Alumni Around the World
Year by year, advanced graduate students pass through the School of Theology and the Center for Global Christianity, then go out into the world to teach and do what they have been studying. As they move, the CGCM community grows in engagement through them. They are such a diverse group of people that no one description could possibly do the entire body justice. Instead, news and updates will be regularly provided. Cumulatively, their activities will create a portrait of the CGCM alumni community.
In the most recent issue of focus, the STH alumni magazine, Dr. Casely Essamuah ('03) describes the trajectory of his life and calling thus far. Growing up as a child of a Ghanaian Methodist minister, Essamuah went on to study at Harvard and BUSTH, serve as pastor at Park Street Church and Bay Area Community Church, and finally become secretary of the Global Christian Forum in 2018. Across the stages of his journey, Essamuah has focused on fostering Christian unity and encouraging churches to move beyond their doctrinal differences. Speaking about a meeting of the Global Christian Forum focused on persecution of Christians in Pakistan, Essamuah reflected on why Christian unity is such a priority in his life. "Persecution does not differentiate between Lutheran or Baptist or Orthodox--everyone is treated the same at the point of death," he explained. "He who unites us is more significant than that which divides us."
On May 29, Christianity Today featured a story discussing the limitations of the term "pentecostal" in describing various Christian groups worldwide. The article focused on discussion surrounding the decision of the editors of the new edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia, co-edited by STH alumna Dr. Gina Zurlo, to refer to these groups as "Spirit-empowered" Christians. Weighing in on the conversation, Dr. Nimi Wariboko, CGCM faculty associate, noted that the "essence" of pentecostalism is not its "geographical origin," but rather its tie to the Spirit who is always on the move.
Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Joas Adiprasetya (STH '09), President of Jakarta Theological Seminary, for being recognized by The Ecumenical Review for producing the most downloaded paper of 2018-2019! Published in April 2019, Dr. Adiprasetya's article is entitled "A Compassionate Space-Making: Toward a Trinitarian Theology of Friendship." The article is co-authored with Nindyo Sasongko.
Congratulations to Anicka Fast ('20) and Dima Hurlbut ('20), who are among those students who earned the Graduate Certificate in African Studies!
The United Methodist Church, like so many others, is searching for a way to be faithful to the marks of the Church: the preaching of the Word and the administration of the sacraments. But how can that be done during social distancing? "Both Green Light, Red Light for Online Communion," explores how different people are responding. Note that several of those featured are connected to Boston University (Karen Westerfield Tucker, Ryan Danker, Bishop Oxnam, and Mark Stram).
The International Bulletin of Mission Research recently published its ten outstanding books in Mission Studies from 2019. It was exciting to see a number of people connected to Boston University on the list: Gina Zurlo ('17), William Gregory, Dana Robert, and Amos Yong.
In a recent award-winning article in Pneuma, Antipas Harris ('08) advances hermeneutical insights for emerging black pentecostal scholars to consider. The salient question is, “What distinguishes black Pentecostalism?” This study revisits James H. Cone’s sources for black theology for insight into the role of blackness in shaping black Pentecostalism. On the one hand, the study dispels the myth that black Pentecostalism is inherently a spiritual alternative to the fight for social justice. On the other hand, it calls for critical dialogue between Cone’s sources for black theology and black Pentecostalism to advance scholarship on the formation of black pentecostal hermeneutics. This essay explains that blackness is more than a cultural and experiential reality. Blackness is a theological source that correlates with other sources in shaping black Pentecostalism. Blackness, moreover, legitimates black pentecostal proclivities for the integration of the faith, spirituality, and social advocacy. Theological blackness in Pentecostalism has historically distinguished black Pentecostalism from subsequent white Pentecostalism.
March 15, 2020 was Rev. C. K. Athialy's birth centenary day. He was the pioneering Indian missionary in Nepal. To honor his life, a thanksgiving meeting was planned in Nepal, but has been postponed due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Rev. C. K. Athialy's son, Jesudas Athyal, has been a Visiting Researcher at the CGCM and with his family produced a short documentary of his father's life. The video also features Bishop Abraham Mar Paulos, who earned his doctorate at the Boston University School of Theology in 1993.
March 30 - April 1, 2020
The Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary invites you to an exclusive conference to celebrate the launch of the third edition of our seminal work, the World Christian Encyclopedia (Edinburgh University Press).
The conference will feature:
- Keynote addresses from leaders in mission and ecumenical organizations. Featured speakers include Casely Essamuah (Global Christian Forum), Mary Ho (All Nations), Todd M. Johnson (CSGC), Gina A. Zurlo (CSGC), Scott W. Sunquist (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary), among others.
- Panel sessions on world religions and mission
- Focus on gender in global Christianity
- Discussion of Evangelicals and social action
- Analysis of regional trends in Christianity
The conference will begin on Monday, March 30 with registration at 8am and will conclude at noon on Wednesday, April 1. For information on registration, housing, and conference schedule, click here or visit globalchristianity.org. For all other inquiries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978) 468-2750.