Power and Partnership: A History of the Protestant Mission Movement

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While the concept of partnership between churches in the Global North and South has been an ecumenical goal for well over eight decades, realizing relationships of mutuality, solidarity, and koinonia has been, to say the least, problematic. Seeking to understand the dynamics of power and control in these relationships, this work traces the history of how partnership has been lived out, both as a concept and in practice. It is argued that many of the issues that are ...
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Power and Partnership: A History of the Protestant Mission Movement

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Overview

Description:
While the concept of partnership between churches in the Global North and South has been an ecumenical goal for well over eight decades, realizing relationships of mutuality, solidarity, and koinonia has been, to say the least, problematic. Seeking to understand the dynamics of power and control in these relationships, this work traces the history of how partnership has been lived out, both as a concept and in practice. It is argued that many of the issues that are problematic for partnerships today can find their antecedents during colonial times at the very beginnings of the modern missionary movement. For those interested in pursuing cross-cultural partnerships today, understanding this history and recognizing the use, as well as the misuse, of power is crucial as we seek genuine relationships of care and friendship in our fractured and divided world.

Endorsements:
"In reviewing the history of Protestant mission work, Barnes exposes major themes or issues that cause those of us from the West to continually fall short in realizing mature ecumenical relationships, and through this analysis helps us see new possibilities for these relationships in the future."
--Graham Duncan, Professor of Church History and Church Polity, University of Pretoria

"Power and Partnership is a salutary text on partnership within the international ecumenical scene, for at least three reasons. First, as a book tracing the contours of partnership, it provides insights into a concept that has been closely associated with the modern ecumenical movement. Second, it highlights the need for a new impetus in both theory and practice of partnership. Third, while the focus is on historical analysis, it also lifts out key issues still dogging the global ecumenical journey--notably the contestation of power within partnerships."
--Des van der Water, past General Secretary of the Council for World Mission

"With historical clarity, political insight, and missiological acuteness, Barnes traces the complex dynamics of cross-cultural partnerships. He provides . . . a deep, sophisticated, and accessible analysis of the achievements, struggles, and unfinished agenda for what will continue to be, at all levels of the Christian church, the most common experience of North-to-South relationships. Barnes's work contributes to the reshaping of global denominational policy and congregational short-term mission practices."
--Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi, Professor of Global Christianities and Mission Studies,
Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

About the Contributor(s):
Jonathan Barnes is Executive of Mission Interpretation for Global Ministries, a common witness of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. He previously served Global Ministries in South Africa and Mozambique.

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Meet the Author

Jonathan Barnes is Executive of Mission Interpretation for Global Ministries, a common witness of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. He previously served Global Ministries in South Africa and Mozambique.

Read More Show Less

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