With generous funding from the Central and Eastern European Association of Mission Studies (CEEAMS) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Missionswissenschaft (DGMW), from February 3-6, 2020, 16 missiologists from 4 continents were hosted by the Orthodox Theology Faculty of the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania to discuss key methodological concerns in the field of missiology/intercultural theology. This workshop was in service to a forthcoming text tentatively titled the “T&T Clark Handbook on Intercultural Theology and Mission Studies.”
Organised by Prof. Dr. John Flett of the University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia, and Prof. Dorottya Nagy of the Protestantse Theologische Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the workshop itself had no formal goal, except the naming of concerns, acknowledging the tensions which exist within the field, and giving some formal shape to the methodologies currently being developed and used throughout the world. From this perspective, it was an extremely successful enterprise. While difficult questions remained (such as the relative merits of different ways of naming the field), a number of suggestive avenues opened up.
An example of this was the method of the workshop itself: do not impose methodological frameworks, but let them emerge out of a diverse but collegial discussion. Along with two days of hard work, there was an opportunity to visit an Orthodox monastery and to learn something of that tradition and its contribution through history to world Christianity. The “Handbook” itself collects 40 essays from top international scholars in the field, and intends to advance discussion on the methodological shape of intercultural theology and missiology.
John G. Flett