The History of Missiology was the first Digital Humanities project at Boston University. It is an example of the Library’s re-articulation of its pedagogical role. In a world of high speed networks, digital content, and massive search engines, the Theology Library is attempting to build focused collections of digital content in order to enhance teaching and learning. The site provides access primarily to classic writings in the history of Protestant mission thought. Written by cross-cultural missionaries, mission administrators, and mission promoters, the collection contains mission theology, theory, and practice as well as some of the first ethnographic studies of people in primal societies, and histories of encounters between westerners and people from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The Theology Library and the Center for Global Christianity & Mission are aware that they are indebted to the peoples and nations in the global south for much of this body of literature. Digitizing these sources and providing global access through the Internet is, they hope, a way to return this information to those from whom it came.
This site also provides biographical sketches and links to digitized material written by or about specific missionaries, missiologists, and mission administrators in the belief that mission theology, theory and strategy are best understood in their social context.
The Theology Library and the Center for Global Christianity & Mission will continue to scan texts, collect other digital documents in the public domain, and make them available on this website. Special thanks are due to Gerald H. Anderson, editor of the Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, for allowing this site to use biographical sketches from the dictionary, the Overseas Ministries Study Center for scanning and making available their legacy articles, and to the Boston University School of Theology, the DeFreitas Family Foundation, the Kip Knight/Peggy Day Foundation, and the Boston University Instructional Technology Grant for financial support.