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date: 16 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the theology of mission and evangelization in the Catholic Church. It begins with a brief overview of how mission developed in the Catholic tradition up to the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on the biblical grounding for a universal mission and the crucial transitions the early Church made from being a Jewish movement to a Gentile-inclusive movement that engaged with and accommodated itself to Greco-Roman culture. It then considers developments in the period leading up to and including the Second Vatican Council, along with the ‘missionary crisis’ and other challenges following Vatican II. Finally, it discusses important continuities and changes in the Catholic theology of mission and evangelization and describes the characteristics of this theology today.

Keywords: mission, evangelization, Catholic Church, Greco-Roman culture, Second Vatican Council, missionary crisis, Vatican II, Catholic theology

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