Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham is a presbyter of the Church of south India and a leading Third World theologian. He is director of the South Asia theological Research Institute, Bangalore, India and director of the board of theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College.
The book was published by Christava Sahitya Samithi, Tiruvalle, April 1996, and is used by permission of the publisher. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Traditional patterns of mission fail to see the emerging needs and challenges of the Third World — endemic poverty, marginalisation, ecological destruction, and globalisation.. The author suggests new paradigms to do theology and to formulate response in mission in the face of these grave realities. He shows that commitment to life affirming values and structures are integral to obedience to Christ, who lived "in solidarity" with the oppressed humanity.
The perspective on mission is still a point of debate. There is need for a careful assessment of the style and purpose of mission in the emerging context of a pluriform society. The praxis of mission is closely related to the discovery of who Christ is among us and who he is for.
- Forward by James H. Cone
Although Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham writes to and for the people of India, his message has meaning for all Christians and other justice seeking people who are committed to creating a global village that protects the rights of the poor and provides space for the affirmation of their dignity.
- Chapter 1: Perspectives on Mission
A discussion of models of mission that have emerged in the modern period as the Church responds to the challenges of other faiths and socio-political realties in India. These models include Church Discipleship, Proclamation, Liberation, and Dialogue.
- Chapter 2: Mission and Ministry as Celebration and Sharing of Life
In India there is an awakening among the poor in all the religions to their dignity and selfhood which has been suppressed by age-old traditions and culture. They are demanding a critical review of the fundamentals of their faiths from the perspective of liberation.
- Chapter 3: Towards a Theology of Mission in Asia
When mission is directed towards the organization of the poor or when it has resulted in creating a new consciousness among the oppressed about their rights, then in India it is accused as being anti-national. We have two choices: to take seriously the subversive character of mission and face its consequence, or to carry on with activities — charitable, developmental, and others — which will not cause any tremor in the existing system of things.
- Chapter 4: Liberative Solidarity: Church in Witness and Reconciliation
In order to evolve an alternate form of development which is wholistic and more humane, we need to listen to the experiences of the indigenous and tribal people — their communitarian life and their bond with the earth. But, by and large, our churches are mere spectators, incapable of responding to their needs.
- Chapter 5: Peace And Justice In Indian Context
The religions of India should see the relevance of the new secular framework that is emerging. It is based on certain values which they all together can affirm — the values of justice, equality and participation.
- Chapter 6: Mission in the Context of Endemic Poverty and Affluence
We need a spirituality that is inclusive rather than exclusive, active as well as receptive, oriented to the coming of God’s Kingdom of righteousness and freedom throughout the world. We need a spirituality of liberation that will open us increasingly to a life of solidarity with others, especially with the poor.
- Chapter 7: From Diakonia to Political Responsibility
The Church is called to strengthen the secular/civil base of politics, to deepen its commitment to the poor and marginalised, ensuring justice for all, especially the weaker sections, to give a prophetic criticism against the government when it perpetuates violence and oppression, to join with others in evolving a paradigm of development that is ecologically sound.
- Chapter 8: A Theological Response to the<b> </b>Ecological Crisis
1. The connection between economic exploitation and environmental degradation is seen clearly in the deforestation issue. 2. Unjust treatment of the planet by humans is one of the principal causes of the ecological crisis. 3. The uneven distribution, control and use of natural resources are serious justice issues. 4. The fast depletion of the natural (non-renewable) resources today raises the question of our responsibility to future generations.
- Chapter 9: Praxis and Mission – Implications for Theological Education
Mission is now understood in a holistic sense. It is participation in the transforming and liberative work of God in God’s creation. How can theological education help the church’s participation in God’s mission?
- Chapter 10: Globalisation and Liberative Solidarity
An analysis of the phenomenon of globalisation and the facing of some issues that are pertinent in facing its challenges. The author provides a model of Christian response, namely liberative solidarity, that is rooted in the experience and spirituality of the poor.