Pruit Symposium to Explore Global Christianity

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Nov. 8, 2005

by Julie Carlson (254) 710-6681

The growth of world Christianity will be the focus of the annual Pruit Memorial Symposium, scheduled for Nov. 10-12 at Baylor University. The symposium, which is sponsored by the Institute for Faith and Learning, will feature historians, political scientists, sociologists, theologians and others to discuss past manifestations and future trends of global Christianity.

Speakers will be particularly interested in Christianity's worldwide growth and its relationship to modernity/postmodernity, and Christianity's relationship to secularization, colonization, decolonization, nationalism, internationalism and globalization.

Six renowned academics will serve as plenary speakers on a variety of topics. All plenary sessions will be held in Barfield Drawing Room in the Bill Daniel Student Center.

At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dr. Lamin Sanneh, the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity and professor of history at Yale University, will speak on "Cultural Imperialism and the Missionary Scrutiny: Redrawing the Boundary." The author of more than 100 articles on religious and historical subjects, Sanneh's books include Whose Religion Is Christianity?: The Gospel Beyond the West and Piety and Power: Muslims and Christians in West Africa.

Dr. David Bebbington, professor of history at the University of Stirling and Distinguished Visiting Professor of History at Baylor, will discuss "Global Evangelicalism in the 19th Century" at 10:30 a.m. Friday. He is the author of Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s, Victorian Nonconformity, William Ewart Gladstone: Faith and Politics in Victorian Britain and Holiness in Nineteenth-Century England.

At 3 p.m., Dr. Brian Stanley, director of the Henry Martyn Centre for the Study of Mission and World Christianity and a Fellow of St. Edmund's College at the University of Cambridge, will lecture on "From 'Non-Christian Religions' to World Christianity: The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910, in Centennial Perspective." He has written or edited a number of books, including The Bible and the Flag: Protestant Missions and British Imperialism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, The History of the Baptist Missionary Society 1792-1992, Christian Missions and the Enlightenment and Missions, Nationalism, and the End of Empire.

Twentieth-century Christian history will be the focus of the Dr. Mark Noll's lecture at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The McManis Professor of Christian Thought at Wheaton College, he is the author of 30 books including The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys, winner of a Christianity Today 2005 Book Award.

Saturday's morning session will feature Dr. Dana Robert, Truman Collins Professor of World Mission and co-director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University. Her 10:30 a.m. lecture will examine "World Christianity as a Women's Movement."

The symposium will conclude at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. Paul Freston's talk on "Global Protestantism: Challenging the West through Politics, Missions and Migration." The Byker Chair and Professor of Sociology at Calvin College, he is the author of Evangelicals and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The symposium also will feature sessions on such wide-ranging topics as Conversion and Revival in China, Russian Orthodoxy, Civil Society and Political Culture, Pacific Encounters with World Christianity and New Trends in Christian Missions, among others.

All plenary sessions are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule, call 710-4805 or visit Pruit Memorial Symposium.

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