Submit a 500-750 word referenced reflection on what you feel were the key items covered during the week and how they might apply to your present or future education, life, or ministry. This is a very important part of the learning experience each week and should contain significant reflection on what you have learned.
Specifically, you should report on:
- What significant insights did I gain this week?
- How did what I learned affect my thinking about this week’s topic?
- What previous experiences relate to what I read and learned?
- How will I use (or have I used) this knowledge in my work, ministry, or life?
- What could I additionally learn or explore about this week’s topic?
The above five (5) weekly reflection questions are independent of each other, meaning that your response to each question may or may not be a continued discussion of the previous question. It is possible to have five (5) entirely different responses to five (5) different aspects of what you learned this week.To score well, the reflection must make reference to the assigned reading (including parenthetical references), will include suggested real-world manifestations of the course material, and will include a plan for implementing the material in a personal and/or professional setting. Adhere to the following for this assignment:
We are living in a period of enormous global transfor-mation—that is no secret. One of the results is that cities across the globe—all cities, the city in general—are rapidly changing. A majority of the earth’s population now live in cities or megacities.1 Over the past several decades, these cities throughout the world have undergone a transformation that is closely con- nected to the transformation in economy, politics, and culture associated with globalization.2 The city is no longer located spatially at the center. It is be- coming decentered and trans- centered and—given the accel- erating forces of virtual reality and virtual living—virtually immanent and transcendent at the same time.3 Cities by their very nature seek to make connections with other cities, seek to form networks, seek to facilitate contacts beyond the immediate terrain. Megacities and global cities realize these ends as never before.
Globalization has trans- formed many of the most basic conditions or understandings of human existence upon which notions of church and mission have historically been constructed in the modern era. The idea of national and even geographic boundaries of identity, for instance, that gave us the “here” and “there” of missionary thinking that was famously criticized by Keith Bridston as offer- ing a “salt-water” definition of mission—that is, that someone becomes a missionary only when she or he crosses salt water—is even more anachronistic in this day of global cities than it was when his book was first published in 1965.4 Rather, cities around the globe are becoming places of diaspora, places of passage more than places of settlement, more like thoroughfares than they are residences. City and world are converging formations. The implications for mission and ministry are enormous.
Christianity has had a long and complex relationship with the city. During its first centuries Christianity was primarily an urban phenomenon. It spread from Palestine along urban commercial trade routes to other regions of the world, going east into Asia and south into Africa, as well as north and west into what later
The Church, the Urban, and the Global: Mission in an Age of Global Cities Dale T. Irvin
Dale T. Irvin, President and Professor of World Chris- tianity, New York Theological Seminary, New York, is the author (with Scott W. Sunquist) of History of the World Christian Movement, vol. 1, 2001; vol. 2, forthcoming (Orbis Books). —email@example.com
To speak of globalization and urban culture today risks making a double error—first, because the phrase sug- gests that cities have never before experienced periods of such intense global trade and migration, and, second, because it implies that cities produce a singular urban culture. Cities are always made by mobility—or, as in current parlance, by flows—of people, money, goods and signs. They combine, for this reason, paradoxical extremes of wealth and poverty, familiarity and strange- ness, home and abroad. Cities are where new things are created and from which they spread across the world. A city is both a territory and an attitude, and perhaps this attitude is culture.
—United Nations Human Settlements Programme The State of the World’s Cities, 2004/2005:
Globalization and Urban Culture
became Europe. In each place it went, it rapidly adapted to new urban contexts, attracting members of the artisan and educated (literate) classes who quickly assumed leadership of the move- ment. Cities even then, though not of the size that we know them today, were defining centers of religious, social, political, and economic power. Cities were also, then as now, passageways,
nodes along commercial and political nexuses of cultures and civilizations. The city was never just a particular physical or geographic configuration; it was and still is a way of being. “A city isn’t just a place to live, to shop, to go out and have kids play,” says Richard Sennett. “It’s a place that implicates how one derives one’s ethics, how one develops a sense of justice, how one learns to talk with and learn from people who are unlike oneself, which is how a human being becomes human.”5 Perhaps the Christian movement has always shown a particular affinity for the city precisely because the city is in a certain sense part of what ultimately makes us human.
