Anglican relations with Islam and with Muslims are rooted in the long history of Christian contact with the world of Islam. There has been mutual recognition and cooperation during the millet system of the Ottoman times, but also hostility and conflict. Anglicans have sought to strengthen the ancient Oriental churches in Islamic lands through assistance of various kinds, without proselytizing. At their best, they have tried to serve their Muslim neighbours through education and medical work, whilst also seeking to understand Muslim cultural, literary, and spiritual traditions. In particular, Anglican witness has focused on translating and making available the Bible in Muslim languages. This chapter maps out the variety of approaches adopted and to outline what has been fruitful as well as to acknowledge the mistakes and to learn from them in order to work towards a common understanding of and commitment to fundamental freedoms, including that of belief in our world today.
Ellen T. Armour
This chapter considers analyses offered by three important feminist scholars, working in different religious traditions, who attend to specific forms of women's religiosity. In Changing the Subject: Women's Discourses and Feminist Theology, Mary McClintock Fulkerson attempts to carve out a place within feminist theology for Christian women who do not consider themselves feminist. In The Hammer and the Flute: Women, Power and Spirit Possession, Mary Keller's analysis of the phenomenon of spirit possession, which affects many more women than men, becomes a site in which to reflect anew on questions of gender and religious subjectivity. In Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, anthropologist Saba Mahmood finds that the issues raised by her study of Egyptian women involved in an Islamic renewal movement challenge certain feminist orthodoxies. Taking each author in turn, the chapter first traces the particular contours of the religious phenomenon each analyzes and shows how they reframe religious subjectivity. The final section brings the three essays together and describes what avenues they open up for constructive feminist theology in a global context.
Kim Micah Eun-Kya
This chapter searches the new identity of Post-Anglicanism beyond Anglicanism in the age of the global empires. The British Empire and Anglicanism were a two-wheeled vehicle during the colonial period. Anglicanism can be understood as justifying a ruling ideology in colonial ages just as the Pax Romana justified the Roman Empire under the slogan of the expansion of the Kingdom of God. This can be called the Pax Anglicana. How then can Post-Anglicanism frame the future of the Communion? It needs to take seriously today’s global contexts in the light of Minjung (the oppressed) in Asia, Latin America, Africa. For this we need to read the Bible against the background of the society and religion of ancient Israel and their links with ancient empires. And it has to reconstruct Anglicanism in terms of justice, peace, and religious dialogue against the global empire.
Michael Barnes SJ
This chapter considers Catholic theology’s response to non-Christian faiths. It argues that the ‘theology of religions’ is not a locus of theological reflection distinct from Christology or Trinitarian theology or others, but one that asks the questions in a particular context. At the same time, the theology of religions is an act of Christian discipleship, in which Christians encounter those of other faiths and reflect on how we may discern the work of the Spirit beyond the bounds of the visible Church. The chapter pursues this argument by considering the Second Vatican Council’s Nostra aetate, the relationship between dialogue and mission, the phenomenon of ‘comparative theology’, and the relationship between dialogue and discipleship.
K. K. Yeo
The chapter surveys the historical landscape of Chinese Christologies since the Tang dynasty, noting how the images of Christ relate to and impact specific cultural contexts. It also surveys four recent typological perspectives (the works of John P. Keenan, Kwok Pui-lan, Enoch Wan, and Jonathan Tan) discerning which Christology saves, and which destroys, China. Then, the chapter reconstructs, first, a distinctive Chinese Christology of Dao (way) that attempts to demonstrate the mutually transformative power between Christology and language, and, secondly, a Chinese Christology of Renren (a person who loves) that attempts to demonstrate Christ(ians) as the glorious image(s) of God. The main thesis of the chapter is that, such a biblical, contextual, and global Chinese Christology has the aspiration of ordering the world with beauty.
Christianity in China is a relatively new import from the West. During the seventeenth century, European missionary orders, especially the Jesuits and Dominicans, entered China and began impressive missionary efforts. However, a bitter “rites controversy” emerged between the Jesuits and the Dominicans over how much the Christian faith could be adapted to correspond to Chinese culture. In the early eighteenth century, the pope sided with the Dominicans, who rejected any compromise with Chinese religious practices. As a result, the emperor expelled missionaries and proscribed Christianity. The legacy of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century imperialism still affects Chinese Christian churches. A second important legacy of Christianity in contemporary China is the history of persecution under the Communist regime. Since Catholicism is heavily dependent on an ordained clergy, its growth in China is inhibited by the shortage of clergy. Various forms of Protestantism grow much more rapidly because they can depend on lay preachers.
