Tagged: academic conferences

Highlights of the “African Christian Biography” Conference

November 6th, 2015 in Africa, Announcements 0 comments

Fri Dinner 2 Fri 2B Concurrent Papers 2 Fri Lunch 4 Reception 25

The CGCM hosted the conference on the theme of “African Christian Biography: Narratives, Beliefs, and Boundaries,” from Thursday, October 29 to Saturday, October 31. Approximately sixty scholars and graduate students converged on the School of Theology from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, Great Britain, and various universities in the United States and Canada to present papers and discuss issues on the theme of African Christian Biography. As an intersection between scholars in religious studies and African studies, the conference was a venue for cross-fertilization between the various fields represented. Furthermore, it was an opportunity to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Dictionary of African Christian Biography (DACB).

In the opening plenary, DACB Project Director Jonathan Bonk presented a brief historical overview by looking at the “What?, the Why?, the How?, and the Now What?” of the project. In the Friday morning plenary address, Prof. Lamin Sanneh of Yale University focused his talk on Sir Samuel Lewis whose extraordinary life illustrated the power of human example in the service of religion and society in 19th century West Africa. The afternoon plenary panel with noted scholars Kathleen Sheldon, Richard Elphick, and Diana Wylie addressed, among other questions, the challenge of the portrayal of belief in biography as well as the various uses of biography in historical writing. The dinner plenary by Boston University professor Linda Heywood offered an opportunity to explore the life of a notable 17th century Kongo figure, Queen Njinga.

In the concurrent sessions, questions raised either in the papers or in the subsequent discussion included the role of biography in pedagogy, orality and memory in biography, the use of photography and film in biography, and the use of biography for highlighting the stories of women the Global South. Almost a third of the papers examined the stories of African women, exploring their roles as helpers and leaders, most often unrecognized in the historical record. The discussions also looked at the role of biographers as portrait artists who must paint their subjects with humility and empathy.

In the closing session, the progress of the DACB was praised and many participants offered ideas and challenges for new developments in the future. Conference organizer Dana Robert offered a few words about the book that will be published as a fruit of the conference.

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Upcoming Conference “African Christian Biography: Narratives, Beliefs, & Boundaries”

September 29th, 2015 in Africa, Announcements, Opportunities 0 comments

conference-poster4From October 29-31 the Center for Global Christianity and Mission, the African Studies Center and the African Studies Library at Boston University will be co-hosting the conference “African Christian Biography: Narratives, Beliefs, and Boundaries” in celebration of the 20th year anniversary of the Dictionary of African Christian Biography (www.DACB.org).

This working conference will bring together more than 30 international academics whose specialties cover a broad spectrum of time periods and geographical areas in Africa. Coming from a wide variety of disciplines including history, anthropology, theology, women’s studies and African area studies, the speakers will present scholarly papers exploring the historiographical role of biography and its part in shaping our understanding of African Christianity.


Keynote speakers:

Jonathan Bonk

Research Professor of Mission Studies, Boston University, Project Director, Dictionary of African Christian Biography.
African Church History and the Streetlight Effect: Biography as a Lost Key

Lamin Sanneh,
Willis James Professor of Missions & World Christianity, Professor of History, Professor of International and Area Studies, Yale University.
Biography and the Narrative of History

Linda Heywood,
Professor of African American Studies and History, Boston University.
Queen Njinga of Angola: Spirituality and Politics

For more details, the conference schedule, and registration information please go to http://www.dacb.org/acb-conference2015.html.

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Call for Papers “Religious Diversity: Conflict, Cooperation, Creolization”

June 16th, 2015 in Call for Papers 0 comments

Religious Diversity Call for PapersThe Center for Global Christianity & Mission will be co-hosting a graduate student conference at Boston University on “Religious Diversity: Conflict, Cooperation, and Creolization” to be held November 14th, 2015. Harvard University’s Diana L. Eck will give the keynote address, and there will be several panels of student papers. Please see the Religious Diversity Call for Papers with information for the call for papers. The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2015.

For further information visit: https://reldivconf2015.eventbrite.com, or email cgcm@bu.edu.



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Orthodoxy & Humanitarianism conference, live webcast

May 6th, 2015 in Announcements, Dana L. Robert 0 comments

Orthodoxy Christianity and Humanitarianism

In a time of political instability, war, and growing fundamentalist sentiment and policies in many parts of the Middle East, Orthodox Christians find themselves under increasing pressure and uncertainly.