But the city is a complex, multifaceted reality, capable of extremes and of forming, as
much as deforming, the human. It is a process that both reveals and conceals, notes Henri Lefebvre: “Everything is legible. Urban space is transparent. Everything signifies, even if signifiers float freely, since everything is related to ‘pure’ form, is contained in that form.” He goes on, “The city, the urban, is also mysterious, occult. Alongside the strident signs of visible power such as wealth and the police, plots are engineered and hidden powers conspire, behind appearances and beneath transparency.”6 Theologically, we might say that the city, not unlike the church, is a place for sinners and saints alike, and a place where one can find signs and countersigns alike of the coming reign of God.
The City in History
Lefebvre organizes the history of cities globally into several major formations. The forms overlap, of course, and do not necessarily progress in a linear, straightforward manner. Nevertheless as an organizing schema with which to think about the urban, they can be helpful. Lefebvre’s first type of city is what he calls the politi- cal city, the polis, the capital, the place where kings and queens lived and from which they ruled in the ancient world and around the globe. The city was birthed as the semiotic world of royalty, the ceremonial religious center where temple and palace were located, the place where the divine and the human came together to shape the world.7 The political city organized the countryside
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outside itself and other cities of lesser power. In its most ex- treme form these were imperial cities: Rome, Constantinople, Ch’ang-an, Baghdad, or Tenochtitlán. In the ancient world they were religious, ceremonial centers that brought the historical and the transcendent together in one community.
The ancient political city could arise in part because of surplus production. People could begin living together in spa- tial arrangements whose density was greater than what their immediate resources could meet. Cities did not grow their food inside the gates but took it from the land that they organized and controlled outside. Other items were also brought in to be sold. The marketplace emerged alongside the temple and palace. Even the most modest of kings and queens soon found that they were not satisfied with the wealth that could be produced from their immediate regions. The desire for goods that came from beyond could be satisfied only by strangers who came from afar. Cities became centers of commerce and trade, their marketplaces filled with goods of merchants from other regions and cultures. Eventually the merchants assumed control, giving rise to the commercial city, which became the engine of the global network called modern capitalism. Commercial cities were not unique to Europe, but after the fifteenth century they came to dominate European life and, through its modern colonial venture, the rest of the world as well. The productive capacities of the modern city accelerated with the industrial revolution. Meanwhile Euro- pean colonialism and imperialism had reorganized the entire globe. The result was to split the city into two: the modern, where industrial goods were produced, and the colonial, where the raw materials came from and the finished industrial goods of the West were sold.8
Cities have always been places of differentiation, places where strangers became neighbors, and neighbors became strangers. One form of differentiation that they fostered and intensified was what we call “class.” The extremes of rich and poor were—and are—in fact a function of the city. Organizing these extremes was always a major urban praxis. Cities also fostered the dif- ferentiations that we call culture. They have always attracted immigrants from their surrounding countryside, but also they drew merchants who came from other cities and regions. The merchants from afar contributed much to making the urban a multicultural reality. The modern industrial city accelerated the processes of cultural differentiation by attracting immigrants from distances far away, not only to come and trade but also to come and work.
The City and Mission
Christianity in the West, which after the tenth century had become mostly organized into what we now call Christendom, found a way to accommodate itself to the first waves of urban transformation that took place under modern capitalism. The English Puritan was an early capitalist but still a figure of Chris- tendom. Even after the period of political revolutions that began to disestablish the church politically in the West, Christendom continued in its cultural form. The parish was still very much an urban phenomenon. In the cities of Christendom in Europe and in its settler colonies, which together constituted what we call the West, a new social phenomenon called “the slums” began in the eighteenth century, posing the first sustained challenge to this organizing practice. Slums were among the first sectors of Western society to slip beyond the reach of the traditional parish. They emerged rapidly, far outstripping the ability of established local urban parishes to minister to and within them effectively.9
For their part, churches in the West had long been aligned socially and politically with the middle and upper classes, significantly alienating them from the growing number of workers and oth- ers from the lower social classes who populated the slums. The culture of what eventually came to be called “the inner city” posed a significant challenge to the traditional moral values and teachings of the churches of Christendom.
