For many Americans, Christian missionary efforts have usually involved distant and exotic places. Sometimes, however, we can learn more about missions and interreligious engagement by looking in our own backyard. This collection of essays deriving from a consultation on missionary history and attitudes in colonial Jamestown, Virginia, explores long-standing assumptions related to Christian mission by listening to Native American voices. What were the ideologies and theologies that motivated early Virginia colonists? How did certain understandings of mission and church provide support and legitimacy for invasion and exploitation? What were, and are, the responses of indigenous populations, and how should Christian mission to Native Americans continue in light of this history? This book addresses these still very relevant questions and explores ways in which new understandings of Christian mission are needed in the expanding religious and cultural diversity of the twenty-first century.
""Amos Yong and Barbara Brown Zikmund have made a critical intervention in the theological and ethical absence of Indigenous peoples within Christian mission. Their groundbreaking work opens up a fruitful dialogue for how to rethink missions within the context of historical and continuing colonization of Native peoples. They offer no simple or uniform solutions but provide a space for critical analysis and intellectual exchange. This book is a must read.""
U.S. Coordinator, Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians
""This is a profoundly disturbing yet constructive book. It presents a devastating critique of the church's mission among Native Americans in the last 400 years, but offers as well a sober hope. If mission is to be engaged in at all, it must be done with profound respect, dialogue, and repentance--the true way of Jesus and his Spirit.""
Professor of Mission and Culture, Catholic Theological Union
""Most commentators on Christian mission who claim to use critical thinking in their assessments forget the 'thinking' and are just 'critical.' The authors of these essays 'think' too. One may not always agree with their assessments in toto, but the ideas in this book need to be taken seriously by Christians interested in the growth of the church in the twenty-first century.""
-Terry C. Muck
Dean, E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism
Asbury Theological Seminary
About the Contributor(s):
Amos Yong is J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology at Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, Virginia. He has authored or edited ten books, including Hospitality and the Other (2008).
Barbara Brown Zikmund is a retired historian living in Washington, DC. She is the former chair of the Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches and served as President of Hartford Seminary 1990-2000.