The conference Orthodox Christianity and Humanitarianism: Ideas and Actions in the Contemporary World held tomorrow May 7th through the 8th, explores theological, historical, and contemporary responses of Orthodoxy and humanitarianism. It will be held at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. CGCM Director Dr. Dana L. Robert will be a participant in this important event.

The conference will have a live watching opportunity for those interested but unable to attend.

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Call for Papers: Religion and Religions in the History of Missions

January 26th, 2015 in Announcements, Call for Papers 0 comments

The Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity is calling for papers for a conference at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut on June 25 – 27, 2015.

Offers of short papers are welcome on any aspect of the conference theme:  Religion and Religions in the History of Missions and World Christianity. Please submit your paper proposal with brief abstract via email to Martha Smalley (martha.smalley@yale.edu) by March 1. If your proposal is accepted, you will be notified by March 15. Our pattern has been to have each oral presentation limited to 20-25 minutes, followed by discussion. Full papers are welcomed in advance and, if received by June 24, will be available for download by conference participants.

Preliminary information about the meeting is available at http://divinity-adhoc.library.yale.edu/Yale-Edinburgh/2015y-einfo.htm , including a link to the pre-registration/accommodations form.  If you plan to attend the conference, please submit the pre-registration form at your earliest convenience so that we can get a sense of how many to expect. If you need a letter of invitation in order to obtain a visa or institutional funding, please indicate this on the registration form. The registration deadline is April 30th.

Participation in the meeting is limited to members of the Yale-Edinburgh Group, which consists  de facto of the members of the  “Missions” listserv.  If you or someone you know are interested in participating in the conference but are not members of the listserv, please contact Martha Smalley (martha.smalley@yale.edu).

Information about a small number of fellowships sponsored by the Yale Divinity Library’s David M. Stowe Fund for Mission Research will be forthcoming in the next few days. These fellowships are available to cover travel and accommodations expenses of younger scholars who wish to attend the conference and spend some time at the Library doing research.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

On behalf of our esteemed conveners, Lamin Sanneh, Andrew Walls, and Brian Stanley,

Martha L. Smalley
Special Collections Librarian & Curator of the Day Missions Collection
Yale Divinity School Library
409 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Phone: (203) 432-5289

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ASM Report: Doing Contextual Mission in Africa & Latin America

August 21st, 2014 in Announcements, Students 0 comments

from left: Michele Sigg, Ruth Padilla-DeBorst, Lisa White

from left: Michele Sigg, Ruth Padilla-DeBorst, Lisa White

This year’s American Society of Missiology Conference on the theme of “Contextualization in the Contemporary World” took place at the University of Northwestern—St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota. The thirteen possible tracks, which reflected the anthropological interests of ASM President Dr. Robert Priest, included a symposium on Third Wave Mission, a panel on witch accusations, “Worship and the Arts” (ethnodoxology), a panel on contributions from the Global South, “New Faces of Mission in the 21st Century, and a sponsored track on African leadership. Representing BU were Lisa White as well as Christopher James, Ruth Padilla-DeBorst, and Michèle Miller Sigg who all three presented papers. Ruth Padilla-DeBorst presented a paper entitled “Doing Theology for Life: Radical Evangelical Theological Formation for Integral Mission in Latin America.” Michèle Miller Sigg’s paper entitled “Until Lions Start Writing their Own History: The Challenge of Contextualizing the Research, Writing, and Teaching of African Christian History” was part of the Emerging Ideas and Practices track, facilitated by Padilla-DeBorst.

In the absence of Dr. Dana Robert, student associate Michèle Miller Sigg was invited to attend the African Leadership Study consultation that took place immediately following the ASM. The ALS is a study project led by Bob Priest that started in August 2012 and is funded by Tyndale House Foundation. Between 2012 and 2013, faculty members and graduate students in Africa collected data from over 8,000 Christians from Kenya, Angola, and Central African Republic in an effort to identify influential African leaders and organizations. Some of the outstanding leaders were then interviewed in a follow up phase. The papers presented at the ALS consultation used data from this study to examine various aspects of the influence of these African leaders. The papers will eventually be published in an edited volume.

By Michèle Sigg

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Patterns of Mission & Spirituality in New Church Plants

July 16th, 2014 in Announcements, Students 0 comments

Despite distress about mainline decline and the rise of the “Nones”, church planting in North America is booming.  According Warren Bird and Ed Stetzer, these new church starts are even outpacing closures.  This presentation will discuss the patterns in mission and spirituality among new churches started in Seattle, Washington since 2001.  As the largest city in a region distinctive for its weak religious institutions and a preponderance of “Nones”—Seattle is near the front of national “post-Christian” trends.  As such, missiologists and practioners interested in the North American context can learn much from the forms of ecclesial mission and spirituality taking root in Seattle soil.  Analysis of surveys from more than half of the 100+ new Seattle churches has revealed four dominant patterns in spirituality, eight salient mission priorities, five key identity features, and four paradigmatic combinations of these which serve to lay out the diverse field and invite missiological imagination.

