Ecumenical Missiology: Contemporary Trends, Issues, and Themes

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Ecumenical Missiology: Contemporary Trends, Issues, and Themes.

Edited by Lalsangkima Pachuau. Bangalore: United Theological College, 2002. Pp. ix, 328. Paperback Rs 150 (outside India, $10).

This volume is like a prism that disperses sunlight into a brilliant spectrum of colors. The prism is ecumenical missiology, defined as the "variety of theological responses" to the "changing order of world economies and politics," as well as "challenges emerging from the ecumenical movement" (p. vii). The major part of this book came from the International Consultation on Mission and Ecumenics, held at United Theological College, Bangalore, in 1998. Jointly sponsored by the WCC and the college, it inaugurated UTC's Department of Mission and Ecumenics.

Twelve substantive essays cover the emergence, development, and challenges, as well as major issues and themes, of ecumenical missiology (seven by Asian Christian scholars, three by Western theologians teaching in India, and two by ecumenical mission leaders). Impressive synthesis of scholarship appears in chapters on the encounter between faith and science (S. Henry), mission in the ecumenical movement (L. Pachuau), mission in Asian ecumenical thought (K. Miyamoto), and missiology in theological education (L. Ramambason).

More vibrant colors emerge in three creative essays pushing the frontiers of Asian missiology. In one, Professor Mundadan, the doyen of Indian church historians, both summarizes Western and Indian Christian historiography and calls for a more critical analysis of the encounter "between the heart of Christianity and the authentic and multifaceted soul of India" (p. …