Globalisation, glocalisation & mission

Author:  Dr Jonathan Ingleby, Head of Mission Studies, Redcliffe College


The relationship between local and global, it seems to me, has created a good deal of confusion in the current debate on globalisation. It is clear that globalisation is a powerful force. Economically and politically we increasingly witness situations that are global in origin and reach, but are patently outside the control of nation states or smaller centres of organisation, but which deeply affect them. The consequences of global warming are an obvious example. (‘Come and visit us while we’re still here’ is a current slogan of the Andaman Islands tourist board!) Similarly, whether cultural globalisation (McWorld) is a good thing or bad, nobody is in any doubt that it is happening. This is not really the debate, however. The more problematic question is what happens when the global culture collides with local cultures, and what does this mean for the mission of the church? It is this relationship, between the global and the local, that I want to look at in this lecture.

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