Ainslie T. Embree
The many Christian communities of South Asia were all deeply embedded in the complex civilizations of the subcontinent. Today, these communities number some thirty million people in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and elsewhere in the region. The history and development of Christianity in India can be divided into four phases or periods. The first phase begins, according to the Thomas Christians as they are known, with the arrival of the apostle Thomas sometime in the middle of the first Christian century. The last three phases occurred in 1497, 1813, and 1947, respectively. Conversions in two special groups illustrate the growth of Christian communities in India. One group resulted from what are known as mass movements, when thousands of people from the lowest caste groups were converted very quickly and without much instruction; other Christian communities came from the tribal peoples, chief among them being the people of Northeast India.
Tara Villalba Munson
Christianity in Southeast Asia is part of a rich tapestry of global religious traditions that include Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. In mainland Southeast Asia, Christianity competes with Buddhism, which has been enshrined as the state religion in Myanmar and Cambodia, and is widely practiced in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Christianity first came to mainland Southeast Asia through the French in Vietnam. Although Christianity started to arrive in Vietnam in the 1300s, proselytizing from the Roman Catholic missionaries began in earnest in the 1500s. In the same way that China served as the initial base for Western missionaries to evangelize in Indochina and the Malay Archipelago, Vietnam served in a similar way for missionaries proselytizing in Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Thus, Christianity in nationalist Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia was seen as foreign because it came from two groups of outsiders: the European colonizers and missionaries, and the Vietnamese who spread it further into Indochina.
This article explores Church of Ireland sermons in the eighteenth century. Anglican sermons provide insights on the changing views of Irish Catholics, in particular how and why their conversion should be pursued. Sermons also offered solutions to the problems created by Catholicism and were used to fund and raise the profile of particular conversion schemes, and to recruit the support of the influential and wealthy.
The history and continuing presence of British colonialism are inseparable from the past and present shape of the Anglican world. This has meant the spreading of a localized, specific form of Reformation Christianity in domains of the former British Empire, and the negotiation of how its local theology would interact with the multitude of local languages, cultures, and socio-religious practices. The reality of geopolitical, religio-cultural contextualities continues to challenge the resources of Anglicanism. This chapter explores some of the hermeneutics, methods, and varieties of cultural diversity involved in incarnating different varieties of Anglicanism. It argues that the work of moving beyond ‘civilizational confinement’ involves a theological hermeneutics that honours multiple layers of identity and culture, and necessitates the difficult work of restoring and transforming relationships.
Juan E. Campo and John Iskander
The Copts, the indigenous Christians of Egypt, are early examples of the global spread of Christianity. Their name comes from qibt, which Arabic-speaking Muslims used to designate first the native population of Egypt, and subsequently Egyptian Christians. Though Copts claim descent from the ancient Egyptians, most belong to the monophysite Coptic Orthodox Church, which attributes its origins to the missionary activities of Mark the Evangelist in the first century CE. As a result of the Islamic conquest in the seventh century and gradual conversion to Islam thereafter, they now constitute a small Arabized Christian community in an Arabic-speaking Muslim majority milieu. However, Copts remain the largest Christian population in the entire North African-Middle Eastern region. The key issues they face involve how to maintain communal viability and identity in the face of the powerful forces of nationalism, secularism, emigration, and post-colonial Islamic radicalism. This article traces the history of the Coptic tradition, demographics of Egypt's Coptic population, their rituals, relations with Muslims, and the Coptic diaspora.
Sabrina P. Ramet
Catholicism is the predominant religious affiliation in Eastern Europe. It is the majority religion of the national societies of Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia; and is the largest faith in the Czech Republic and Hungary. There are also smaller Catholic communities in other Eastern European countries. During the Communist era, beginning around 1945 to 1948 and continuing to around 1989–1990, the Catholic Church labored under various limitations. In Albania, for example, Catholicism, together with all other religious associations, was completely illegal from 1967 until 1990. After the collapse of the Communist organizational monopoly in 1989–1990, the situation of religious associations in the area changed dramatically. The Catholic Church, no longer compelled to be on the defensive, undertook to promote its own program for society. This article traces the origins and history of Christianity until the 1800s and examines Catholicism and the national awakening of the nineteenth century, along with Catholicism during the twentieth century and after the collapse of Communism.
This chapter explores Anglican ecumenical engagement. After a brief historical survey of Anglican involvement in the global ecumenical movement, it focuses on the mostly bilateral ecumenical discussions which have taken place since the Second World War, considering relations between Anglicans and Old Catholics, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravians, Methodists, Reformed, Baptist, United and Charismatic/Pentecostal Churches, offering a snapshot of the state of these relationships in 2012. It concludes that ecumenical dialogue has proved effective in helping churches to know and understand each other better, but that this level of discussion can feel unconnected from the lived reality of individual Christians, particularly in contexts in which confessional boundaries are no longer experienced as clear lines of demarcation. Increasingly, the focus of ecumenical encounter is on shared mission.
