Dictionary of Mission: Theology, History, Perspectives

Article excerpt

Dictionary of Mission: Theology, History, Perspectives.

Edited by Karl Muller, S.V.D., Theo Sundermeier, Stephen B. Bevans, S.V.D., and Richard H. Bliese. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1997. Pp. xxvi, 578. $50.

This is a translation and English-language revision of Lexikon missionstheologischer Grundbegriffe, edited by two eminent German missiologists, Karl Muller and Theo Sundermeier, and published in 1987. Now it has been updated and expanded by another Catholic and Protestant editorial team, Stephen B. Bevans and Richard H. Bliese from the Chicago Center for Global Ministries. In their preface to the English edition, the editors say they are "attempting to produce a dictionary of mission theology that reflects the missiological currents of the 1990s and looks forward to some of the issues of the first years of the new century and millennium" (p. xvi). In his foreword, Robert J. Schreiter says that the dictionary "is a road map through the exciting and challenging terrain" of the changing landscape of mission.

The 110 articles by some ninety scholars are "basically theological in content" (p. xvii) and span the spectrum from "The Absoluteness of Christianity" to "Word of God." They also include several on current missiological issues, such as "Fundamentalism" and "Common Witness," and a few historical articles, such as "Rites Controversy" and "World Missionary Conferences." Each article includes a substantial bibliography.

While there is one general article on African theology and one on Latin American theology (supplemented by an article on liberation theology), Asia is more thoroughly covered, with separate articles on Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, and Korean theology. …