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Sixteenth-Century Mission: Explorations in Protestant and Roman Catholic Theology and Practice

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Did the Reformers lack a vision for missions?

In Sixteenth-Century Mission, a diverse cast of contributors explores the wide-reaching practice and theology of mission during this era. Rather than a century bereft of cross-cultural outreach, we find both Reformers and Roman Catholics preaching the gospel and establishing the church in all the world. This overlooked yet rich history reveals themes and insights relevant to the practice of mission today.

Praise for Sixteenth–Century Mission

… overturns many false assumptions and valuably fills in many gaps: I wish I had read it when I first started teaching church history decades ago.

–Timothy Larsen, McManis Professor of Christian Thought, Wheaton College

… the most exhilarating collection of essays I have ever reviewed.

–Malcolm B. Yarnell III, research professor of theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and author of Royal Priesthood in the English Reformation and The Formation of Christian Doctrine

Top Highlights

“Rather, the goal was to carefully ‘lay the foundation’ for a ‘truly Chinese and Christian Church’ in the future” (Page 256)

“John Stott’s statement on the proper missionary motive helps us consider how to effectively understand and assess Calvin and Geneva’s relationship to missions.” (Page 117)

Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology

Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key figures, themes, and issues in historical and systematic theology from an evangelical perspective.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.

  • Foreword by Dana L. Robert
  • Introduction by Edward L. Smither
  • Part One: Lutheran, Reformed, and Anabaptist Mission
    • “Correcting the Record: The Reformers on Evangelism and Missions” by Ray Van Neste
    • “Trinity in a Woman’s Soul: Recovering a Women’s Spirituality for Mission in Jan Hus’s Dcerka [The Daughter]” by Michèle Miller Sigg
    • “The Wittenberg Connection in Scandinavia: The Catalyst of the Reformation within Historical Complexity” by Robert L. Gallagher
    • “French Reformed Mission before Calvin 1515–1535” by Garry Austin
    • “Calvin’s Geneva: Missions as a Light to the World” by Karin Spiecker Stetina
    • “French Reformed Mission in Colonial Brazil” by Franklin Marilene
    • “‘That There Would Be One Flock Under One Shepherd’: Theodor Bibliander and An Early Protestant Understanding of the Role of Language for Missionary Work” by Gregory J. Miller
    • “Characteristics of Anabaptist Mission in the Sixteenth Century” by James R. Krabill
    • “The Augsburg ‘Missions Convention’ of August 1527 and Early Anabaptist Outreach” by Charles E. Self
  • Part Two: Roman Catholic Mission
    • “The Spiritual Exercises: Ignatian Spirituality in Sixteenth-Century Mission in China” by Luisa J. Gallagher
    • “Accommodating Christianity to Confucian Culture: Matteo Ricci and the Early-Jesuit Mission to China (1582–1610)” by Alice T. Ott
    • “The Jesuit Mission to the Kingdom of Kongo (1548–1555)” by John Thornton
    • “Teresa of Avila and Mary Ward: Spirituality and Re-imagining Mission” by Amanda Kaminksi
    • “Bartolomé de las Casas: Defender of the Indians, Defender of the Word” by Allen L. Yeh
    • “Sacrificial Labors of Colonization: Sixteenth-Century Franciscan Missions in Central Mexico and in La Florida” by Viviana Díaz Balsera
    • “The Institutional Inner Logic of Sixteenth-Century Discalced Franciscan Missions” by Rady Roldán-Figueroa
  • Title: Sixteenth-Century Mission: Explorations in Protestant and Roman Catholic Theology and Practice
  • Editors: Robert L. Gallagher & Edward L. Smither
  • Series: Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Pages: 504
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781683594659

Robert L. Gallagher (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is a professor emeritus of intercultural studies at Wheaton College Graduate School. He is an ordained minister of the Australian National Council of CRC Churches International and the Christian and Missionary Alliance in the United States. He is co-author of Encountering the History of Missions: From the Early Church to Today, Christ among the Nations: Narratives of Transformation in Global Mission and Readings in Global Christianity: Post-Apostolic to 1800 AD.

Edward L. Smither (PhD, University of Wales--Trinity Saint David; PhD, University of Pretoria) is professor and dean of intercultural studies at Columbia International University. He spent 14 years in intercultural ministry in North Africa, France, and the USA. He is author of numerous books, including Christian Mission: A Concise Global History.


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Print list price: $29.99
Save $3.00 (10%)