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CMIN 201 (Sp '17) T10 - Monastics on Mission

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Hartmut Scherer

on 10 February 2017

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Transcript of CMIN 201 (Sp '17) T10 - Monastics on Mission

- Stations of the Cross 2 by Patrick Furlong; retrieved Feb 16, 2013 from
The tale of 2 monks (7. century)
Monastics on Mission
7. century
Stations of the Cross 2 - An Example of Contextualization
"By far the most powerful stations of the cross I ever saw. The artwork is meant to place Jesus in the context of Bolivia at a time when brutality was at its worst. If you study the images, you will see the Liberation Theology as it is military soldiers dressed in Bolivian uniforms torturing Jesus or the color of the skin and look of the people is that of Bolivian men and women. A very moving way of seeing religion intersect into the real lives of the people in this Jesuit Mission area by Santa Cruz." (Patrick Furlong)
The tale of 2 monks - Alopen and Augustine
- Statue of Ignatius Loyola; retrieved Feb 16, 2013 from
Reply of Pope Gregory the Great in A.D. 601
The letter gives us a remarkable insight into a very early period of Christian missions. It demonstrates how the
challenges of contextualization
, the force of the
gospel’s translatability
, and the
pastoral needs of new believers
are as old as the gospel itself.
- St Columba icon; retrieved Feb 16, 2013 from http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8293/7760894346_09f6720000.jpg
Boniface (Wynfrith 680-754)
- born in the village of Crediton/England
- entered a Benedictine monastery in his youth
Boniface - Roman "apostle" to
the Europeans

- in 596 Pope Gregory the Great sent St.
Augustine of Canterbury with 40 monks
to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms
Raymond Lull (1235- c. 1315)
- backdrop of his time: bitter enmity between Muslims
and Christians
Life of Raymond Lull
His preparation and methods
- studied Arabic with a Muslim slave for 9 years
1235-c. 1315
Raymond Lull - Bridge-builder to the Muslims
- Boniface; retrieved Feb 17, 2013 from http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3061/2641590105_6e68e02fc9.jpg
- ordained into priesthood at age 30
- left the monastery and England in 716 and shared the
gospel with the Frisians in Holland
- with the support from Pope Gregory II, he started another
mission work among people in Bavaria, Thuringa and Hessian
- in 723 Pope Gregory II consecrated Wynfrith as
missionary bishop to Germany, now called Boniface
His Missionary Approach
- changed from smashing pagan sites (e.g., cut the sacred oak of Thor)
to dialoging with the people
- until his death in 754 Boniface was concerned for
those who had never heard of Christ
- East-Hem 700ad - retrieved and cropped Feb 17, 2013 from
Ignatius Loyola
Ignatius Loyola (1495-1556)
- founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1540
Statue of Ignatius Loyola
The Jesuits
Their traditional vows:
- poverty
- chastity
- obedience
- go without question, delay, or
the provision of journey-funds
wherever the Pope might order
"for the salvation of souls."
Additional vow:
Their mission training:
- rigorous and lengthy spiritual
and intellectual training
1,000 members after 30 years
8,500 members after 70 years
were accused of modifying some of the church's teachings to find better acceptance
- also founded grammar schools, 2 colleges
in Rome, and missions in India, Malaysia,
Congo, Ethiopia, Brazil, Japan, and China
- Life of Raymond Lull 14th Century; retrieved Feb 17, 2013 from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c6/LifeOfRaymondLull14thCentury.JPG/501px-LifeOfRaymondLull14thCentury.JPG
- born on the island of Majorca off the coast of Spain
- experienced a radical conversion in July 1266 which led
him to invest his life to win the Saracens for Christ
- wrote 321 books in Latin, Catalan and Arabic
- argued that Christianity was rational, a new method of
cross-cultural and interfaith bridge-building
- proclaimed that the Holy Land should be conquered "by love, prayers,
and the shedding of tears and blood" rather than by force of arms
- followed Francis of Assisi's footsteps in sharing Christ with
Muslim leaders
- founded schools for training missionaries to Muslims
the "enemy" must first know the love of Christians
Matteo Ricci - Jesuit scientist-philosopher to the Chinese
Matteo Ricci (1552-1610)
- born in 1552 in Macerata, Italy
Matteo Ricci
His missionary methods
- went to Goa, India (like Xavier) and started a work among children
- Matteo Ricci; retrieved Feb 17, 2013 from http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6110/6361456809_08908dd110.jpg
- after studying mathematics, cosmology, astronomy,
theology and philosophy, he joined the Jesuits and
wanted to become a missionary to Asia
- left for Macao in 1582
- tried to gain trust of the people by presenting himself as a "Chinese
among the Chinese"
- changed attire from a Buddhist monk to a Confucian scholar, which
opened a door to the inner circles of educated Chinese (his target group)
- from 1601-1611 he became the emperor's protected
clock-winder in Beijing
- his passion: to convince the Chinese of the universal value of Christianity
- according to him, any particular culture can be the container for
Christian truth
Columba (c. 521-597)
- born into a noble Irish family
St Columba icon
Celtic Missionary Methods
- sent pairs of missionary brothers into neighboring regions
- joined the monastic life, became a deacon and a priest
- passionate about evangelism and church planting
- in 563 he and his team of 12 settled on the island of
- started a training center for evangelism that focused on
prayer, meditation, Bible study and manual labor
- studied the language of the people
- translated portions of the Scriptures into the local dialects
- discipled new converts in the faith
- refused to appeal to the state for help and avoided politics
- choose to preach the truth simply
- did not attack indigenous religions
c. 521-597
Columba - Celtic "dove" to the Scots
St. Augustine of Canterbury
- Over the next year king Ethelbert of Kent and
approximately 10,000 Saxons were baptized
- Augustine's concerns:
a) superficial nature of their conversion
b) new believers brought a wide range of
customs into the church.
- in 1623, some workmen
discovered a massive limestone
monument with an inscription that
tells the story of the Nestorian mission
to China, led by a monk named
Alopen in A.D. 635
- St Gregory & St Augustine; retrieved Feb 17, 2013 from
St Gregory & St Augustine
Nestorian Stele
- Nestorian Stele; retrieved Feb 17, 2013 from
What can we learn from
these two missionaries for missions?
1) We should observe the deep commitment of these early
missionaries to the
cultural translatability of the gospel
2) We should recognize the
antiquity of Christianity in Asia
The letter of Pope Gregory the Great and the monument to the Nestorian mission established three principles of contextualization that continue to guide missionaries today
The Nestorian monument demonstrates that the Nestorians did not impose a Western gospel on the Chinese and insist that it be stated in precisely the same way they had learned the gospel.

Committed to communicating the gospel, the Nestorian missionaries related the truths of the gospel in a way that drew heavily from the current religious understanding of the Chinese (Confucianism and Buddhism were both thriving)
One of the important lessons of the mission of God is to recognize God’s primary agency in the missionary task
Principle of adaptation:
(in relation to cultural forms) Gregory the Great told Augustine not to destroy the well-built temples but simply to cleanse them of the idols that are found inside
Principle of exchange:
(in relation to pagan practices) Gregory the Great wisely understood that it is not sufficient to simply condemn the pagan sacrifices, which played such a central role in the religious life of the Saxons. He instructs Augustine to tell the new believers to give up their pagan sacrifices and to provide an alternative Christian ritual that allows them to sacrifice their animals in praise to God.
Principle of
gradual transformation:
Gregory the Great realized that the Saxon community will not be transformed overnight, so he encourages Augustine to allow time for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of the new believers.
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