Turning Points in the Expansion of Christianity

Turning Points in the Expansion of Christianity

Baker Academic

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How did Christianity develop and grow into a religious movement, casting its shadows and light into almost every corner of the world?

This readable survey on the history of missions tells the story of pivotal turning points in the expansion of Christianity, enabling readers to grasp the big picture of missional trends and critical developments. Alice Ott examines twelve key points in the growth of Christianity across the globe from the Jerusalem Council to Lausanne '74, an approach that draws on her many years of classroom teaching. Each chapter begins with a close-up view of a particularly compelling and paradigmatic episode in Christian history before panning out for a broader historical outlook. The book draws deeply on primary sources and covers some topics not addressed in similar volumes, such as the role of British abolitionism on mission to Africa and the relationship between imperialism and mission. It demonstrates that the expansion of Christianity was not just a Western-driven phenomenon; rather, the gospel spread worldwide through the efforts of both Western and non-Western missionaries and through the crucial ministry of indigenous lay Christians, evangelists, and preachers.

This fascinating account of worldwide Christianity is suitable not only for the classroom but also for churches, workshops, and other seminars.

1. Embracing Ethnic Diversity: The Jerusalem Council (49)
2. Pushing beyond the Boundaries of Empire: Patrick and the Conversion of Ireland (ca. 450)
3. Expanding Eastward: The East Syrian Mission to China (635)
4. Confronting Pagan Gods: Boniface and the Oak of Thor (723)
5. Accommodating Culture: Jesuits and the Chinese Rites Controversy (1707)
6. Pioneering a Global Outreach: Zinzendorf and Moravian Missions (1732)
7. Launching a Mission Movement: William Carey and the Baptist Missionary Society (1792)
8. Breaking the Chains of Sin and Slavery: British Abolitionism and Mission to Africa (1807)
9. Empowering Indigenous Churches: Henry Venn and Three-Self Theory (1841)
10. Converting the Lost in the Era of Imperialism: The Scramble for Africa (1880)
11. Debating the Meaning of Mission: The Edinburgh World Missionary Conference (1910)
12. Reaching Missional Maturity: Lausanne '74 and Majority World Missions (1974)

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