News of the extended network of faculty, alumni, students, visiting researchers, and mission partners is regularly updated, and some of the big ideas or major events in Global Christianity are covered in the CGCM News.

Joint Mission Consultation welcomes regionalization

By AbhishekSeptember 22nd, 2023in Alumni Profiles and News

The General Board of Missions of the Korean Methodist Church and the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries held their second Mission Consultation on Aug. 30-31 at Kwanglim Methodist Church in Seoul. The first Mission Consultation met in August 2022 in Atlanta.

Participants from The United Methodist Church included Bishop Thomas Bickerton, president of the Council of Bishops; Bishop Hee-soo Jung, president of the Board of Global Ministries; Bishop Sally Dyck, ecumenical officer of the Council of Bishops; and Roland Fernandes, top executive of the Board of Global Ministries.

The Korean Methodist Church attendees included Bishop Chul Lee, President Bishop of the Korean Methodist Church; Bishop Chungsuk Kim, former president of the General Board of Missions; and Bishop Yong-Won Lee, president of the General Board of Missions. They were joined by mission-related persons from both denominations. 

David Scott (CGCM visiting researcher), director of Mission Theology at Global Ministries, explained the meaning of mission initiatives in a presentation titled “Cooperation in Local Leadership Formation in Asia.” Their primary focus, he said, is on helping areas of The United Methodist Church develop Methodism in countries where it did not previously exist.

The Rev. Paul H. Chang, executive director of the Korean Ministry Plan, reported on the current status of Korean United Methodist churches. He identified 280 congregations, including 244 Korean-language congregations, 36 English-language congregations, and those not yet officially chartered. He said there are a total of 900 active Korean United Methodist clergy.

More here.

“Missionary Canon Law: The Propaganda Fide Congregation and the Challenge of Daily Life Moral Cases in China, 18th-20th centuries”

By AbhishekSeptember 22nd, 2023in Announcements, Faculty Associates

DATE: Sep 27, 2023

TIME: 07:30 AM - 09:30 AM (ET)

SPEAKER: Eugenio Menegon (Boston University)

Bodies of law are based on general legal principles as well as on actual cases in daily life. Traditionally, scholars saw church canon law as a human expression of divine law, chiefly organized around theological and moral principles. More recently, however, new historiography has shifted our attention to the contribution in canonistic codification from casuistic judgments over social-moral conflicts, reported to the central church by the local clergy, state authorities, and the faithful.

Religious encounters in early modern and modern times produced a plethora of detailed reports on “moral cases” (dubia) from the new missionary fields outside Catholic Europe, requiring the central authorities in Rome to issue specific decisions, and then to enshrine such decisions in broader canon law. Building upon the recent historiographical focus on peripheral influence over the center and the importance of dubia from the missions, this presentation will discuss the specific “Chinese” contribution to Catholic “missionary canon law,” and offer a preliminary introduction to some sources for its study.

This lecture is part of the lecture series Rites Controversy: An Entangled History of Normativity Between the East and the West, co-hosted by two Max Planck Partner Groups (Beijing, Trento) and their home department Historical Regimes of Normativity at MPI.

The session is held in English and takes place online. Participants may contact Sandra Michelle Röseler ( for meeting link.

The Stories Behind the Names of the Orthodox Christians in the CHCD

By AbhishekSeptember 1st, 2023

On September 11, 2023, at 10:30 EST (Boston), Dr. Aleksandrs Dmitrenko will present a talk on "The Stories Behind the Names of the Orthodox Christians in the China Historical Christian Database." Join us on Zoom.

