CGCM Notes: September 2023

As the fall begins in New England, students, faculty, and researchers gather in Boston. The new academic year always brings hope and excitement as people come from around the world, ready and eager to explore new ideas among a supportive community of fellow seekers and learners.

The new academic year provides a welcome restart, as the past few months have been difficult for many of us. Individuals connected with the CGCM have experienced the effects of anti-Christian violence, and the tragic consequences of climate change in Maui and Vermont. Several have suffered from covid, with significant after-effects.  Some are living in places where research into Christianity is opposed by hostile governments.  At the same time, much good is being done. In the past six months, folks connected with the Center have taught  in Africa, led mission trips overseas, published books and articles, secured important new positions, and lectured in a range of venues from the Midwest to Korea. In June, a substantial group of alums gathered at the American Society of Missiology annual meeting in South Bend, Indiana. It is an amazing validation of our program that the incoming President and Vice-President–as well as the designated authors of the updated history of the ASM–all studied at Boston University.

As we resume CGCM Notes and CGCM News, we will be sharing some of the highlights of the amazing work going on in Boston and beyond. One new addition to our website will be a CGCM Publications page. Individual researchers do their own research and writing. But we also have a growing list of publications that reflect substantial support by the CGCM as well as authorship by multiple people associated with the Center. The Publications page will include links for acquiring our publications, ranging from the free downloads of the quarterly Journal of African Christian Biography, to scanned earlier works, to recent books available for purchase. Two new books are worth mentioning. First is the prize-winning publication Visions of Salvation: Chinese Christian Posters in an Age of Revolution (Baylor University Press, 2023) edited by Prof. Daryl R. Ireland. This book showcases the China Posters Project of the CGCM, as well as includes articles by scholars associated the project. The second publication, Creative Collaborations: Case Studies of North American Missional Practices, was a product of the North American mission study coordinated by the Center for the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism of the World Council of Churches. Not only did three faculty and students edit the volume, but half a dozen mission scholars connected with the School of Theology contributed articles.  As we reconvene this fall, we look forward to sharing other news and insights into both our individual and our collaborative work.

Dana L. Robert