Proceeding from autobiography, this chapter analyses the multiple dimensions that influenced the formation of the Church of South India. Such a post-Anglican ecumenical movement was prompted by drawing away from the receding shadow of the British Empire and moving towards other native communities emerging at the dawn of Indian Independence. Against this backdrop, the chapter examines the current realignments taking place within the Anglican Communion. The emergence of ‘transnational compactism’, in which collaborations are pursued with like-minded churches, are not the same as previous movements of ecumenism. What then are the directions open for the Anglican Communion? ‘Cosmo-transAnglicanism’ is offered as a model. Constructively working with Christology, a re-appropriation of Christ as the reconciling and compassionate One, is put forward as a challenge to both the Uniting Churches and the not-so-united churches within the Anglican Communion.
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG), founded in 1702, was the first and only British missionary society, until the advent of Evangelical mission societies in the 1790s. This article explores the annual anniversary sermons of the SPG from the society’s establishment until the 1790s. Throughout the eighteenth century, the SPG mission sermons constructed identities for the various colonial North American and, to a lesser extent, West Indian, populations that were the targets of SPG missions.
Fritz Erich Anhelm
Protestant Christianity originated in Europe and, although currently found throughout the world, is still characterized by its European origins. Its most distinctive social feature is its structural plurality. Despite their long history of division, the pluralism of Protestants has led them to search for an apparent unity within all Christian churches. Hence, plurality offers opportunities as well as obstacles and is a vital mark of Protestant self-identity in an era of globalization. The ecclesia semper reformanda, or constant renewal of the church, aims at the true God-given church. The main Protestant confessions of Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Zwinglinism developed from small groups in the sixteenth century into established churches. At the same time, however, the pre-reformatory movements of the Waldensian and the Bohemian brothers as well as the post-reformatory Baptists, Congregationalists, and Methodists developed into free churches. Both developments are mirrored in their relation to the state. Protestantism made secularization possible. The rediscovery of the spiritual dimension in Protestant communities can be regarded as a reaction to the secularized Protestant habitus.
Through missionaries and the communications media, evangelical Protestant Christianity has spread its tentacles around the world. A recent estimate put the number of evangelicals worldwide at 200 million. Its roots, however, are in the European Protestant Reformation and in a kind of primitivist yearning for New Testament purity. Evangelicalism has also been the most influential social and religious movement in American history. The term “evangelicalism” refers to an internally diverse religious movement, which includes fundamentalists, neo-evangelicals, charismatics, and pentecostals. Evangelicals inhabit a variety of denominations as well as churches with no denominational affiliation, and many evangelicals do not recognize themselves by that label, preferring to call themselves simply Christian or Bible-believing Christians. Evangelicalism, in the United States and elsewhere, has endured and flourished because of its entrepreneurial nature. This article looks at the evangelical Christian community in North and South America, the history of evangelicalism, evangelicalism in a global perspective, and evangelical attitudes toward society.
Imperialism and colonialism have been key determinants for the geography of Anglicanism. This is evident in developments within the British Isles, in North America and North American expansion, in India, and in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British expansion worldwide. In much of this, the mission agencies, in particular SPCK, SPG, CMS, and UMCA, have played an important role. Characteristic impacts included settlement, slavery and indentured labour, displacement and segregation. The civility/barbarity dichotomy made for a persisting fault-line, reinforced by racism. Anglican developments, including the Lambeth Conferences, shaped and were shaped by globalization.
Margery Post Abbott
Important shifts are arising out of major changes in world Quaker membership patterns, which occurred in the twentieth century. Quakerism in Africa, Latin America, and Asia are taking on their own character even as tensions grow out of changing relationships with North American Friends. Major questions arise at the edges, which this chapter defines as generic evangelicalism and humanist activism—both trends in the United States that pull away from an identifiable faith community of Friends and can lead further into groups that recognize no commonality. Contrasting pressures exist causing some Friends to assert the authority of the Yearly Meeting over biblical interpretation, while others seek ways of respectful reconciliation.
This chapter explores from a Womanist perspective the complexities of how commingled systems, texts, and violence shape lives, stories, and experiences of the sacred across the globe, beginning by presenting a methodology and exploring concepts of narrative, theology, and globalization. It then analyzes an assortment of texts, noting points of ambiguity, especially in the intersections between story, belief, and worldview. The selected texts represent a variety of narratives or modes of expression that convey tensions between inclusion and exclusion, and which pertain to community development, yet are not often used together in feminist or Womanist analysis. These texts include: (1) The Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1–9); (2) selected chapters from the 1948 United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which focus on what happens to human bodies—living bio-texts or embodied narratives in and of themselves); (3) the song, “We are the World” (1985); and (4) human bio-texts, such as bodies of victims of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and rape as an act of war.