Heirs and Joint Heirs: Mission to Church among the Mennonite Brethren of Andhra Pradesh

Article excerpt

Heirs and Joint Heirs: Mission to Church Among the Mennonite Brethren of Andhra Pradesh. By Paul D. Wiebe. Winnipeg, Man., and Goessel, Kans.: Kindred Productions, 2010. Pp. xvi, 408. Paperback $19.95.

Paul Wiebe narrates the story of the Mennonite Brethren in South India, describing the transformation of a Protestant mission endeavor into a local Indian church in Andhra Pradesh. The story goes beyond an ordinary academic study of Christian missions, because it is intertwined with the author's family history. Wiebe's grandparents were among the first Mennonite Brethren missionaries who went to India from the United States, around 1900. Wiebe himself grew up and was educated in India, received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Kansas, and taught at several institutions of higher education in southern India.

The book combines the author 's broad historical and sociological knowledge with the experiences of his own family within the mission community. Part 1 provides an overall description of the social and religious context the Mennonite missionaries encountered upon their arrival in India and traces the history of their mission to the subcontinent. Part 2 explores the social structure of the local congregations. It further discusses controversial issues of leadership and social development brought about by the mission. …


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