Post-Christian, Post-Christendom, and Post-modern Europe: Towards the interaction of missiology and the social sciences

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    Abstract

    Three concepts are often used in missiological literature relating to the West. These are "post-Christian," "post-Christendom," and "post-modern." Often, they have been used as if they are more or less synonyms without much precision or reflection. By relating them to different strands in social theory around "secularization," this article suggests how these terms can be defined more precisely. In this way the author intends to stimulate the discussion between missiology and the social sciences within the context of Western Europe. On the basis of a more exact definition of these terms, areas for further research are indicated. As descriptive concepts these "post" labels invite us to explore their interdependence, mirroring the secularization debate within the sociology of religion. As heuristic concepts they raise questions about the social construction of secularized Europe within missiology. Finally, they may shed light on different social spaces for Christian mission in Europe. © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-25
    Number of pages23
    JournalMission Studies: Journal of the International Association of Mission Studies
    Volume28
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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    Social Sciences
    Modern Europe
    Interaction
    Missiology
    Christendom
    Secularization
    Mirroring
    Synonyms
    Interdependence
    Leiden
    Social Space
    Descriptive
    Christian Mission
    Social Theory
    Sociology of Religion
    Social Construction
    Heuristics

    Cite this

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