Special Issue of Decolonial Subversion on Orthodox Christian Missions and Development
Decolonialsubversions – COS – 1/1/2021
A special issue on “Development Meets Theology: Contextualising Non-Western Christian Missions in Africa, Asia and the Middle East” by Dr Romina Istratii is now available and can be accessed from the link: Decolonial Subversions | Special Issue 2020.
Aims and Objectives of the Special Issue
The aim of the special issue has been to bring together theologians, academics of religions and development and missionaries to explore how missions affiliated with the Eastern Orthodox and so-called ‘Oriental Orthodox’ Christian traditions engage with and affect communities in Africa and Asia. The special issue was particularly interested in bridging mission studies with international development, which has been increasingly focusing on faith-based actors and religion in development. Both these kinds of literature have been informed primarily by Roman Catholic and Protestant missionary experience in the African and Asian regions, and have drawn very little attention to their non-western Christian counterparts. As a result, the distinct theological and dogmatic underpinnings that govern these non-western missions have not been captured in the literature, nor have the implications for missionary activities abroad been explored systematically. Due to their theologies, such missions have engaged with local belief and knowledge systems, cultures and languages in notably more holistic ways, with important implications for human and societal development. The special issue achieves to increase knowledge around these missions and their historical and contemporary engagements to suggest a more nuanced template for thinking about faith actors and development in Africa and Asia.