19 May 2022

Mission and the Anthropology of Christianity: Africanist Perspectives

Karen Lauterbach, Associate Professor and Director of CAS, contributes to the newly published Oxford Handbook of Mission Studies with a chapter on ‘Mission and the Anthropology of Christianity: Africanist Perspectives’.

The chapter outlines the long relationship and mutual engagement between mission studies and anthropology. The chapter uses a study of Congolese Pentecostal churches in Kampala, Uganda to show how lived experiences, lived Christianity, and a displacement context are crucial factors to consider when studying mission in a multi-directional and interdisciplinary way. The chapter argues that from a perspective that integrates anthropology and African studies, mission can be seen as part of a lived Christian life that mirrors the circumstances and particularities of that life. Through the concepts of ethical practice and existential mobility the chapter shows how the study of global Christianity and mission can include experiential and epistemological diversity.