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.

New Book

Nimi Wariboko, the Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics, has recently published a new volume: Ethics and Society in Nigeria: Identity, History, Political TheoryThis pathbreaking book constructs a socio-ethical identity of Nigeria that can advance its political development. Its method is based on the rediscovery of the practices and principles of emancipatory politics and a retrieval of fundamental virtues and capabilities that go to the core of the functioning of pluralistic communities. Ethics and Society in Nigeria: Identity, History, Political Theory critically engages history, myth, political philosophy, and religion to demonstrate that Nigeria has an unfolding historic identity that can serve as a resource for sustaining increasing levels of human flourishing and democratic republicanism.

Located at the intersection of history and political theory, this work identifies the nature of Nigeria’s moral problem, forges the political-theoretic discursive framework for a robust analysis of the problem, and shows a pathway out of the nation’s predicament. This three-pronged approach is founded on the retrieval of moral exemplars from the past and critical engagement with history as a social practice, philosophical concept, discipline of study, form of social imaginary, and witness of the flows of contemporary events. Using this methodology, author Nimi Wariboko analyzes various forms of political, religious, and revolutionary identities that have been put forth by different groups in the country and then examines their usefulness for the transformation of Nigeria’s problematic socio-ethical identity.

Methodist Mission Bicentennial

April 8-10, Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church will sponsor a conference to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Methodist missions. The theme of the conference is “Answering the Call: Hearing God’s Voice in Methodist Mission Past, Present, and Future.” The event will celebrate Methodism’s mission heritage and look to the future of Methodist mission.

It will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, at the Emory University Conference Center Hotel. The dates for the conference were chosen to coincide closely with the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Missionary Society on April 5, 1819, formed to support the work of John Stewart, a free African-American, among the Wyandotte Native American people of Ohio.

David Scott (’13) is organizing the event and three people from the CGCM will be presenting at the conference: Dana Robert, Michele Sigg, and Mikio Miyagi.

What is Truth: Lenten Preaching Series

Lenten Preaching Series 2019

Pilate’s question to Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38), resonates through the ages, as we each stand before God wrestling with questions of meaning and identity.  In our time, the idea of truth is under attack in new ways, challenging our coherence as a society and the witness of the church.

This Lent, the annual preaching series at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (138 Tremont Street) in Boston will feature bishops, scholars, a poet and a journalist engaging the question, “What is truth?”

The series takes place on Thursdays, March 7-April 11, 12-1:30 p.m., featuring a simple worship service with guest sermon, followed by a light lunch and conversation with the preacher. Everyone is welcome.

• March 7: Bishop Gayle E. Harris;

• March 14: Sally Haslanger—Ford Professor of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies, MIT;

• March 21: Regie Gibson—Poet, writer, educator and national poetry slam champion;

• March 28: Jonathan Cavillo—Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Theology;

• April 4: Matthew Bell—Reporter, Public Radio International’s “The World”; and

• April 11: Bishop Alan M. Gates.

Questions may be directed to the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (617-482-4826, ext. 221 or kvetiac@diomass.org ).

Salvation Army Posters in China

By driMarch 4th, 2019in Research, World Christianity

The recent collaboration between the CGCM and other institutions to create a digital repository of Chinese Christian posters has spurred some wonderful new historical work. The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre has created a post about the work of the Salvationist’s in China, drawing together both the posters images and other photographs and artifacts from its own collection.

Call for Papers: Dynamics of Indigenization

By driFebruary 23rd, 2019in Call for Papers, World Christianity

A Special Issue of the Journal of Presbyterian History

The Journal of Presbyterian History (JPH) invites submissions for a special issue on “The Dynamics of Indigenization”, which will consider the history of global Christian communities that arose within the Presbyterian and Reformed traditions or through contacts with Presbyterian missions.  This special issue will approach indigenization in terms of how communities adapted to local needs and conditions, or responded on the ground to governments, dominant faith groups, and broader societies.  In its thematic focus, it draws inspiration from the scholarship of the late Lamin Sanneh, who illuminated how Christianity “translated” into diverse cultures and how Christians engaged with peoples rooted in other religious traditions.  Articles should reflect original historical research and draw on Presbyterian or Reformed archives and sources.  The guest editors for this special issue are Bonnie Sue Lewis, Connie Shemo, and Heather J. Sharkey.

For more information on the Journal of Presbyterian History, see https://www.history.pcusa.org/history-online/publications/journal-presbyterian-history  Note that JPH favors articles that combine scholarly rigor with a clear and lively prose style.  Its target audience includes both professional historians and general educated readers.

Articles should range from 5,000 to 7,000 words, including notes.  The deadline is March 1, 2020.  Send submissions to jph@history.pcusa.org

II International Conference on Bartolomé de Las Casas

By driFebruary 15th, 2019in Announcements, World Christianity

The first International Conference, “Bartolomé de Las Casas, O.P.: History, Philosophy, and Theology in the Age of European Expansion,” held in 2016, was a landmark event for Lascasian scholarship. In response to this success, Providence College is pleased to invite interested scholars to our next gathering: “II International Conference on Bartolomé de Las Casas.” Moreover, the organizers programmed this Lascasian conference to coincide with the III International Conference on the History of the Order of Preachers in America, to be held July 17-19th (Wednesday-Friday) at Providence College. Participants can benefit from and contribute to the rich combination of unique research interests afforded by these two international gatherings. Below you will find the program for both conferences. For more information visit: Las Casas Conference. Or contact David Orique, O.P., Ph.D., Cynthia Folquer, O.P., Ph.D., or Rady Roldán-Figueroa, Th.D. at Lascasasconference2019@gmail.com or opamerica2019@gmail.com.

