Friday, November 19, 2021

Recommended Reading: Kirsteen Kim on Racism Awareness in Mission

While this blog does not frequently recommend academic articles, Kirsteen Kim's recent article "Racism Awareness in Mission: Touchstone or Cultural Blind Spot?" published in the October issue of the International Bulletin of Mission Research, raises some important questions about the field of missiology. Kim begins by reflecting, "The heightened awareness of race, racialization, and racism in 2020 furnishes the context for asking why these issues are not more prominent in mission and missiology." She argues, "I will show that, although on the one hand, sensitivity to culture and context in postwar and postcolonial missiology has encouraged diversity, interculturality, and movements for greater equity, and so mitigated what we now call 'racism,' on the other hand, ... attention to 'culture' and 'context' may also obscure racism in mission and missiology" and therefore "racism awareness should be integral to mission education and that antiracism should characterize mission practice." Given the current cultural landscape of the United States, this article is highly recommended reading for US missionaries and missiologists. For those without access to the written article, much of the same ground is covered in Kim's 2020 Louis J. Luzbetak Lecture at Catholic Theological Union.

1 comment:

  1. Why do western academics impose their own agenda on to the world by universalizan our experience. As one who has lived on five continents, I affirm that every society has issues with tribe, class, caste, clan, race. However, race has a particular history in the West. It’s not an issue with every society. In any case, a biblical theology should help us to affirm culture without using it as an excuse to build barriers between social groups. Paul looked beyond culture in his mission churches by insisting that all Christians worship together. He would not separate people into social groups. The ideal of the kingdom in America is to imagine and work for a post-racial church in which the social construction of race is deconstructed and dismantled.