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Migration and the Making of Global Christianity

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A magisterial sweep through 1500 years of Christian history with a groundbreaking focus on the missionary role of migrants in its spread.

Human migration has long been identified as a driving force of historical change. Building on this understanding, Jehu Hanciles surveys the history of Christianity’s global expansion from its origins through 1500 CE to show how migration—more than official missionary activity or imperial designs—played a vital role in making Christianity the world’s largest religion.

Church history has tended to place a premium on political power and institutional forms, thus portraying Christianity as a religion disseminated through official representatives of church and state. But, as Hanciles illustrates, this “top-down perspective overlooks the multifarious array of social movements, cultural processes, ordinary experiences, and non-elite activities and decisions that contribute immensely to religious encounter and exchange.”

Hanciles’s socio-historical approach to understanding the growth of Christianity as a world religion disrupts the narrative of Western preeminence, while honoring and making sense of the diversity of religious expression that has characterized the world Christian movement for two millennia. In turning the focus of the story away from powerful empires and heroic missionaries, Migration and the Making of Global Christianity instead tells the more truthful story of how every Christian migrant is a vessel for the spread of the Christian faith in our deeply interconnected world.

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  • Surveys the history of Christianity’s global expansion
  • Explores the future of the Christian faith in a deeply interconnected world
  • Utilizes a socio-historical approach to understanding the growth of Christianity as a world religion
  • Foreword
  • Introduction

Part One: Conceptual Framework

  • Migration in Human History: A Conceptual Framework
  • Migration and the Globalization of Religion: Understanding Conversion
  • Theologizing Migration: From Eden to Exile

Part Two: Historical Assessment

  • Christianization of the Roman Empire: The Immigrant Factor
  • Frontier Flows: The Faith of Captives and the Fruit of Captivity
  • Minority Report: From the Church in Persia to the Persian Church
  • Christ and Odin: Migration and Mission in an Age of Violence
  • To the Ends of the East: The Faith of Merchants
  • Gaining the World: The Interlocking Strands of Migration, Imperial Expansion, and Christian Mission
  • Beyond Empire
In Beyond Christendom and other writings, Hanciles did so much to define an emerging field. Now, it is wonderful to see him applying his insights about migration and mission to an earlier era—nothing less than the first three-quarters of Christian history, the years before 1500. This is a remarkably ambitious goal, which he accomplishes with great success. Throughout, we must be impressed by his range of scholarship, and his acuity, as he roams through so many diverse eras and locales. He never lets us forget the links and parallels that bind those early centuries to our own day. This is an adventurous transnational history, which demands to be read and cited.

—Philip Jenkins

  • Title: Migration and the Making of Global Christianity
  • Author: Jehu J. Hanciles
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2021
  • Pages: 464
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Reader Edition
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2020-09-15T15:52:07Z

In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Jehu J. Hanciles, who was born in Sierra Leone, is associate professor of history of Christianity and globalization and director of the Center for Missiological Research (CMR). He came to Fuller as a scholar with Fuller’s Global Research Institute in 1998, and joined the faculty full-time in 2000 after serving in an adjunct capacity. The CMR, newly founded in 2009, houses the PhD program in the School of Intercultural Studies and aims to promote collaborative research among Western and non-Western scholars on emerging missiological issues. The Global Research Institute, which Hanciles directed for almost 9 years, has become a part of the CMR as a postdoctoral fellowship program. A significant component of Dr. Hanciles’ teaching and research focuses on the history, experiences, and expressions of Christianity in the non-Western world. He also has a strong scholarly interest in studies related to the new global context in which Christianity finds itself at the dawn of the new millennium, with newly emerging frontiers, a need for new forms of Christian missionary engagement, and new ways of dealing with old questions. Hanciles’s current research is focused on the interconnection between globalization, migration, and religious expansion: specifically, the ways in which South-North migratory flows provide the structure and impetus for a full-fledged missionary movement from global Christianity’s new heartlands in the non-Western world. Hanciles has lived and worked in Sierra Leone, Scotland, Zimbabwe, and the U.S. He has written and published books and articles mainly on issues related to mission and globalization as well as African Christianity. Recent publications include Beyond Christendom: Globalization, African Migration, and the Transformation of the West (Orbis, 2008), Euthanasia of a Mission: African Church Autonomy in a Colonial Context (Praeger, 2002), “Missionaries and Revolutionaries: Elements of Transformation in the Emergence of Modern African Christianity†in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, and “Go to a Land I will Show You: African Migrants and Christian Mission†in Der uberblick. He was born and raised Anglican, but has been connected or involved with a variety of Christian traditions over the past 15 years.


Digital list price: $42.99
Save $15.00 (34%)

In production