Understanding World Christianity

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Recent years have seen a paradigm shift in Christian self-understanding. In place of the eurocentric model of "Christendom," a new understanding has emerged of Christianity as a "world" movement. At the cornerstone of this new perspective lies the work of a remarkable scholar, Andrew F. Walls, whose book, The Missionary Movement in Christian History (Orbis 1996) was named by Christianity Today as one of the hundred most influential books of the twentieth century. Understanding World Christianity introduces Walls's work and explores its wide-ranging implications for the understanding of history, mission, the formative place of Africa in the Christian story, and the crosscultural transmission of faith.

Contributors include Kwame Bediako; I. Howard Marshall; Allison Howell and Maureen Iheanacho; Wilbert R. Shenk; Brian Stanley; Jonathan J. Bonk; Moonjang Lee; Lamin Sanneh; William R. Burrows; Stephen B. Bevans; Dana Robert; Mark Noll; Michael Poon; J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu; Gillian Bediako; and Jehu J. Hanciles.

William R. Burrows is managing editor emeritus of Orbis Books and research professor of missiology in the Center for World Christianity at New York Theological Seminary.

Mark R. Gornik has studied the African Christian diaspora in New York City and is president of City Seminary of New York.

Janice A. McLean is on the faculty of City Seminary of New York.

Book Details

Understanding World Christianity
The Vision and Work of Andrew F. Walls
American Society of Missiology Series
William R. Burrows
Mark R. Gornik
Janice A. McLean
Honors a scholar who lived out his research as a mission, and confirms that it has not really been news for a long time that the heartbeat of the faith rests with the geopolitically and economically disenfranchised souls of the global South.
"... outstanding ... Much of the warmth of these essays arises from the fact that Walls has not only shown himself to be an innovative thinker, judicious in his surveys and striking in his insights, but that he has also been generous in his encouragement of others, fostering and mentoring a similar spirit and vision.

Some years back Christianity today ran an article on Andrew Walls with a subtitle suggesting that he may be the most important person you don't know'. This collection underlines that what he has gently but consistently drawn our attention to is simply too important to ignore. It opens up new ways of thinking about the world church, and about the ongoing, and often surprising, mission of God. I hope these essays will gain a wide readership, and encourage many to engage with Walls' work directly."
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