What Do Missions Look Like in a Post-Colonial World?
Once upon a time, White European and American Christians sang hymns like “From Greenland’s icy mountains” and “O Zion haste, thy mission high fulfilling” and taught about missionaries as brave explorers taking the gospel to exotic-looking and ignorant savages in dark jungles around the world. Once upon a time, Christian missionaries followed trails blazed by their colonizing American and European nations, planting their flags and spreading their dominance around the world while securing paths for businesses to bring back wealth.
For an entire host of reasons, the era of colonization by White powers is over. Missions are now moving in all directions, from south to north and west to east as well as vice-versa. So what should we expect of Christian missions and how should we conceive of them in a world without colonization? On Wednesday, January 17, from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm, the Reformed Church Center will explore that question with two expert missiologists in “Missions in a Post-Colonial World.”
JP Sundararajan is an ordained minister and Director of Global Mission for the Reformed Church in America. Prior to this role, JP had the joy and privilege of ministering for fifteen years back in Bangalore, and all throughout India, as an RCA missionary in partnership with the ministry his parents nurtured when he was a boy. Together, they were able to record the Bible in almost 100 Indian languages. They have also been able to work in over 13,000 villages in India and finished a project that provided audio Bibles to more than 30,000 families in their heart languages. His most recent project involved the creation of the HUM Audio Bible smartphone app (joinhum.org) which launched during the COVID-19 pandemic.
James Jinhong Kim, who holds the Horace G. Underwood Chair in Global Christianity at NBTS, is a pioneer in Global Missiology, approaching the field from the intellectual and pragmatic synthesis of four very different disciplines: history of religion, history of East Asian intellectual traditions, issues in “global core” curricular teaching and programs, and decades of missiological fieldwork experience in the Pauline legacy of “tentmaker mission.” He holds degrees from Columbia and William Jessup Universities and Princeton Theological Seminary, and his most recent book is Global Christianity and the Early Letters of Horace G. Underwood (Pickwick Publications, 2022).