This was the background of the vision of the city that inspired urban missions and ministry through most of the twentieth century. The city that was imagined was modern, industrial, and becoming postindustrial. It was organized into rich and poor districts that were clearly territorial and divided. It had factories, slums, tenements, poor people (a disproportional number of whom, in the United States after 1945, were African-American), incoming immigrants (who were also disproportionately poor), and an exiting middle class (read “white” or Euro-American in the U.S. context). Urban ministry meant primarily ministry in the slums and to the poor. It was ministry in the inner city, the ghetto, and el barrio. Urban ministry did not mean ministry to the businessmen and businesswomen who worked in the financial district and commuted home to the suburbs. It did not mean min- istry to the artists, to the city police officers and firefighters, to the civil servants, to the restaurant owners, or to the urban university professors. It did not mean engaging the corporate community, the investment community, or the media or advertising industry. The other, “regular,” form of ministry that was taught in theological schools and practiced in “mainstream” churches was perceived to be quite suitable for engaging these other sectors of urban reality. One might do “mission work” in the city, but one never went on a “mission” to the suburbs or in one’s “home church.” In the United States urban ministry became a code word for ministry to poor, especially to Blacks and Latino/as.10
We could stop to debate the merits and pitfalls of the twentieth-century missiological project called “urban ministry.” To do so, however, might allow us to miss the fact that the city that was the basis for such ministry has changed. With the end of the modern era and the onset of the postmodern/postcolonial age, a new form of globalization is upon us. The modern/colonial city has largely been displaced by another, a postmodern/post- colonial city, or what some are calling the “global city” and the “globalizing city.”11 The phenomenon is not confined to a few urban locations. All cities of the world are being pulled into the processes of globalization, while some have achieved the status of being what sociologists are calling “global cities.” Production in these places is no longer based in neighborhoods but can span entire regions of the globe. Consumption is likewise becoming globalized. One can find goods from virtually every region of the world in the marketplaces and malls of even modest-sized cities all around the world.
The Changing Nature of the City
The spatial structure of cities is changing. Transnational urban networks are replacing older spatial linkages. Images and atti- tudes that can be communicated globally through the media in real time are taking the place of city walls, natural bodies of water, interstate belt highway systems, dotted lines on a map, and other such means that have traditionally been used to define urban places. “Instead of being based on territory, communities are more often spatially extensive networks, consisting of channels through which resources flow—information, money, and social capital.”12 New processes of metropolitanization are underway, drawing urban inhabitants, commuters, and users together from
around the world in new combinations of material and virtual realities. The processes of class and cultural differentiation that historically marked the urban have accelerated in the globalizing city, intensifying the polymorphous while expanding the distance between rich and poor to astronomical proportions.13
As noted above, it is now clear that urbanization and global- ization are converging historical forces, two sides of the same coin, two sides of the same cutting edge of human historical existence. Cities around the world, as noted above, have historically, even from ancient days, been populated by strangers, many of them merchants, who came from distant places to exchange goods and sometimes services.14 The city was never only a center. It was always also a thoroughfare, a node on a nexus, one link in an urbanizing network. Today this is becoming clearer than ever. Those who have dwelt in cities and those who have ruled them have always had more in view than the city they inhabited. They have also had their eyes on the ends of the earth that they sought to draw goods from, or to reach out to rule over, even if only in their imagination. Global- ization has brought that imagining practice to new levels, joining together in endlessly flowing new combinations the practical and the only imaginable, the local and the global, the real and the virtual.
What are the implications of globalization and urban- ization for world Christi- anity, and for churches that are mission minded (and for missions that are church minded) throughout the world at the beginning of the twenty-first century? What issues call out for attention? First, world Christianity since at least the fourth century has been burdened with various forms of association with particular territories and cultures. This was preeminently expressed in the identification of Christianity with the Roman imperial order and the territories that were governed by Rome or Constantinople. There were other, lesser territorial expressions of Christianity in late antiquity, such as those of the Armenian and Ethiopian traditions, but these others did not rise to the level of imperial identification and dominance attained by Rome and Constanti- nople, or the Latin and Greek traditions of Christendom.15
The modern missionary movement in both its Catholic and Protestant expressions was particularly plagued by territorial notions of identity and culture that were fundamentally tied to a particular place. The modern ecumenical movement did little to challenge the social reconstruction that bifurcated the world into “Christian lands” and “mission lands,” with its First World and Third World theologies and its critical discourses setting in place the West and the Rest. World Christianity as a discipline is today in danger of being reduced to what happens in the territories of the global South and East, leaving the ter- ritorial definitions of Christianity in the North and West, both
evangelical and ecumenical, free to exercise dominance by being unqualifiedly “Christian.”
