Recent decades mark a significant watershed in the study of world Christianity as an emerging field, its development into an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary endeavor in particular. Reflection on the complexity of Christianity as a pluricultural, global phenomenon has become robust. Framed loosely in terms of the seminal insights of Dale Irvin, who conceptualizes the study of world Christianity as a crossing of three borders — borders of culture, borders of confession, and borders of religion — our first two conferences (in 2018 and 2019) focused on historiography and ethnography, leaving other religions as the last of three major subfields still to be examined. This March, the World Christianity Virtual Conference will explore Christianity’s interactions with other faiths.
Delving into the premise that Christianity never emerges cross-culturally from a vacuum but always reciprocally in a variety of global contexts already conditioned by preexisting religions (whether African, Amerindian, Caribbean, Chinese, Indian, or Islamic, to mention but a few of the myriad possibilities), the conference seeks to reflect on the state of the field, critique past practices, and explore innovative approaches that push the edge on world Christianity scholarship. For attendees and speakers alike, the conference provides an interdisciplinary space for intellectual encounter and exchange.
Afe Adogame, professor of religion and society
Raimundo Barreto, associate professor of world Christianity
Richard F. Young, associate professor of the history of religions