This course is an introductory study of worldwide Christianities through the variables mission, ecumenism, interfaith dialogue, evangelism and contextualization. The course explores diversities in iterations of Christianity; realities of Christianity’s evolution in the Global South; and contemporary Christian intercultural activities in the Global North. An important element of the course is field study of culturally- and nationally-identified congregations.
Christianity’s diversities since the Medieval era include denominational differentiation that began with the Protestant Reformation as well as distinctive forms and expressions which originated and are practiced in other national and cultural contexts. The course proceeds from the premise that “Western” Christianity is one iteration of Christian practice. It focuses on diversities that emerged in the tradition’s movement into the Global South, where Christianity currently is experiencing its most significant growth. Diversities evident in the Global South are being transplanted into contexts of the “West” by migrants into Europe and North America, as well as through “reverse” evangelism activities of persons from the Global South leading mission programs into the Global North. The diverse Christianities that emerged across the globe are evident in the Atlanta metropolitan area as well as in other urban contexts across North America, Europe, and other urban centers worldwide. Course work will compare and contrast expressions of Christianity and consider implications of global migrations for the meaning of mission, evangelism, contextualization and intercultural Christian practices.