Globalization has now made all such territorial construc- tions obsolete. Spatial configurations of the personal body, the congregation, the denomination, the city, the culture, and the nation are all being increasingly deterritorialized and reterritori- alized, resulting in new spatiotemporal configurations and combinations. Korean Christianity is now a global Christian reality, with 6 million Koreans living in a global diaspora. Pros- perity doctrines and “G12” (“Government of 12,” pioneered by César Castellanos Domínguez of Bogotá, Colombia16) are picked up from their places of origin north or south and circulated rapidly in and through global Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal networks. African Christianity is a growing phenomenon in western Europe and North America. A majority of persons in
the United States now identify themselves with more than one particular denominational tradi- tion over the course of their lives. Our think- ing about ministry and mission must become more conversant with deterritorialized and reterritorialized forms of Christian expression. It must take seriously the host of theological practices and beliefs that are circulating the globe, landing in unexpected places, and continuously redefining each location. It must do so, bringing them into critical and creative interaction at both conceptual and practical levels in order to be transformative.
A second issue needing attention, and a close corollary to this first point regarding the deterritorialization of Christianity, is the reification of culture. The various notions of culture that have informed the study of missions and world Christianity in the past have been particularly problematic. Culture as a concept was often quite static and unchanging. The forms of culture that have been particularly attractive to contextual forms of theol- ogy in world Christianity have often been those of the rural, the village, the countryside, or even the nation, where purity and authenticity could be assured. Urban experience in general has long challenged concepts of culture that hold cultures to be stable or unchanging. Globalization is intensifying this realiza- tion. The city, I noted earlier, has always been both a center and a passageway, a node in a nexus, a place of destination and a place for passing through. The street has long been a place where one lives and a place where one travels, something that divides and something that connects, both a boundary and a suture. As more than half of the world’s population now lives in intensely urban contexts, and 3 percent of the world’s peoples now live as immigrants outside the lands of their birth, most of them in cities, life on the street and the culture of the streets take on intensely new configurations of inter- and cross-cultural experi- ence and meaning.
Saint Peter’s Church located under the corner of Citigroup Center, Lexington Avenue and Fifty-fourth Street, New York City.
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Training people for mission and ministry in this context means attending to the traditional formations of church life from a multitude of contexts and assisting churches to engage, if not always embrace, what is different. It means attending to the new formations of religion that are taking place as well, and thinking through what preparation for ministry means in the various contexts of hypercapitalism, the Internet, megachurches, global immigration, and more.17 World Christianity as a whole is far more inclusive than any particular local expression of it can possibly be. Ministry that takes as its context both its own location and the global reality will move in the direction of inclusion while continuing to affirm distinct identities. The church will once again be able to cross boundaries, including those of “race,” ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, confession, and more. These identities can be played out and factored in multiple ways that are both inclusive and exclusion- ary. Regarding identities as such, however, we are finding more and more the words of Edward Said to be true, “No one today is purely one thing.”18 Our hybrids are proliferating and, contrary to nature, are multiplying exponentially.19
The third implication of the convergence of globalization and urbanization in world Christianity concerns the authority of biblical texts. Not only the context but the very texts of our various theologi- cal traditions become destabilized in the rapidly changing world of globalized cities and cultures. New forms of reading biblical texts and ecclesial traditions alike are proliferating. In the midst of this proliferating difference, the Bible itself reemerges to play a critical connective role in our experiences of world Christianity in cities throughout the world. It is a common book, even when read from different locations, perspectives, commitments, and confessions and in different contexts and languages. It is a meeting place of sorts, a movable site to which is ascribed authority and from which is derived meaning. For some, biblical authority and meaning are central. For others, they are peripheral. But whether the Bible is read at the center or the margins of one’s religious identity, and whether it is read from the center or the margins of social life, it is still a common book, a site of intertextual engage- ment, itself a context and a pretext.20 The Bible remains a place, a site, a textual location marking various communities formed by liturgy, devotion, and social praxis.
