“Global Theology” encompasses the diverse strata of formation of Christian identity in relationship to God that exists in a multi-cultural world and a diverse historic timeline. This project takes seriously the influence of culture to enhance one’s understanding and commitment to faith, as well as being the primary lens by which one reads, understands, interprets, and applies scripture.
“Global theology” is simply, the insight that is being produced by Christians in their particular global context. The category is variably known as “indigenized”, “contextualized”, “foreign”, “post-colonial”/”de-colonial”, “post-modern”, or identified with its interpreters (“black”, “feminist”, “Asian-American”, “Dalit”, etc.) to connote its supposed divergence from the traditional theological assumptions, methods, and conclusions of the Western church (as such, a shortcut descriptor is often “non-Western”).
The purpose of this project is to:
- Give voice to perspectives that are marginalized by mainstream theology, through inattention or discreditation by labeling as divergent
- Give access to people interested in cultural expressions of faith and Biblical interpretation, as well as tools of how to broaden their understanding
- Give insight to Christian leaders about navigating cultural diversity in their congregations, communities, and ministries
- Give attention to issues that are pertinent to forming identity that is both grounded in Christ and incorporating of cultural location
Due to the diversity of our voices, these perspectives can appear contradictory to each other at times. The goal is not to develop a “universal” theological apparatus or to bring alternative views into line with artificial formulations. This project affirms the ability of Christians to define their experience and understanding of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit differently and to read scripture faithfully within their own lived reality.
By sharing the expressions which result in this theological and interpretive process, Christians from all avenues may be awakened to a fresh understanding and realization of diverse interactions of God with humanity.
(For more quantitative information regarding the scope of Global Christianity, see the report from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, compiling impressive data and creating interactive maps and tables.)
My hope is to represent perspectives that have been underrepresented and provide them in a medium that is accessible to people popularly, that all may be transformed by the exposure to different perspectives. The community of contributors, editors, and readers is not bound to a particular denomination, but find unity under faith in Christ, expressed in Colossians 3, as those who “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all”.
For a description of unifying doctrine, please refer to the intentionally global and multi-cultural Lausanne Covenant.
If you are interested in contributing material to the site, please see our Get Involved page.
For additional information or to comment to administrators, see our Contact page.
GlobalTheology.org was started in 2011 by Michael Shepherd. Michael is a graduate of the School of Intercultural Studies of Fuller Theological Seminary and of Hope International University (Master of Science, International Development; Bachelor of Arts, Biblical Studies). His desire in creating the site was to create an access point for people to interact with global Christian perspectives as well as create a space for non-Western interpreters to have access to a wider audience though blog-publishing. He is currently employed by an interfaith agency serving people without housing in Southern California and is an adjunct professor at local universities. Michael serves as the editor-in-chief and is a contributor, but contributions are welcome from anyone willing to share. See our Get Involved page for more information.