“Mission and Context”, the last volume in “Theology in the Age of Empire” series is out now.

In these five volumes, an international collective of theologians interrogates Christianity’s involvement with empires past and present, trouble its normative teachings and practices whenever they sustain and profit from empire, and rekindle the insights and energies within the Christian movement that militate against empire’s rapacity.

Mission is contrived from and performed over lived contexts, but the visions that guide and drive mission are oftentimes blinded by power, position, protection, and plenitude. This collection visits those matters with queering attention to the shadows that empires cast over the contexts of mission, and to the collusion and complicity of Christians and churches with empires past (as in the case of Rome) and present (as in the case of the United States of America). In the interests of those in mission fields who survived, but continue to agonize under the burdens of empires, the contributors to this work dare to re-vision the course and cause of mission.

Writing from minoritised settings in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania, the authors interweave the principles and practices of mission with the opportunities in decolonial theology and hermeneutics, minoritised and migrant Christologies, repatriation and the courage to get up and get out, indigenous insights and wisdom, mission archives, stories of resistance and endurance in zones of contact and violence, restless souls and returning spirits, and life-centred spiritual (en)countering. In “Mission and Context” as with previous volumes in this series—empires do not have the final word, nor are they the final world.

This is what reviewers have to say:

Mission and Context is an empowering collection of experiences and theological discourse that turns the concept of mission upside down. Mission was for the majority of its history carried out in the context of Empire. This book decolonizes the concept of empire and the forces with which it was associated. For instance, it captures the impact of the missionary movements of the 18th century and their silent and complicit relationship with slavery. The different contexts represented in these chapters give us an honest insight into the role and place of mission, both historically and in contemporary context. This is a book about mission from the margins that looks with hope to the marginalized communities as the places where Jesus lives and speaks.” — Feiloaiga Taule’ale’ausumai, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ)

“This book is a missiological treasure trove of our times. It contains the latest cutting-edge reflections on the greatest challenges facing Christian mission globally. The chapters are written by a carefully assembled group of some of the best theologians in the world at this time. At the heart of each chapter is an analysis of the interplay between the Missio Dei and context in a world dominated by the ideology and the values of Empire. It is remarkable how contributors to this volume, each in her or his own way, manage at once to unmask the negative strategies of Empire and to point out the various ways in which Christians all over the world are resisting it and providing alternatives through their lived faith.” — Tinyiko Maluleke, University of Pretoria

Mission and Context is a courageous endeavour of fourteen scholars, including the editor, Jione Havea, to raise our consciousness about chronic effects of colonization of the church around the globe. Churches of marginalized people, specifically in the global south, suffer the pains of abusive power wielded by “Empire Churches” that are more concerned about mega memberships and individualized spiritualities than “the vulnerable and the dispossessed.” This book provides a bold and brave position on the real meaning of mission considering context and culture through interpretation of scripture, ethical analysis, and re-examined/reshaped theologies. Such an undertaking is the practice of decolonization, the dismantling of Empire. This book is essential reading if theological educators are serious about equipping students for mission that transforms lives in contexts of poverty, racism, and political ineptness.” — Evelyn L. Parker, Perkins School of Theology

“The publication of this book in academic and other church circles is—to use the phrase of my friend Tony Gittins—“a presence that disturbs.” But the disturbance that it causes is a grace, a grace that only those who speak from the margins of society and empire can offer. The entire church, but especially those of us at the privileged center, need to listen, learn, repent, and be converted.” — Stephen Bevans, SVD, Catholic Theological Union

Mission and Context is the fifth and last volume of a series of collections of essays edited by Jione Havea that re-examine and challenge all aspects of Christian practice and theology from the perspective of resistance to Empire and imperialism. Contributors hailing from all corners of the globe unflinchingly unmask the various ways in which Christian churches have colluded with imperial power in ‘matters of power, position, protection and plethora.’ If readers feel uncomfortable with the views expressed in this book, it will have achieved its goal of provoking them to critically rethink the traditional understanding of Christian mission and to acknowledge that ’empires do not have the final word,’ nor are they the ‘final world.’ Reading this book with an open mind is already an act of resistance.” — Peter C. Phan, Georgetown University

You can order the book through https://rowman.com/