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Mission and the Ephesian Moment of World Christianity: Pilgrimages of Pain and Hope and the Economics of Eating Together

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Abstract The historic 1910 Edinburgh missionary conference was a watershed moment for world Christianity as it established a framework for international cooperation in the task of bringing the whole gospel to the whole world.’ That goal has more or less been realized. In fact, with the shift of Christianity’s center of gravity from its traditional heartlands in Europe and the US to the “Global South” of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the focus of mission must also shift from a preoccupation with ‘transmission’ so as to engage the wider issues of the teleology of missio Dei. Using Andrew Walls’ depiction of the Ephesian Moment, the author explores mission as God’s activity of bringing together diverse social fragments (as bricks of a single building or as parts of the same body) so as to realize what Paul describes as the ‘very height of Christ’s full stature.” In describing the Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope and a visit to an organic farm in Uganda, the author offers “pilgrimage” as an example of mission practice, which reflects and advances this telos. The act of eating together, which pilgrimage fosters, is not only the expression and the test of the Ephesian moment it is the context within which the most pressing theological, pastoral and ecclesiological issues of world Christianity are illumined and engaged.

Affiliations: 1: Duke University Durham, NC


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1. Hudson Trevor A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion 2005 Nashville Upper Room Books
2. Kalapati Joseph "“Edinburgh to Tambaram: A Paradigm Shift in Mission, or the Horizon of Mission Broadened”" 2010 .
3. Katongole Emmanuel A Future for Africa: Critical Essays in Christian Social Imagination 2005 Scranton University of Scranton Press
4. Katongole Emmanuel "“From Tower Dwellers to Travelers”" Christianity Today 2007 July
5. Katongole Emmanuel Hartgrove Johnathan Wilson Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting the Church After Genocide in Rwanda 2009 Grand Rapids Zondervan
6. Marks Darren C Shaping a Global Theological Mind 2008 Burlington Ashgate
7. Noll Mark The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith 2009 Downers Grove Intervarsity Press
8. Schmemann Alexander The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann 1973–1983 2000 Crestwood St Vladimir’s Seminary Press
9. Schreiter Robert "“Reconciliation and Healing as a Paradigm for Mission”" The international Review of Mission 2005 Vol 94 372 74 83 [Crossref]
10. Walls Andrew The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Fait 1996 Maryknoll Orbis
11. Walls Andrew The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History 2002 Maryknoll Orbis
12. Wickeri Philip "“Mission from the Margins: The Missio Dei in the Crisis of World Christianity”" International Review of Mission 2004 Vol 95 369 182 198 [Crossref]

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