In such multiperspectival readings of the Bible the tempta- tion lurks to ascribe to the text a degree of translocationality that might give it the appearance of floating free from any particular context and location, including that of the original world of its production. This is one important reason why the hermeneutics of social location must continue to play an important role in the production and reproduction of biblical knowledge in world Christian life, for such a hermeneutics helps reground biblical readings in various Christian contexts and experiences. There is always the danger that even this particular method will be seen as an avenue toward a new universalizing discourse, brought about at the cost of ignoring other authoritative sources for faith.21 The danger can be avoided only by keeping the Bible in community.
The fourth implication that I see for mission and ministry in the context of global cities north and south concerns the levels of engagement with other religions. Religious pluralism has long been a dominant reality for churches in Asia and Africa, beginning with the first centuries of the Christian movement. Christians who lived under Muslim rulers in the political entity of the dar al-Islam (“house of Islam”) have had centuries of experience with being religious minorities. In the West Christianity was the dominant religion, although it was never the only religion and there were
always forms of Christianity that were considered to be deviant or “heretical” by the majority parties and traditions. Globalizing and globalized cities in all parts of the world today are witness- ing a degree of multifaith living that seems to be unprecedented in its depth and dimensions. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Baghdad, Jerusalem, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, São Paulo, Mexico City, New York, Toronto, and more, churches of all confessional persuasions are finding they have to learn new ways of living with their non-Christian religious neighbor.
The “New Look” for the City in Mission
Within the ecology of the new urban formations arising within the globalized city, we are finding renewed meaning in the local church and its ministry when the context becomes world Christianity. Churches from every part of the world, speaking languages and nurturing cultures that were historically born in places at a great distance from one another, are now flourishing next to one another in cities all around the world. The traditional model of parish ministry is not dead, but it is finding diverse expression in the globalized city.22 Ministry has also moved outside the church in new and interesting ways. The rise of the entrepreneurial model of individuals heading ministries—with their own Web pages, incorporation papers, TV programs, and various pastoral conferences—leads the way in this effort. The more traditional forms of urban and industrial ministry such as ministry in the law office, in the university halls, in prisons, and among firefighters continue.
Poverty is still a focal point in our theological reflections on ministry in the city, but it comes in multiple constructions today. We talk of anthropological poverty, political empowerment, and the need for communities of faith and resistance to gain access to information and knowledge of production. The commitment to justice has a stronger transformational dimension as our pedagogy is increasingly aware of the global cultural context in which we are living.23
Global networks are becoming ever more important for engaging in mission and ministry in the world Christian context of the global city. Bilocationality and circulating patterns of migra- tion and return are becoming more common in churches through- out the world. Powerful charismatic clergy serve widely scat- tered networks of congregations among the various diasporas that wrap around the globe. All of us are busy finding our way— “fumbling along,” some might say—in this new global urban experience. Contextualization was the first step in the direction in which we are heading. But it turns out to have been far too neat, far too simple a model. The real and virtual worlds of this global community of discourse decontextualize and recontextualize us constantly, calling for a more active form of transpositional theological reflection. Culture itself gets quickly transformed in the accelerated flows of globalization that we are experiencing. Even what counts as knowledge is brought into question.
The city has been on the agenda for mission studies for more than a century. Unfortunately, the manner in which the city too often has been imagined is as a place of need or despair. In many instances the city was reduced conceptually to being a function of poverty, lack, or neglect.24 The reduction of the city to its poorest neighborhoods has always been problematic in the theology of urban ministry. The city has always been more than just a “slum” or a “ghetto,” even in its poorest neighborhoods. Certainly preparation for ministry to, with, and of the poor ought to occupy a prominent place in the mission agenda, but urban ministry cannot be reduced to this one focus.
