Papers & Publications
The Latin American context played a central, although often neglected, role in the many Christian traditions emerging from the Early Modern era. This year, Rady Roldán-Figueroa, BuSTH professor and CGCM faculty affiliate, has explored this intersection between Latin America and European Christianity in the following works: C. Douglas Weaver and Rady Roldán-Figueroa, Exploring Christian Heritage: A Reader in History and Theology, 2nd rev. ed. (Baylor University Press, 2017), Rady Roldán-Figueroa, “Introduction: Race as a Category of Anthropological Difference in the Formative Stage of Peripheral Catholicism,” in Early Modern Theologies of Race in the Age of European Expansion, ed. Rady Roldán-Figueroa, special issue of the Journal of Early Modern Christianity 4/2 (2017), “Martin Luther in Latin America: From the Counter-Reformation Myth of Latin American Catholicism to Luther as Religious Caudillo,” in Martin Luther. A Christian between Reforms and Modernity (1517-2017), ed. Alberto Melloni, Federica Meloni, and Stefania de Nardis (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017). [In English, with German translation], “Martin Lutero in America Latina: Dal mito controriformistico del cattolicesimo latinoamericano a Lutero come caudillo religioso,” in Lutero: Un cristiano tra riforme e modernità (1517-2017), ed. Alberto Melloni, Federica Meloni, and Stefania de Nardis (Torino: Unione tipografico-editrice torinese, 2017), “Religious Literature and its Institutional Contexts: Prelude to the Study of Spanish Accounts of Christian Martyrdom in Tokugawa Japan,” Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte/Archive for Reformation History (Special Issue: “The Global Impact of the Reformations: Long-Term Influences and Contemporary Ramifications” / “Die Weltwirkungen der Reformation: Zeitgenössische und langfristige Folgen der religiösen Reformbewegungen des 16. Jahrhunderts”), 108 (2017).
European powers expanding into southwest Africa in the 17th century confronted a cunning and capable leader in Queen Njinga. Linda Heywood has been uncovering the story of this complex figure, teasing out how she ruled and what role her faith played in her kingdom. Most recently, she gave lectures on the subject in London and Bristol, England, as she draws closer to the publication of Njinga, History, Memory, and Politics and Culture: Angola and the African Diaspora. This fall, Haywood will lecture on Queen Njinga at the Library of Congress on November 9th (see flyer here) and again on December 14th at the Mariners’ Museum. (the photo to the left is of Dr. Heywood at her recent lecture at the Library of Congress).
Over the last century, some Western scholars have argued that certain religious traditions–first Catholicism, and increasingly in the contemporary world, Islam–are inherently incompatible with democratic forms of government. In a recent essay published in The Immanent Frame, CGCM faculty associate Jeremy Menchik, remembered the work of political scientist Alfred Stepan. Stepan’s scholarship resisted moves to paint any religious tradition as necessarily undemocratic, highlighting through his diligent research ways in which religious communities creatively participate in democratic governance. Much of Stepan’s later scholarship centered on the religiously plural context of India and the predominantly Islamic context of Indonesia.
The study of African Pentecostalism has blossomed in the last decade. In his recent essay for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History, “Pentecostalism in Africa,” CGCM faculty associate Nimi Wariboko surveys the current state of historical scholarship on Pentecostalism in different African contexts. He highlights the priorities of such scholarship and points toward important trajectories for future work in the field.
Many emerging countries in postcolonial West Africa have found themselves at the center of Christian-Muslim interactions in the contemporary world. Nimi Wariboko‘s new piece, “Christian-Muslim Relations and the Ethos of State Formation in West Africa” in Evelyn A. Reisacher (ed.), Dynamics of the Muslim Worlds: Regional, Theological, and Theological Perspectives (Downers Groove, IL: IVP Academic 2017), explores the ways in which such state formation is both shaped by and shapes (sometimes coopting for the state’s own ends) dynamics between these two religious communities.
In his recent book, Tales of Mutual Influence: Biography as Missiology in Latin American Pentecostalism, Angel D. Santiago-Vendrell (BuSTH alumnus and professor of evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary) explores the role of biography in the Pentecostal missionary endeavor in Latin America. Following the movement across the 20th century, Santiago-Vendrell describes its journey beginning with early American missionaries, its transmission in Latin America, and then its return to the United States through Latino/a migrant communities.
In Global Renewal Christianity: Spirit-Empowered Movements, Past, Present, and Future, vol 3: Africa and Diaspora, Nimi Wariboko surveys the everyday theology of West African Pentecostals. It is an opportunity to explore what Pentecostal faith looks like in Africa at home, work, among the family, and church.
In his most recent article on “The Action of Christian Buildings on their Chinese Environment,” Michel Chambon describes how Christian church structures in Fujian shape the faith of those who gather inside, as well as what they communicate to those who only peer at the buildings from outside. He argues that buildings are actors which make the presence of God tangible.
At the 99th meeting of the Eastern Fellowship of Professors of Mission, Laura Chevalier and Tyler Lenocker addressed the future of mission education. Ms. Chevalier spoke about teaching in Christian Liberal Arts colleges. Mr. Lenocker encouraged an interdisciplinary approach to mission. Both their presentations were printed in the International Bulletin of Mission Research.
The spirituality of the East African Revival took a distinctive shape in its early years. In a recently published article in the International Bulletin of Mission Research on “The Conversion of Yosiya Kinuka and the Beginning of the East African Revival,” Daewon Moon argues that the revivalist spirituality was prompted by the conversion of Yosiya Kinuka, an African member of the Ruanda Mission medical staff. Highlighting the African initiative in the revival, this article critically assesses previous historical analyses of religious conversion in the colonial context and argues that the conversion of Kinuka served as an archetype that shaped the character of the revival as primarily a conversionist movement.