2. Christian mission among other faiths
Dr. Lalsangkima Pachuau, Asbury Theological Seminary, USA
Dr. Niki Papageorgiou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Aims and objectives
This study group investigated ways of witnessing to Christ while acknowledging the religious plurality of a world experiencing a resurgence of religious belief and an escalation of conflict. It has explored the theological meaning of religious plurality, reflecting on how it bears on Christian soteriology and missiology, and addressing questions of conversion, proselytisation, dialogue and encounter.
The theme includes issues such as religious fundamentalism, persecution, 'secret' and 'churchless' believers and the continuing growth of many different forms of religious conviction. Studies undertaken under this commission were as much as possible be conducted together with or in consultation with representatives of other faiths.
Key issues and questions
1. Developing our theological understanding of the presence of non-Christian religions in the world.
2. The nature of the Christian proclamation to people of other Faiths and how we understand salvation in relation to those of other Faiths.
3. What is the meaning of "world evangelisation" today?
4. How do we bear witness to the uniqueness of Jesus in a multi-religious world?
5. How does a pneumatology defined within a Trinitarian framework affect our understanding of the significance of other religions and the nature of our mission?
6. How do we understand the activity of spirits, as understood within traditions in which they play a prominent role?
7. What is the significance of New Age and other religious movements for Christian mission?
8. How do we understand syncretism?
9. How does the mission activity of other Faiths affect Christian mission?
Study group reports and publications
The papers produced for the study group will be published as a volume on Christian Mission Among Other Faiths, edited by Lalsangkima Pachuau & Knud Jørgensen, in the Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Series.
Group activities and related studies
- Edinburgh 2010 Consultation on 'Christian mission among other faiths', Hamburg, August 2009
- United Theological College, pre-centenary conference on interfaith dialogue, Bangalore, July 2009
- ASEAN and Sri Lanka conference on reconciliation in pluralistic contexts, Malaysia, June 2009
- EMS focus programme on Christian witness in a pluralistic world
- Paper submitted by Rudolf H. Pasaribu, 'Christian mission in the middle of multi religious faiths in Indonesia'