CGCM Student associate Christopher B. James presented these findings at the annual meeting of the American Society of Missiology in St. Paul, Minnesota.  His presentation was titled “Patterns in Mission and Spirituality Among New Churches in Seattle” and highlights some of the early findings of his dissertation research.

You can learn more about his research by reading “Ecclesial Pioneers in the Pacific Northwest“, published online via Christ & Cascadia, a new online journal for practical and theological engagement with Cascadian culture and ministry.  You can also explore his research site (www.newseattlechurches.com) which features a map of new churches and follow the project on Twitter (www.twitter.com/newSEAchurches).

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. You can connect with Christopher and explore his work via Academiawww.jesusdust.com, and @chrisbjames.

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Conference Invitation: Can the Native Christian Speak? Discerning the Voices of Indigenous Christians

March 19th, 2014 in Announcements 0 comments

Emory University’s Chandler School of Theology extends an invitation to all interested in a one day conference: Can the Native Christian Speak? Discerning the Voices of Indigenous Christians in Missionary and Colonial Archives, Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 8:45am – 5pm

Location: Emory Conference Center Hotel, 1615 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322

 $10 to attend.

This one-day conference will gather together historians of World Christianity to discuss one of the great difficulties in their work, which is a lack of historical materials produced by non-European Christians.  Much of what we know about past Christian communities in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania comes from work produced by foreigners, especially missionaries and colonial officials.  The scholars will discuss both the problems and possibilities of working with western archives, with their particular silences and voices.  The panel presentations will lay the foundations for a published volume of essays on this topic, edited by Candler’s Arun W. Jones, the Hankey Associate Professor of World Evangelism.


Conference Schedule – Emory Conference Center Hotel:


7:30 – 8:45 a.m. Breakfast

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. Welcome and introductions

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. ASIA:  Papers by Adrian Hermann, Mrinalini Sebastian, Haruko Ward

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Public discussion of papers on Asian Christianity

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Break

11:00 – 12:00 p.m. AFRICA AND THE AFRICAN DIASPORA:  Papers by Jay Carney, Paul Kollman, Dianne Diakité

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. Public discussion of papers on African Christianity

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. THE AMERICAS:  Papers by Kenneth Mills, Christopher Vecsey, Yanna Yannakakis

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Public discussion of papers on Christianity in the Americas

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. Break

3:30 – 4:00 p.m. RESPONSES:  Gyanendra Pandey, Dana Robert

4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Public discussion of all papers and responses

4:30 p.m. Adjournment


For questions or more information, contact Arun Jones at arun.w.jones@emory.edu or at 404-727-108

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The 2014 BTI Costas Consultation in Global Mission will be held March 28th!

March 17th, 2014 in Announcements 0 comments

Constas Consultation 2014

Constas Consultation 2014

The 2014 BTI Costas Consultation in Global Mission is approaching! All are invited to attend on March 28th, 2014, 1pm-8pm. The  theme is the Persecution of Christians in the middle East, with keynote speaker Bishop Elias Toume of Wadi Al Nassara, local Bishop in Homs, Syria, and Professor at the University of Balamand, Lebanon, as well as a special lecture by Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, Harvard University, and former Vice-Chair of the  US Commission on International Religious Freedom. The program also includes a film about Christians in Iraq, “Displaced in their Homeland,” student papers, and dinner. See attachment for program details.

Location: Hellenic College Holy Cross, 50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA 02445.

For further questions or information, call Fr. Luke Veronis 774-230-6985; or email Daryl Ireland direland3@gmail.com.

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Call for Papers: ‘Missionaries, Materials and the Making of the Modern World’

March 14th, 2014 in Announcements, Call for Papers 0 comments

Cambridge University has issued a call for papers for a conference on the theme ‘Missionaries, Materials and the Making of the Modern World’ in Cambridge, 15-17 September, 2014. See attached flyer for details (CfP-MissionsMaterialsModernWorld). For more information contact Dr. Chris Wingfield cw543@cam.ac.uk, Senior Curator (Archaeology)  Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology,University of Cambridge. To submit an abstract email, ga343@cam.ac.uk.

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