The Global Church Project
Series Editor: Graham Joseph Hill
Articles Authors: Jocabed Solano, Drew Jennings-Grisham, Stephanie A. Lowery, Emmanuella Carter, Juliany González Nieves, Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen, Jessie Giyou Kim, Jen Barker, and Celucien L. Joseph.
By 2025 fully two-thirds of Christians will live in Africa, Latin America, and Asia . . . The “average Christian” today is female, black, and lives in a Brazilian favela or an African village.
~ Stephen Bevans
Majority World, diaspora, Black, and Indigenous churches and theologies are redefining twenty-first century Christianity. And much of this new theology and vitality is being led by women of color.
Stephen Bevans puts it well. “We are now living in a “world church” where the vast majority of Christians are [from the Majority World]. David Barrett’s statistical studies have confirmed this shift, and Philip Jenkins has predicted that by 2025 fully two-thirds of Christians will live in Africa, Latin America, and Asia . . . Scholars are fairly unanimous in acknowledging the accuracy of the facts. The “average Christian” today is female, black, and lives in a Brazilian favela or an African village.”
Those of us in the West need a new narrative. It’s time to abandon our flawed Eurocentric, Americentric, androcentric worldviews. It’s past time we expanded our theologies, which are often characterized by the same emphases. We need diverse voices and a new and global narrative. We must turn to the churches and theologies of Majority World, Black, Indigenous, and diaspora (immigrant) cultures. They can help us explore what it means to be a global, vibrant, witnessing community. Many Christian communities in Majority World and Indigenous contexts have been wrestling with these issues for generations. Marginalization and persecution and alienation have been their lot. Yet, somehow, in spite or because of that, they’ve flourished and grown exponentially.
The quality and quantity of material coming out of the Majority World is astonishing. Any theology that ignores the insights of Indigenous and Majority World Christians is deficient and impoverished. And much of this theological work is being done by women theologians.
White, middle-class, European, North American, tertiary-educated men dominate Western theology and Western theological curriculum and institutions. I know I fit that profile and I’m calling for change. This group still monopolizes church conferences and seminars, and theological faculty and authors. They get most of the book contracts. This group still controls theology and church in many settings. But this is changing. New voices are rising. These include women, minorities, the poor, Indigenous groups, and Majority World leaders. Majority World, diaspora, African-American, and Indigenous voice have extraordinary insight and vitality. Openness to other voices needs to happen now. It is time for Western churches, theologies, and mission to mature, and to reflect God’s global church.
It is due time for the global church to hear and honor the voices of women doing theology. We need to listen and learn from African, Asian, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, Latin American, First Nation, diaspora, Indigenous, and Black women theologians. They dare us to examine, decolonize, and reshape our theologies and missions and churches. And they inspire us to renew the worship and community and mission of Jesus’ church. They stir us to think in fresh ways about what it means to be salt, light, and a city. They help us become a deep and diverse global-local church.
In this series, we profile the work of women theologians of global Christianity. Most of these posts are written by women about women doing theology from their own context and culture. Our hope is that this will inspire you to listen and learn from (and be taught by) the women theologians of global Christianity.
Posts in This Series on Women Theologians of Global Christianity
Jocabed Solano and Drew Jennings-Grisham, “Some Indigenous Women Theologians You Should Know About“
Stephanie A. Lowery, “9 African Women Theologians You Should Know About”
Emmanuella Carter, “17 African American Women Theologians You Should Know About”
Juliany González Nieves, “23 Latin American Women and USA Latinas in Theology and Religion You Should Know About”
Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen and Graham Joseph Hill, “18 Arab Female Theologians and Christian Leaders You Should Know About”
Jessie Giyou Kim and Graham Joseph Hill, “18 Asian Female Theologians You Should Know About (Plus Others For You To Explore)”
Graham Joseph Hill and Jen Barker, “20 Australian and New Zealander Female Theologians You Should Get to Know in 2020”
Graham Joseph Hill and Jen Barker, “160+ Australian and New Zealander Women in Theology You Should Know About”
Graham Joseph Hill and Jessie Giyou Kim, “12 Women on Changing the World: A 12-Session Film Series on Transforming Society and Neighborhoods”
Celucien L. Joseph, “20 Haitian Theologians and Biblical Scholars You Should Know About“
Juliany González Nieves, “Caribbean Christian Theology: A Bibliography”
An Open Invitation
If you are a woman and would like to write a post about women doing theology from your culture or context, you are welcome to do so! Please contact Graham Joseph Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reverend Associate Professor Graham Joseph Hill is Principal and Director of Research at Stirling Theological College (University of Divinity) in Melbourne, Australia. He has planted and pastored churches, and been in theological education for twenty years. Graham is the author or editor of six books including Global Church (IVP, 2016), Healing Our Broken Humanity, (IVP, 2018, with Grace Ji-Sun Kim), and Salt, Light and a City (Cascade, 2017). He also directs The Global Church Project.