In all places our urban theologies are being challenged by the very nature of the city itself. A more vital and engaging form of mission and ministry in the postcolonial, postindustrial, postmodern, and, in some instances, post-Christendom city is needed. Global cities are the visible manifestations of a new global reality that has become the context of world Christianity. Our theologies unfortunately tend often to continue to conceptualize the world in territorial terms that were part of the modern and colonial frames of reference, placing various theologies in their respective geographic locations and even trying to keep them there. Korean theology is taken to refer to theology that is done on the peninsula of Korea. Brazilian theology is taken to mean theology that is done on location in Brazil and by people whose ancestors lived in Brazil. The actual world that we are living in, however, is one of transnational migrations, hyphenated and hybrid identities, cultural conjunctions and disjunctions, and global theological networks or flows. Korean-speaking Chris- tian leaders from around the world gather outside of Korea
Notes 1. See Philip Berryman, Religion in the Megacity (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis
Books, 1992). 2. Peter Taylor, Ben Derudder, Pieter Saey, and Frank Witlox, eds., Cities in
Globalization: Practices, Policies, and Theories (London: Routledge, 2006), look specifically at European and North American cities but uncover the connections well. Jane M. Jacobs, Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City (London: Routledge, 1996), implicitly extends the discussion of globalization in the direction of neo-imperialism by looking at urban spaces through a postcolonial lens.
3. See Peter H. Sedgwick, ed., God in the City: Essays and Reflections from the Archbishop’s Urban Theology Group (London: Mowbray, 1995).
4. Keith R. Bridston, Mission, Myth, and Reality (New York: Friendship Press, 1965). On p. 33 Bridston writes: “It would be foolish to suggest that the geographical frontier ever was, or will ever be, insignificant in the missionary activity of the church. But if the religious significance of salt water is seen in any other than a poetic and mythical way, the whole meaning of the mission of the church is in danger of being lost, or so perverted that it would be better lost. The geographical frontier, symbolized by the seven seas, only represents what the Christian mission is; it does not exhaust it. Ocean trips have never made Christian missionaries, and, in itself, salt water never will.”
5. Richard Sennett, “The Civitas of Seeing,” Places 5, no. 4 (1989), quoted in Bo Grönlund, “The Civitas of Seeing and the Design of Cities—on the Urbanism of Richard Sennett,” Urban Winds, http://hjem.get2net .dk/gronlund/Sennett_ny_tekst_ 97kort.html. It is interesting that the Latin word urbs denoted an actual city, while the word civis referred to the manner of life of those to whom belonged its privileges; only later was it extended to be an alternative term for the city itself.
6. Henri Lefebvre, The Urban Revolution, trans. Robert Bononno (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2003; French orig., 1970), p. 120.
7. On the ceremonial origins of the city in world history and on the relationship between human religiosity and urbanization more generally, see Paul Wheatley, The Pivot of the Four Quarters: A Preliminary Enquiry into the Origins and Character of the Ancient Chinese City (Chicago: Aldine Publishing, 1971); Davíd Carrasco, City of Sacrifice: The Aztec Empire and the Role of Violence in Civilization (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999); Nezar AlSayyad, Cities and Caliphs: On the Genesis of Arab Muslim Urbanism (New York: Greenwood Press, 1991); and Joel Kotkin, The City: A Global History (New York: Modern Library, 2005).
8. On the relationship between colonial and modern cities, and the global impact of postcolonial urbanization in particular, see Ryan Bishop, John Phillips, and Wei-Wei Yeo, eds., Postcolonial Urbanism: Southeast Asian Cities and Global Processes (New York: Routledge, 2003). For an examination of the manner in which global charismatic Christianity operates in and through the postcolonial city, in this case specifically
in congresses on the global mission of the Korean diaspora. Portuguese-speaking congregations form among people who have emigrated from Brazil and engage in theological reflection in Tokyo, Newark, or Lisbon, while many who are doing theol- ogy in São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro are recent immigrants from other continents to Brazil.
This new, complex global urban reality is posing a challenge to the way mission is understood around the world today. In each place this urban reality takes on distinctive features, even as the overall process of global urbanization is tying these realities together in new, complex, expanding, interlocking, differentiat- ing networks of relations. Theology in general needs to grapple with these new global configurations and the realities they are generating, virtual and otherwise. The challenge for us is always to reflect upon and engage theologically from our various loca- tions and perspectives, a challenge present in each place, even as we find ourselves increasingly relocated within this new global urban context.
Singapore, see Robbie B. H. Goh, “Deus ex Machina: Evangelical Sites, Urbanism, and the Construction of Social Identities,” in Postcolonial Urbanism, ed. Bishop, Phillips, and Yeo, pp. 305–21.
