Mission, Memory and Communion: Documenting World Christianity in the Twenty-First Century

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Mission, Memory and Communion: Documenting World Christianity in the Twenty-First Century

Editors: Michael Nai-Chiu Poon, Marek A. Rostkowski, OMI and John Roxborogh
Pages: xiii + 214
Publication Year: 2013
ISBN 13: 978-981-07-4943-9


This book, written by fifteen key interpreters of present-day Christianity from a wide spectrum of tradition, professional training and experience across the globe, examines documenting Christianity as academic discipline and practice at the beginning of the third millennium.


Michael Poon is the director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia, Trinity Theological College, Singapore. Marek A. Rostkowski, OMI, is the director of the Pontifical University Urbaniana Library, Rome. They co-chair the DABOH Study Group, International Association for Mission Studies. John Roxborogh is an honorary fellow of CSCA, Trinity Theological College. He chaired DABOH from 1992 to 2005.


Foreword – Gerald H. Anderson

Introduction –  Revisiting the Structural Problems in Mission Studies in a Globalising Age – Michael Poon, Marek A. Rostkowski, and John Roxborogh

Part One: Theological locus of archives

1. Documentation for a New Millennium of Mission– Heinz Hunke

2. Revisiting Heinz Hunke’s Documentation for a New Millennium of  Mission – Andrew F. Walls

3. Ecclesiastical Archives and the Memory of God’s People – Michael John Zielinski

Part Two: Documentation for mission

4. Drawing on the Intellectual Heritage of the Past for the Theological Task of the Present – Kwame Bediako

5. Documentation, Social Tradition, and the Rise of Asian Pacific Christianity – Michael Poon

6. New Digital Media, Dislocation, Documentation and the Study of Mission – John Roxborogh

7. Measuring and Documenting Persecution of Christians: A Case Study of the World Watch List – Christof Sauer

8. Preserving the Memory(ies) of the Ecumenical Movement – Dietrich Werner

Part Three: To all peoples, from all peoples, for all peoples

9. The Contribution of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in the Beginning and Development of the Missionary Bibliography – Marek A. Rostkowski

10. “Always remember these things”: The Billy Graham Center Archives and the Documentation of Christian Witness – Bob Shuster

11. Missiology in Poland – Wojciech Kluj

12. Bridging the Gap: The Role of Libraries and Archives in Mission Studies in East Africa– Ephraim Mudave

13. The Akrofi–Christaller Institute of Theology and the Documentation of Church Life in Ghana– Korklu A. Laryea

14. Recovering the Memory of a World War I Protestant Mission in Belgium: The British and Allied Evangelistic Campaign and the origins of the Belgian Gospel Mission – Aaldert Prins

15. The Story of Documentation, Archives and Bibliography –John Roxborogh

Afterword – Caritas in Veritate – Documenting Christianity in the Present Time – Michael Poon and Marek A. Rostkowski

Appendix – List of Papers presented at the Rome 2002, Balaton 2008 and Toronto 2012  Conferences


Behind this collection lie probing questions about how ‘World Christianity’ may be classified. Is the term simply another way of describing Christianity today, or is the term a product of the deep binaries resulting from the decolonization model? Are the challenges of documentation merely technical or are they profoundly theological? I cannot commend this thoughtful and crucial collection too highly.  - IAIN R. TORRANCE, President,  Princeton Theological Seminary

Documentation is a practice that is crucial to any kind of research.  Conceptualizing documentation itself is a theme that underlies this book. By entering into the theological foundations of “documenting world Christianity in the 21st century,” this work offers a perspective that is positive, confident and profound, especially in regard to a subject that is pivotal to missiology and to the whole of Christian theology as well.ADAM WOLANINSJ, Full Professor, Faculty of Missiology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome

This book gives an excellent introduction to the challenges and prospects of documenting missionary experiences. The rich encounter between the Gospel, its heralds and hearers in different cultures and nations for the past 2,000 years can easily be lost and forgotten. This book highlights the needs and challenges of collecting missionary experiences from all over the world in the present time. - JAROSŁAW RÓŻAŃSKI, OMI, Professor and Head of Missiology, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University, Warsaw

There is a great deal of serious and technical content in this book for historical and missiological scholars. But the specifics are connected to the depths of reflection on memory, and hence ecclesial identity. I recommend the book to a wider audience. - GEORGE SUMNER, Principal, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

This book is a guide and an inspiration for all interested in World Christianity. Its contributors ably demonstrate the variety of documentation and methods of collection and call persuasively for a sharing of memories and interpretations across the globe.EMMA WILD-WOOD, Director, Henry Martyn Centre, Cambridge

Documentation may sound a largely technical matter, a concern principally for the librarians and archivists who service academic studies. This book shows how crucial it is, not just to scholarship, but to the life and mission of the Church throughout the world. It is stuffed full of good things. Some of them are richly suggestive theologically; some are revealing in surprising ways about Christian history, thought and life, not least in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Some are not just powerful but potentially explosive in their implications, especially if we neglect their message. It is a book not merely for specialists, but for all who care about Christian mission.ANDREW F. WALLS,  Professor, University of Edinburgh, Liverpool Hope University and Akrofi-Christaller Institute, Ghana

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