Migration and the Making of Global Christianity

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Jehu J. Hanciles
  • Grand Rapids, MI: 
    , March
     464 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Kimberly Akano forthcoming.


Human migration has long been identified as a driving force of historical change. Building on this understanding, Jehu Hanciles surveys the history of Christianity’s global expansion from its origins through 1500 CE to show how migration—more than official missionary activity or imperial designs—played a vital role in making Christianity the world’s largest religion. 

Church history has tended to place a premium on political power and institutional forms, thus portraying Christianity as a religion disseminated through official representatives of church and state. But, as Hanciles illustrates, this “top-down perspective overlooks the multifarious array of social movements, cultural processes, ordinary experiences, and non-elite activities and decisions that contribute immensely to religious encounter and exchange.” 

Hanciles’s sociohistorical approach to understanding the growth of Christianity as a world religion disrupts the narrative of Western preeminence, while honoring and making sense of the diversity of religious expression that has characterized the world Christian movement for two millennia. In turning the focus away from powerful empires and heroic missionaries, Migration and the Making of Global Christianity tells the story of how every Christian migrant is a vessel for the spread of the Christian faith in our interconnected world.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jehu J. Hanciles is the D. W. and Ruth Brooks Professor of World Christianity and director of the World Christianity program at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Originally from Sierra Leone, he is also the author of Beyond Christendom: Globalization, African Migration, and the Transformation of the West and Euthanasia of a Mission: African Church Autonomy in a Colonial Context.



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