A Poor and Merciful Church

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Selected as one of  TEN OUTSTANDING BOOKS IN MISSION AND WORLD CHRISTIANITY 2018 by the International Bulletin of Mission Research

In this insightful text, Stan Chu Ilo addresses key questions that face modern Catholicism, particularly in Africa. He shows how two key themes of Pope Francis—the church of the poor and the church of mercy—have deep roots in biblical, patristic, and diverse ecclesial traditions. In Ilo’s focus on Africa, he offers a “Triple A ecclesiology” of accountability, accompaniment, and action guided by some of the practices and theological aesthetics of Pope Francis. The result is a road map and guide for the mission of God in history beyond the papacy of Pope Francis.

Stan Chu Ilo is a research professor and coordinator of the African Catholicism Project at the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, DePaul University, Chicago.  He is the author of three books, including Church and Development in Africa (Pickwick).  He is also the president and founder of the Canadian Samaritans for Africa, and the 2017 recipient of the AfroGlobal Impact Award.

Book Details

A Poor and Merciful Church
The Illuminative Ecclesiology of Pope Francis
Stan Chu Ilo

A Poor and Merciful Church Table of Contents (978-1-62698-265-9_toc.pdf, 259 Kb) [Download]

Stan Chu Ilo deserves our praise for this book, especially for the way he presents the metaphor of ‘culture of encounter’ as a key to our appreciation and understanding of the emerging illuminative ecclesiology of Pope Francis. The book provides insight into the mind of a young African theologian coming to grips with the cross-cultural encounters that underpin contemporary theological scholarship, and points to a way of being a church that lives and witnesses among the marginalized peoples of the earth.
Using Pope Francis’s guidance as a springboard, Stan Chu Ilo develops in this book a revolutionary model of church, one that acts as a ‘light of the world.’ It is a type of church focused on re-creating, in the light of the Gospel, ‘illuminative’ paths of faith, hope, mercy, and love to follow in an often cynical and despairing world.
Taking note of the ‘Francis factor,’ Stan Ilo delves into an illuminating theological dialogue on the nature and mission of the church in the world. A fresh, engaging, and accessible theological contribution from one of the most dynamic and productive African theologians—Africa’s Avery Dulles!
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