Academic journal article International Review of Mission

Training to Be Ministers in Asia-Contextualizing Theological Education in Multi-Faith Contexts: Historical, Contextual and Theological Perspectives from Different Asian Countries

Academic journal article International Review of Mission

Training to Be Ministers in Asia-Contextualizing Theological Education in Multi-Faith Contexts: Historical, Contextual and Theological Perspectives from Different Asian Countries

Article excerpt

Training to Be Ministers in Asia--Contextualizing Theological Education in Multi-Faith Contexts: Historical, Contextual and Theological Perspectives from Different Asian Countries. Ed. Dietrich Werner. Taiwan: PTCA Series No 3., 2012, 325 pp.

This book entails diverse and different approaches to theological education in Asian countries for the study of Asian Christianity, attending to pluralism within Asian Christianity. The 10th Assembly of the WCC will take place in Busan, South Korea, and engage the issue of Asian Christianity, which is characterised by religious pluralism, rapid social change, technological advancement, and the impact of migration in the context of economic globalisation. These factors remain influential upon the life of Asian churches and their mission. We observe that the population of Asian churches will continue to grow, reaching around 595 million in 2050. Such growth is especially obvious in countries like China, India, Nepal, and Cambodia and the Philippines.

The WCC global study report on theological education (published during the Edinburgh 2010 process) emphasises theological education as the seedbed for the renewal of churches when it comes to the ministry, mission, and commitment to the church's unity in today's globe.

Given the situation in Asia, theological education and ministerial formation are regarded as the backbone and the basis for the mission of Asian churches. They include contextualisation of theological education as a top priority. The emphasis of this book is on Asian churches with a comparatively short history of Christian mission and national contexts of countries like Pakistan, Nepal, the Mekong countries, Bhutan, China, and others, rather than places with advanced systems of theological education like South Korea, Hong Kong, and India. The case of Japan emphasises evangelisation rather than theological education.

An emerging global crisis in theological education is expected to have "the potential to endanger the very future and integrity of World Christianity" (ix). Such a worry expresses the concern for the promotion of theological education by placing a priority on joint witness and collaboration within the global and ecumenical movement. A church with properly advanced theological pedagogy in Asia is needed for engagement with society as well as for a deeper commitment to holistic Christian mission. …

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