full article can be accessed through The Center for the Study of Global Christianity website at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.