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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Postgraduate Course: Mission, Media, and Migration: The Making of a World Church (PG) (DIVI11049)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines how the missionary enterprise, the use of modern media, and human migration shaped the contours of Christianity as a world religion. Lectures and seminars offer students the opportunity to contemplate the specific mechanisms, beliefs, and practices involved in the worldwide diffusion of Christian religion and the making of a global faith.
Course description Academic Description: Religious identities and practices have long defied national and territorial borders and this course aims at contemplating the specifics of this feature of the modern world. This course offers students the opportunity to examine the ideas, mechanisms, and practices that allowed Christian actors and organisations to reach across geographical boundaries and forge transnational faith communities. Specifically, the course concentrates on the role of the missionary enterprise, the use of modern media, and migratory/diasporic movements in the creation of a global religion. By bringing together insights from history, theology, and the social sciences, this course draws attention to both the historical depth and contemporaneity of these processes, their ideational underpinnings, and the social and cultural configurations emerging in their wake. Lectures and seminars will contemplate the far-reaching religious networks created by mission organisations and migratory movements and the cultural interactions arising from the worldwide diffusion of Christianity.

Outline Content: Lectures and seminars are grouped around three units: 1) The first block focuses on the theology and history of Christian missions, examining the intellectual foundations of the modern missionary enterprise and the encounters of Protestant and Catholic missionaries with indigenous peoples and cultures; 2) The second section looks closely at how material, print, and digital media reach out across geographical boundaries and connect Christian communities worldwide; 3) The final unit explores how mass human migration and diaspora shape the contours of global Christianity in both historical and contemporary perspectives.

Student Learning Experience: This postgraduate course will be taught by the faculty members of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity in two-hour weekly seminars, with a ten-minute break in the middle. The first hour will be an introductory discussion led by the lecturer for the week. The second hour comprises a close discussion of the readings for the week, which will be led either by the lecturer or begin with a presentation by one of the students taking the class (for credit or for audit). The final assessment consists of a 4000-word essay on a topic chosen by the student.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  12
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 173 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Final essay (4000 words) - 90%
Class presentation - 10%
Feedback Opportunity to submit essay outline for formative feedback, usually in week 5.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Offer critical reflection on the key texts, historical events, and ideas in the development of Christianity as a world religion.
  2. Engage constructively and critically with the global movement and interconnections of Christianity.
  3. Critically assess debates related to Christian unity and diversity.
  4. Engage in constructive and critical scholarly debate with peers.
Reading List
Afe Adogame, The African Christian Diaspora: New Currents and Emerging Trends in World Christianity (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)
Afe Adogame and Shobana Shankar (eds.), Religion on the Move! New Dynamics of Religious Expansion in a Globalized World (Leiden: Brill, 2012)
David Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in the Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991)
Joel Cabrita, David Maxwell, and Emma Wild-Wood (eds.), Relocating World Christianity: Interdisciplinary Studies in Universal and Local Expressions of the Christian Faith (Leiden: Brill, 2017)
Alexander Chow and Emma Wild-Wood (eds.), Ecumenism and Independency: Historical Studies in Honour of Brian Stanley (Leiden: Brill, 2020)
Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa, volume 1 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1991)
Martha Fredericks and Dorottya Nagy (eds.), World Christianity: Methodological Considerations (Leiden: Brill, 2020)
Abigail Green and Vincent Viaene (eds.), Religious Internationals in the Modern World: Globalization and Faith Communities since 1750 (New York: Palgrave, 2012)
Nile Green and Mary Searle-Chatterjee (eds.), Religion, Language, and Power (London: Routledge, 2008)
Hugh McLeod (ed.), The Cambridge History of Christianity, Volume 9: World
Christianities, c.1914-c.2000 (Cambridge: CUP, 2006)
Birgit Meyer and Annelies Moors (eds.), Religion, Media, and the Public Sphere (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2005)
Lamin Sanneh, Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1989)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry
¿ Analytical skills: the ability to critically analyse and comprehend the specific mechanisms driving religious globalisations in both historical and contemporary perspectives.

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
¿ Independent learning and development: to exercise personal judgment in the study of World Christianity and carry out independent and rigorous research.

¿ Verbal communication and presentation: to convey complex ideas and arguments persuasively and engagingly with peers.
KeywordsChristian Missions,Migration,Diaspora,Material Culture,Print Culture,Digital Culture
Course organiserDr Pedro Feitoza
Tel: (0131 6)50 8959
Course secretaryMiss Olga Szekrenyes
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