9. One can argue that the intellectual challenges of the de-Christianization of Europe that were posed by the middle class’s “cultured despisers of religion” were addressed far more successfully by Schleiermacher and others in the streams of liberal Protestant theology that followed him through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries than were the challenges of the new urban working class who were gathering in the slums. On the history of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century “mission” work in slums in the United States, see Norris A. Magnuson, Salvation in the Slums: Evangelical Social Work, 1865–1920 (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1977).
10. The tendency to focus or even reduce urban ministry to addressing issues of urban poverty, and in the U.S. context to ministry in the “inner city” (i.e., the slums, the ghetto, or el barrio), is apparent in even such excellent recent work on urban ministry and theology as Andrew Davey, Urban Christianity and Global Order: Theological Resources for an Urban Future (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2002), and Mark R. Gornik, To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002).
11. See Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (Prince- ton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1991).
12. United Nations Human Settlements Programme, The State of the World’s Cities, 2004/2005: Globalization and Urban Culture (London and Sterling, Va.: Earthscan / UN-Habitat, 2004), p. 5.
13. According to the most recent U.N. figures, nearly 200 million persons, or approximately 3 percent of the world’s population, are now immigrants, living outside the territorial boundaries of their natal cultural community, most of them living in cities. In New York City alone, according to the mayor’s office, representatives from every nation on earth are now living as immigrants in the city.
14. The tradition that St. Thomas traveled to India from Palestine in the first century of the common era is quite telling for world Christian identity, for Thomas is held by some strands of the tradition to have gone to India not as a merchant but as a carpenter, recruited in a Mediterranean seaport by agents of an Indian ruler seeking skilled labor from the Roman Empire.
15. It should be noted that there were always Christians within the imperial traditions who did not accept imperial domination, and many who opposed it openly. There have also always been churches of the world whose traditions lay outside the range of imperial reach, especially the churches of Asia who lived as (often persecuted) minority communities in multireligious societies. Although the imperial forms of Christendom were not universal, their impact touched in one way or another all churches and traditions. The legacy of Christendom has been felt by all churches and traditions of thehttp://hjem.get2net.dk/gronlund/Sennett_ny_tekst_97kort.htmlhttp://hjem.get2net.dk/gronlund/Sennett_ny_tekst_97kort.html
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We acknowledge that industrialization, increased defor
world, even if its effects have been weighted differently among the various churches.
16. For information on “Government of 12” program, see www.visiong12 .com.
17. Manuel A. Vásquez and Marie Friedmann Marquardt, Globalizing the Sacred: Religion Across the Americas (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2003), pp. 54–55. The authors note on p. 55, “By changing our sense of time, space and agency, globalization clearly affects the viability of religious congregations. The latter, however, are not mere passive subjects of more foundational economic forces. Religious congregations are also active in transmitting and shaping globalization.” They cite Pentecostalism as being particularly effective in creating transnational networks, but include the Roman Catholic Church and other global religious networks in their consideration of globalizing religion.
18. Edward Said, in Culture and Imperialism (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1994), p. 336, writes: “No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind. Imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale. But its worst and most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. . . . No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there
seems no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about. Survival in fact is about the connections between things; in Eliot’s phrase, reality cannot be deprived of the ‘other echoes [that] inhabit the garden.’”
19. See Néstor Garcia Canclini, Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity, trans. Christopher Chiappari and Silvia L. López (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1990).
20. See Dale T. Irvin, “Contextualization and Catholicity: Looking Anew for the Unity of the Faith,” Studia Theologica 48, no. 2 (1995): 8.
21. Francisco Lozado, Jr., “Reinventing the Biblical Tradition: An Exploration of Social Location Hermeneutics,” in Futuring Our Past: Explorations in the Theology of Tradition, ed. Orlando O. Espín and Gary Macy (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2006), pp. 113–40.
22. On the various models of urban church experience, see Lowell W. Livezey, ed., Public Religion and Urban Transformation: Faith in the City (New York: New York Univ. Press, 2000).
23. On the problems and possibilities for transformative adult education in the context of globalization, see Sharan B. Merriam, Bradley C. Courtenay, and Ronald M. Cervero, eds., Global Issues and Adult Education: Perspectives from Latin America, Southern Africa, and the United States (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006).