II International Conference on Bartolomé de Las Casas

Call for Papers: Yale-Edinburgh Group

By driJanuary 31st, 2019in Call for Papers, World Christianity

This is the official Call for Papers for the Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity conference, which will be held at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut June 27 – June 29, 2019.

We are accepting proposals for papers on any aspect of the conference theme: Diversity and Difference in Custom, Belief, and Practice in the History of Missions and World Christianity.

Please review the following webpage for an essay on the theme http://divinity-adhoc.library.yale.edu/Yale-Edinburgh/2019theme.htm

Please submit your paper proposal as an email attachment to Chris Anderson (christopher.j.anderson@yale.edu) by March 1, 2019. Your proposal should include your name, academic affiliation/status, and a one paragraph abstract of the proposed topic. If your proposal is accepted, you will be notified by March 15. Each paper will be limited to 20-25 minutes, followed by discussion. Full papers are welcomed in advance and, if received by June 25, will be available for download by conference participants.

Preliminary information about the meeting is available at http://divinity-adhoc.library.yale.edu/Yale-Edinburgh/2019y-einfo.htm

If you plan to attend the conference, please submit the following pre-registration formhttps://web.library.yale.edu/divinity/yale-edinburgh/2019-registration-form

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 30, 2019.

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 know of people who may be interested in participating in the conference but are not members of the listserv, please ask them to contact me.

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

World Christianities Essay Prize

By driJanuary 31st, 2019in Call for Papers, World Christianity
Submissions are now open for the new World Christianities Essay Prize 2019

The Journal of Ecclesiastical History is pleased to announce a new World Christianities Essay Prize of £500, funded in part by a generous donation from the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide. The prize will be awarded each year to the author of an original research article on any subject relating to the history of Christianity outside Europe and North America since the year 700. Contributions are welcome from any historical subdiscipline and with any chronological or geographical focus within those parameters. Previously published work and items under consideration by other journals will not be eligible. Contributions will be assessed anonymously and are open to any author regardless of seniority or background. Entries from junior scholars are warmly encouraged.

The judges will be seeking to award the prize to an essay which displays rigorous and groundbreaking research, effectively communicated, and of significance to the wider discipline. The winning submission will be published as an article, normally in the following April issue of the Journal, and the authors of other high-quality submissions may also be invited to publish in the Journal. The judges reserve the right not to make an award in the event that no submission meets the required standard.

Submissions should be prepared in accordance with the journal’s style guide and should not exceed 8,000 words, including notes.

The closing date for submissions is 31 March 2019, and the outcome of the competition will be announced in September 2019. Submissions should be sent as email attachments, with ‘World Christianities Prize’ in the subject line, to Mrs Mandy Barker at jeh@robinson.cam.ac.uk.

Exemplary articles on World Christianities published in the journal to date are freely available to download here.

In Praise of Greatness: Nimi Wariboko and Africa’s Leading Public Intellectuals

Nimi Wariboko is featured in a new book on Africa’s leading public intellectuals and living legends. The book, In Praise of Greatness, by the famous historian Professor Toyin Falola of the University of Texas chronicles the life and scholarship of Africans who have made substantive contributions to knowledge. Wariboko is cited as one of Africa’s intellectual pioneers.

The back cover explains: In Praise of Greatness, employing poems and prose, pays homage to those African scholars, artists, and public intellectuals who have been exemplary in developing significant ideas and institutional legacies with far-reaching political, social, and cultural impact. Here are remarkable lives of dedicated service that have transformed society, extended the frontiers of knowledge, preserved values, and offered unique perspectives that replace universalism with pluriversalism. In twenty-two chapters that deploy dynamic poetics, distinct cultural tools, and rich traditions, the book presents multiple global-local biographies of preeminent scholars, living legends, and intellectual giants of Africa and its diaspora. Through individual stories, cumulative analyses demonstrate the existence and elaboration of an ontological and epistemic infrastructure that embodies the powerful paradigms that are essential to attaining progress, promoting ethical scholarship, and presenting distinguished Africans to the outside world. The book argues for the maintenance of strong academic traditions and new social thinking beyond patriarchy, as well as more serious attention to poetic and artistic creativity in surviving, navigating, and transforming the varying forces of modernity and globalization with meticulous and sustained attention to local needs and contexts. In Praise of Greatness advances the agenda of nation building by showcasing the formidable works and enduring genius of prominent individuals who have discovered pathways to optimal outcomes for themselves and others through myriad heroic efforts and honorable relationships of generosity and trust.  In Praise of Greatness seeks to inspire intellectual productivity in an emergent generation of scholars; to provide a unique lens for interpreting the past and present; and to promote a collective narrative around African development.

Nimi Wariboko is the Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics at the Boston University School of Theology and a Faculty Associate of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission.

Wariboko Living Legend