In the presentation on Orthodox missionaries and lay people in China, Dr. Aleksandrs Dmitrenko will uncover some of the names and stories of people who will appear shortly in the China Historical Christian Database (CHCD). For instance, learn about:

  • A woman from Edinburgh who was raised in an Anglican family studied in Russia, and went to China as a
    refugee, became an Orthodox nun, and died in the GULAG around 1955.
  • Orthodox priests who converted to the Eastern Catholic Church and Roman Catholic priests who joined the
    Orthodox Church.
  • Members of the Russian Fascist Party, White Russians, and supporters of the Communists.
  • St. John of Shanghai.
  • The brother of the Russian painter and theosophist, Nicholas Roerich.
  • A victim of the Japanese Unit 731, which ran lethal human experiments on their captives.
  • The man who taught English to Emperor Nicholas II.
  • And more…

All these very different people came together in one region of China, Manchuria, and many of them lived in the city of
Harbin. Discover the multifaceted world of the Orthodox Church at this crossroads in China, as well as ways the study
of the Russian Orthodox Church in China might be enhanced by the CHCD.

Aleksandrs Dmitrenko has a Ph.D. from the City University of Hong Kong (2017), an MA in Chinese Studies from the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology (2013), and a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Latvia (2010). He primarily focuses on the research of Christianity in China and, foremost, the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in China. His research interests also include Chinese Bible translations, Sino-Russian relations, Chinese history textbooks, and modern Chinese history. He has worked as a postdoc researcher at Heidelberg University, being a member of the research team of the German-Russian project on Chinese Perceptions of Russia and the West during the twentieth century. He is also a former Visiting Researcher at Boston University's Center for Global Christianity & Mission and was involved in the development of the China Historical Christian Database in the area of the Orthodox Church in China.


By driAugust 22nd, 2023

2023 Pizza Party



New Book: “Christianity in North America”

By AbhishekJuly 20th, 2023in Announcements, Publications

front cover of a book showing a clipart of a woman kneeling and reading

Edited by Kenneth R. Ross, Grace Ji-Sun Kim, and Todd M. Johnson, "Christianity in North America" combines empirical data and original analysis to offer a uniquely detailed account of Christianity in North America.

This reference volume takes a deep dive into Christianity in every country in North America, presenting reliable demographic information alongside original interpretative essays by locally based scholars and practitioners. It maps patterns of growth and decline, assesses major traditions and movements, analyses key themes, and examines current trends. By giving an exhaustive account of Christianity in every part of North America, this volume will become a standard work of reference in its field.

Tyler Lenocker ('20) has contributed a chapter titled "Northeastern United States" to the book.

More info here.

World Christianity Conference in Ghana: Call for Papers



Fifth International, Interdisciplinary Conference co-organized by the World Christianity and History of Religions Program (Dept. of History and Ecumenics), Overseas Ministries Study Center, Princeton Theological Seminary; and the Department for the Study of Religions, School of Arts, College of Humanities, University of Ghana

Venue: University of Ghana, Legon March 11 (Monday) – March 15 (Friday) 2024

More info here.

Generosity & Trauma

In her new book, Kemurahhatian & Trauma, Septemmy Lakawa ('11) argues that in the aftermath of religious communal violence in Indonesia, Christian mission practice should take the form of hospitality. Lakawa, the Associate Professor of Mission Studies at Jakarta Theological Seminary, received a grant to fulfill her wish: to have her dissertation first published in Indonesian.

The book particularizes hospitality by identifying the missiological dimension of local Indonesian hospitality as a vital Christian interreligious practice in the aftermath of religious communal violence in Duma on June 19, 2000. Specifically, the study brings a local Indonesian Protestant community's responses to violence into conversation with the Protestant theological discourse on the cross, martyrdom, religious difference, and the Holy Spirit.

What surfaces is the importance of local traditions of hospitality as a relevant mission practice. Risky hospitality repositions mission at the boundary of the Christian self and the religious Other. Practicing hospitality at this frontier is a delicate undertaking, for it is shaped by the religious communities' shared history of violence and its traumatic effects as well as by the communities' commitments to peace and reconciliation. Her book underscores the importance of linking trauma, healing, and the Holy Spirit in further studies on mission and religious pluralism in the aftermath of religious communal violence.