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Missiology as Global Conversation of (Contextual) Theologies

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Missiology and contextual theology are related but not equivalent. Missiology arose from the study of mission activity in the former mission fields of Africa, Asia and Latin America but has come to be understood as the study of the mission of God in the whole world in which the church participates. Global and cross-cultural perspectives are essential to missiology and these challenge all theological parochialism. There is a danger that contextual theology degenerates into relativism, but in mission all theologies are challenged to recognize their own contextuality and at the same time their common Christian confession. Grounded in an understanding of missio Dei that includes a creation theology of the Holy Spirit, missiology can and should affirm contextual theologizing while encouraging and facilitating theologians from different contexts to pursue a global conversation. "Conversation" is preferred over "dialogue" because there are many partners from around the world, various means of conversing, and widely varying access to social power among the participants.

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